Posts Tagged ‘charity commission’
At v we are committed to putting young people at the heart of everything we do, and this includes incorporating their views and input at all levels of our organisation. v20’s – our Youth Advisory Board – role is to influence and advise us on all areas of v’s works.
Four v20 also serve as trustees. The recent report A breath of fresh air: young people as trustees from the Charity Commission confirms the important role that young people have to play in actively directing the aims and objectives of charities, by taking on positions as Trustees.
The report shows that young people are being hugely under-represented in charities across the country, with those aged between 18 and 24 accounting for only 0.5% of trustees in England and Wales. v are hoping that this research will inspire many charities to expand their range of trustees, to incorporate a wider, more representative demographic.
The report highlights that almost half of charities have at least one board level position open, and some may have difficulties in recruiting new trustees. The most common route into trusteeship appears to be through volunteering, with almost all the young trustees interviewed in the research saying they had been recruited from existing volunteering positions in the charity. It is therefore crucial that charities and their trustees take an active role in recruiting and encouraging young people, and harnessing the new perspectives, enthusiasm and insight that they can bring. As one sector expert asserted: ‘the key thing is to increase awareness and confidence – both among younger people and organisations themselves”.
The report also stressed that not only was trusteeship a great way for young people to contribute to communities and affect change, it was also an ideal vehicle for their personal development. Young volunteers felt that their volunteering experience had helped them to develop new skills, such as building respect, enhancing their CV and labour market prospects, and developing their organisational and team work skills. Young trustees added that trusteeship had the additional value of providing them with the opportunity to develop their decision-making, financial accounting and management skills, whilst also increasing their maturity and confidence.
One of v’s young trustees, Mohammed Ahmed, fully endorsed the report’s findings, stating that “Being one of the 0.5% of young trustees in England, I feel empowered to actually make sure that my voice, and the voices of the thousands of young volunteers that work with v up and down the nation are heard within v. It also gives me the opportunity to personally develop, enabling my confidence to grow, and encouraging me to think both practically and strategically for the long-term benefits of the charity. It’s a great experience, which I’d recommend to any young person – it may be nerve-racking at first, but it’s truly rewarding.”