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Volunteers are often described as unsung heroes.  If that is the case, then trustees must surely be the unsung heroes of the volunteering world!  Rarely seen and seldom acknowledged, trustees are the glue holding charities together – keeping them safe, legal, compliant and financially solvent.  Whether a massive national charity or a small community group, trustees are essential in ensuring that organisations can effectively deliver their charitable objectives.

Trustees work away in the background, focusing on the invisible but essential tasks that enable charities in Scotland to improve the lives of thousands of people each year.  I was recently speaking to the treasurer of a very small organisation.  She focuses on budget spreadsheets, reconciling the bank account and chasing up invoices, and rarely comes into contact with people that the charity supports.  However, at a recent event she was approached by a gentleman.  His nephew has been involved with the project for only three months, but in that short time it has made a remarkable difference to his life – “Thank you so much.  I cannot believe how much things have improved for my nephew”. 

It brought home to her how valued the project is – and how essential her trustee role is in ensuring things run as smoothly as possible.

An important reminder that all volunteers are important – and they don’t need to be on the front-line to make a tremendous difference!

Marion Findlay is Service Director at Volunteer Edinburgh.  For information on all things to do with volunteering go to home – Volunteer Edinburgh , call 0131 225 0630 or drop into their premises at 222 Leith Walk, EH6 5EQ – open Monday to Friday and no appointment required