Celebrating Trustees’ Week

It is Trustees’ Week this week - an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

We wanted to use this opportunity to share a bit of information about the role of a Trustees and a bit about our Trustees here at WEA.

What is a Trustee?

  • Trustees are the people in charge of a charity and they play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work. 
  • They are sometimes called Company Directors, board members, governors or committee members 
  • Trustees do not get paid for their positions, and indeed in most charities they are not permitted to be paid for any services under their governing documents. 
  • There are approximately 196,000 charities in the UK (167,000 charities in England and Wales, 24,000 in Scotland, 5,000 registered in Northern Ireland and just over 1 million trustees (of which some 850,000 are in England and Wales, 180,000 in Scotland and 30,000 in Northern Ireland 
  • From NCVO and CCNI research, we know just under half the UK’s trustees are women, an that the average trustee in England and Wales is 59 years old, and 55 in Northern Ireland

What do they do?

  • Trustees, as defined by the Commission have 6 main duties: to ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit; to ensure compliance with the charity’s governing document and the law; to act in the charity’s best interests; to manage the charity’s resources responsibly; to at with reasonable care and skill; and to ensure the charity is accountable.

Who are our Trustees at the WEA?

  • We have 12 Trustees at the WEA – 4 are directly elected by the Association’s membership, 4 are nominated by WEA Council and 4 Trustees are externally co-opted to the Board. Each of our Trustees serves a term of 4 years and is then eligible to stand again. 
  • Our Trustees are listed on the WEA website here: https://www.wea.org.uk/about-us/governance 
  • Our Board meets 4 times a year and also sit on and steer a number of sub-committees which focus on specific areas of the organisation – Education, Finance, Audit & Risk, Membership, Volunteering, Governance & Marketing and Scotland.

If you want to know a bit more about becoming a Trustee, or you’re interested in a Trustee positon, you can find vacancies here: http://trusteesweek.org/find/