CAF launches young trustees study following Parliamentary inquiry

12 Nov 2014 News

The Charities Aid Foundation, in partnership with Plan UK trustee Leon Ward, has launched the Young Trustee Survey to investigate the experiences of young trustees in the UK.

John Low, CEO of CAF

The Charities Aid Foundation, in partnership with Plan UK trustee Leon Ward, has launched the Young Trustee Survey to investigate the experiences of young trustees in the UK.

The survey follows a recommendation from the Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry which launched last year, and subsequent Creating an Age of Giving report. It called for more young people to be given the “opportunity to access the skills needed to take up governance roles in charities”, with the longer-term aim of getting more young people into trustee roles.

The Young Trustee Survey, launched to coincide with Trustees Week, aims to “explore the views held by those who have interacted with young trustees in their role at a charity”.

John Low (pictured), chief executive of CAF, said: “Trustees play an important role in the governance of charities across the UK. But it’s crucial that trustees are representative of society as a whole, and that includes making sure that people of a range of ages are given the opportunity to serve.

“In line with the recommendations of the Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry, we need to make sure that young people are able to access the skills that they need to be trustees in the future and that charities seek to create opportunities for young people to get involved in this way. The Young Trustee Survey will help us to achieve those aims.”

Responses to the survey will be summarised in a guide which will aim to share best practice of different schemes and models that give young people the skills and confidence needed to become trustees. Released early next year, it will also look at the benefits that organisations derive from involving young people in their governance and to “help build the confidence of boards in working with young trustees”.

Leon Ward, an active campaigner for young trustees, said: “My experience as a younger trustee has helped me understand the contribution that young people can make to the charity sector, and I hope we can inspire more young people and more charities, of all sizes to get involved.
 
“This is about helping organisations understand the multiple benefits to having young trustees. This isn't about tokenistic representation or diversity for diversity's sake but it's about ensuring decision-making boards are fit for purpose, futureproof and bring a collection of different skillsets, perspectives and experiences.”

Paula Sussex, chief executive of the Charity Commission, welcomed the launch. She said: “I would encourage charities to look beyond their usual networks when searching for new trustees and consider young people in particular, who are often able to bring new talents and a fresh perspective to an organisation. Trusteeship is also an excellent way for young people to learn new skills and progress professionally, and many are keen for opportunities to do so.”

Respondents have until the end of 2014 to make a submission. The survey can be found here.

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