The 13th to the 17th November is Trustees’ week and whilst it’s a time for celebration and promotion of the work of charity trustees, research has also highlighted the low level of representation of young people on trustee boards.
The Charity Commission’s report based on a review of all charities on its register as of February 2017 shows that less than one percent of charity trustees are young people, these 170 young trustees are defined as those aged 16 to 24 years old is a tiny amount of the 154,309 total charity trustees.
There are calls for more charities to engage with young people who can provide a valuable contribution to their boards and can often represent a young persons and users perspective for charities were young people and youth issues are the focus.
A spokesperson from the Charities Commission said:
“Trustees of all ages make valuable contributions to charities, and wealth of experience is important. But we want boards to be more open with their recruitment and think about the added value that younger trustees can bring – from fresh perspectives to new skills such as digital communications.”
Being a trustee as a young person can have benefits not just for the young people, but also a benefit for the organisations for which they are trustees of. For young people “a change to undertake skills and take part in things you wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to do, learn skills such as responsibility and accountability, and how to work accounts and how to read accounts”, Ashley Faulkner, trustee Oxfordshire Scouts.
(Video: Martin Steers)
The benefit for charities, Dan Seamarks, a trustee for the University of Westminster Students Union and also the Media Society said “the [other trustees] realised that actually the organisation probably wouldn’t exist in a few years because they didnt have the young people… to take it over and take in on, to develop it for the next generation”.
(Subbed: Tom Geggus)
Feature image: http://trusteesweek.org/