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Trustees Unlimited urges students to become trustees in Student Volunteers Week 2012

Trustees Unlimited urges students to become trustees in Student Volunteers Week 2012

With one in five graduates unable to find work and youth unemployment figures at a seventeen year high, getting a foot on the career ladder has never been harder.

This Student Volunteering Week (20th-26th Feb), Trustees Unlimited,  a joint venture trustee recruitment company set up by NCVO, Bates Wells and Braithwaite and Russam GMS is urging graduates to sign up to become a charity trustee and gain new skills and work experience that will help them win jobs in the future.

Trustees Unlimited was recently appointed as a preferred supplier of trustees to over 600 students unions and together with Student Hubs (http://www.studenthubs.org/) has been encouraging students to register with the service. Several students have registered their interest however the organisation wants to encourage greater numbers to sign up to help meet current demand.

Ian Joseph, a Director at Trustees Unlimited commented, “Many UK charities are crying out for young, enthusiastic trustees to join their boards. They are actively seeking young graduates to fill vacant trustee positions to breathe fresh air, renewed enthusiasm and a new perspective into their Charity. There are around 200,000 charitable organisations in the UK and around one in five is likely to have a trustee vacancy – so there are many and varied opportunities out there.”

”With graduate unemployment at a high becoming a trustee could offer students and graduates a chance to develop new skills and become more employable, and at the same time contribute to society. We hope that many students will register their availability with us so charities can benefit from their talent and ideas.”

Volunteering is already popular amongst students – according to research from Volunteering England.  63% of students have volunteered for a charity since they had started university and donated a total of just over 3 million hours to communities in the 2009/10 academic year*.

Becoming a Charity trustee helps young people learn about how charities and other organisations are run and gives them experience in areas such as setting strategic goals, accounting, financial planning and employment practice.

Ian Joseph adds, “We hope that Student Volunteering Week 2012 will be the year that many students make the decision to become a trustee. However, we urge them to be aware of the risks and liabilities involved in trusteeship first and to undertake due diligence and research into an organisation before they apply for and accept a role.”  

Here are a few of Ian’s top tips for students looking for a trustee position:

Be sure that this is really something you want to do. Do lots of research online about the pros and cons of being a trustee before making a decision

Visit the http://www.volunteering.org.ukwebsite as there’s lots of useful information on how to volunteer and how you can accredit your volunteering with UCAS points

There are lots of events taking place during Student Volunteering Week, take full advantage and go along to as many as you can. Details on events can be found on http://www.volunteering.org.ukwebsite

Register your interest direct with Trustees Unlimited, the preferred supplier for NUS. It’s easy to do, just visit the website:  http://www.trusteesunlimited.co.uk/wanttobeatrusteeform.html

 Make sure you do your homework and find a charity you feel really passionate about. If you are going to dedicate a lot of time to the charity, you need to feel strongly about it

Be aware of the time commitments. Every charity will have different expectations. Make sure you can give it the time it requires but that there is still time available for you to look for full time employment and attend interviews. Don’t over commit!

The interview stage is crucial - it has to be a two way conversation. This is the opportunity for you to get the information and answers you need to make the right decision.

What training and induction is provided for trustees – make sure you ask this question at the outset

Every charity has a governance document containing rules for trustees. Make sure you see this at the outset, as it is your duty to comply with these rules and you may be held responsible if you don’t.

Lastly, remember you will need to put the organisation first if there is a crisis or urgent need. As a trustee it is your duty to put the charity before other commitments

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