Trustees play a vital role in the voluntary sector, offering their time and working together to make important decisions about a charity’s work. They have responsibility for directing the organisation’s affairs, ensuring it is financially viable and ultimately that it meets the needs of those it supports.

With almost one million trustees currently appointed in the UK, Trustees’ Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the vital work that that is being done on a daily basis.

At Changing Lives many of our team hold trustee positions, including Senior Business Development Lead Geri Brown, who is on the board of the North East Child Poverty Trust, an independent charitable body which supports activities to address child poverty throughout the region. Established in 2014, the trust aims to improve the knowledge and understanding of the causes, consequences and solutions of child poverty.

Geri discusses her role with the charity as well as the wider complexities dominating the trustee landscape.

What do you bring from your job at CL to your position at CPC?

My role at Changing Lives involves strategic alignment and business development activity to secure and expand the charity’s income base and innovation structures. I am able to offer this experience to the Trust to help plan, develop and submit funding proposals and papers. I am also able to offer operational experience of child poverty throughout the north east and identify gaps in existing service provision or any emerging needs.

Why do you feel it’s important we celebrate Trustee Week?

I feel we should raise awareness of the vital role that trustees play throughout the voluntary sector and celebrate the fantastic work that is being overseen by boards who give their time and expertise freely.

Do you feel there is enough diversity amongst trustees?

I feel there needs to be more scope, support and training for those who are ‘experts by experience’ to effectively participate in work at board level.

What are your feelings on the trustee pay discussion?

I am a trustee because I am passionate in alleviating and ultimately eradicating child poverty, not for financial gain.

Do you have any advice for those looking at trustee positions?

Go for it! If you need additional support, try to find someone who will act as a mentor to provide initial help and guidance.

If you would like to find out about becoming a trustee, visit

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