Highlights from Trustees’ Week 2021 and what’s coming up next

Author's position
RVA Advice Service Manager
Article date
10 November 2021
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

We hope you had the chance to engage in some of the Trustees’ Week events last week. ICYMI here is our previous article on the topic.

This article offers some highlights and details of future events for trustees:

Recap of RVA Trustee Training

We were delighted to be joined by trustees from 10 local charities and community groups last Tuesday for our signature Trustee Training: An introduction to the roles and responsibilities of a trustee. We covered the following:

  • Who are trustees, members and others in a charity
  • The 6 main legal responsibilties of a trustee
  • How to limit liability and an overview of legal structures
  • Effective board leadership and individual roles on the board
  • Resources and support as a trustee

Reading is very lucky to have so many committed trustees, who have passion for the cause,  bring vital skills to the strategic direction of charities, and do this freely as unpaid volunteers.

As usual, attendees got stuck in with the training and there were insightful discussions following the practical scenarios. It was great to see the attendees naturally networking with each other too for peer support. Over the 5 years I have been delivering this training at RVA, this is always a highlight for me.

Here are some comments from attendees last week when asked: What did they find useful about the session?:

The Explanation about the different types of legal structures, the pros and cons of each, and the scenarios, which were very useful in thinking through what could happen in reality


The scenarios and the feedbacks help to enhance understanding a great deal.

If you are interesting in attending a future training session, we will be holding another session in February/March 2022 (date to be confirmed), send us an email to training@rva.org.uk and we will add you to the list and let you know when booking is live.

Articles and highlights from events exploring how to strengthen Board relationships:
  • The Directory of Social Change (DSC) shared this really helpful article on how the Board can engage in meaningful discussions and keep moving forward together, without trustees falling out with each other.
  • NCVO hosted a panel last Friday, where different charities shared their thoughts on how to strengthen Board relationships. Some highlights from the session include:
    • Being curious and learning to listen more deeply: not just to what is being said or the behaviour, but questioning what feelings/needs sit behind this. “If we focus just on the words, [in times of conflict] it is like throwing arrows at each other, but by being curious about where those words or behaviours are coming from we can start to resolve conflicts on the Board”
    • Create a safe space: taking time as a board to consider how you want to interact as a board; what is your vision and what are your values, how will you each embody these in meetings? Name the elephant in the room; what might the Board be avoiding?
    • Adopt an inclusive approach: are all voices equal on the Board? Is everyone heard? Is anyone dominating or nodding things through? What sits beneath this, perhaps it’s time to review values together, or where trustees are disengaged maybe a 1:1 between the Chair and individual trustees’ to see what makes them tick, how they wish to add benefit, or in some cases perhaps they have added all they can and wish to try something new elsewhere.
    • Don’t forget the fun! Remembering that all trustees are volunteers; people who choose to be there and offer their time freely. How can you build fun into your meetings? One example shared was the Angel Advocate, where a trustee takes this role for the duration of the meeting, listening out for all the inspiring positive things, then as the last speaker of the meeting they recount these as a reminder of the Board’s vision and passion in practice!
Further training and resources for trustees:

We hope you enjoyed the highlights in this article and if you would like any more information about any of the topics above, feel free to contact me at herjeet.randhawa@rva.org.uk