Putting Young Trustees on the Agenda

Only a few months after we launched the Young Trustees Guide in London, there has been a great deal of activity on the issue of young trustees.

It has been an exciting couple of months for us here at CAF working with Leon Ward on implementing the Inquiry recommendation seeking to give more young people the opportunity to become charity trustees.

After a great launch and media coverage including in the London Evening Standard, Civil Society and Third Sector we have been working to ensure that charities and young people know about the guide and can benefit from the opportunities it presents.

We were invited to promote and discuss the Young Trustees Guide at the Young People in Sport Governance Roundtable which was organised by Step Up To Serve where we presented the guide and spoke with sports charities about the possibility of reforming governance within sports governing bodies within their organisations and the clubs they represent.

Trustees Week took place from the 2nd - 6th November and was kicked off by the start of the NCVO Trustee Conference on Monday 2nd November. At the conference, the first question asked in the morning plenary session was from a trustee of Sheffield Hallam Student Union, asking about young people as trustees, and I also had the opportunity to ask a question to Charity Commission CEO Paula Sussex about how we can ensure that current charity trustee boards understand the benefits that diversifying their trustee board and young trustees can create.

NCVO invited CAF to present at the fringe on ‘Trusteeship and millennials - the changing face of volunteering’ to promote the Young Trustees Guide and take part in the panel discussion afterwards. The panel was chaired by Dr Justin Davis Smith CBE, Executive Director of Volunteering and Development at NCVO and also included Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve, Mita Desai, former British Youth Council Chair and Will Roberts from the Youth Sport Trust. You can read Justin’s blog about the session here.

We took copies of the guide to the conference and were giving them out to people on the CAF stall, but due to the popularity of the guides we ran out by lunchtime and I even ended up giving someone my personal copy! That people wanted to engage on the issue was further evidenced by the fact that at the Conference, CAF’s tweet promoting the Young Trustees Guide was the top tweet on the #trusteeconf hashtag and CAF’s most retweeted tweet of all time.

We conducted the Young Trustees Survey and created the Young Trustees Guide in partnership with Leon Ward, who is a young trustee of Brook and Plan UK. Excitingly, last week Leon was awarded the Best Trustee Award at the Social CEO Awards. The Social CEO Awards introduced this new award category to recognise charity individuals’ social media presence and we want to congratulate Leon on getting recognition for the good work he does on social media in championing trusteeship.

Leon said:

“Social media has proven critical for the distribution of the Young Trustees Guide and I'm delighted to be named the inaugural top trustee on social media. It's not all about work, though; if you follow me on Twitter you'll get a glimpse into my life and an slight understanding of my love for Nando's.”


It is heartening to see the support over the last few months for diversifying charity trustee boards and helping and encouraging young people to become charity trustees. As we said at the launch of the guide, this is only the beginning and we hope the guide continues to help charities and young people do their part to improving charity governance and indeed, the charity sector.

Kelley Temple

Posted 17 November 2015