Putting Our Trust In Trustees

As some of you may know from our newsletters and social media activity, Autumn Voices is looking for Trustees. 

In June 2021, Autumn Voices’ founder, Robin Lloyd-Jones, brought together a Steering Group to guide the organisation forwards and put together the necessary elements for us to apply to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, or SCIO. Some of those Steering Group members will become Trustees of the future Board of Governance that will form to run this SCIO, but we need more people. 

Remind me what Autumn Voices does again?

Autumn Voices is a third sector organisation which celebrates and supports creativity in later life. It provides a platform for creative content like blogs, short interview segments, flash submissions, competitions, photos and videos online through its digital platforms. It is also starting to deliver in-person creative workshops for older people in locations around Scotland and has received funding to support this. We are building a community of older creatives through both online and physical activities and are actively seeking Trustees to help us do this. 

Who and what are you looking for?

We are looking for voluntary trustees aged over 60 from among our members, friends and generally interested individuals. 

Autumn Voices supports equality, diversity and inclusion, so we welcome and encourage applicants of any gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation and from socio-economically deprived or working-class backgrounds. We are particularly interested in hearing from women, people of colour, disabled people and LGBTQ+ people aged 60 or over.

What’s expected of Trustees?

We anticipate holding 4–6 meetings per year, mostly via Zoom, with the aim to hold one per year in person, so we’d hope you’d be available for all or most of these meetings. We welcome any interest in participating in our online and physical events, and your interest in team meetings and the work activities of our freelancers is appreciated.

We do not require previous Trustee experience; we seek instead your care, diligence and skill in helping to shape and develop Autumn Voices. We especially welcome interest from people with backgrounds in the following areas: creative skills, fundraising, marketing, healthcare and community engagement. 

Enthusiasm for Autumn Voices’ work and a commitment to its future is essential.

What do I express my interest or apply?

If you are interested in finding out more or expressing a direct interest in becoming a Trustee, please email us at admin@autumnvoices.co.uk. Please send expressions of interest to this email address in the form of a short statement outlining your relevant experience, knowledge and suitability, with ‘Trustees’ in the subject line.

What will I get out of it?

We could give you all sorts of reasons: supporting older people in creative and healthy pursuits, getting involved with something new, being instrumental in securing new funds for Autumn Voices to sustain its future, helping to develop new types of content and activities, or juts meeting new people and having fun, but don’t just take our word for it!

Current Steering Group member, Christine Hamilton, says:

‘I have been a trustee/board member/director/governor — choose your favoured title – on boards of many different sizes of organisations from a major Higher Education institution to small theatre company with no permanent employees: all charities or not-for-profit.  And here is what I know.

It’s a great way of giving something back and making a contribution to an organisation whose values you share and whose work you admire. The demands on time are modest – in the case of Autumn Voices we are talking about a meeting every couple of months – on Zoom.  You don’t have to be an expert on anything.  Trustees are expected to bring their own ideas and experience to the organisation. Your job is to oversee the work and make sure the company is well governed. For example, you don’t have to be an accountant, but you must make sure Autumn Voices has an accountant to prepare the annual accounts.  You don’t prepare or deliver the projects, but you help approve that the proposed projects are in line with what Autumn Voices is about. Your ideas and contacts are invaluable.  

I have chaired a couple of boards and there are three things I asked of fellow board members.  First, I expected that they read the board papers.  Second, they attended board meetings – and if they could not for any reason – they fed any comments or questions in advance.  And third, I asked that they familiarise themselves with the work by participating or attending as much as possible.’