Have you ever considered becoming a Trustee of The Care Leavers Association (CLA)? Like most charities, we have two groups of people responsible for what we do. The first is the staff, who do the work. The second is the Board of Trustees. This is made up of volunteers. It sets the direction for the charity and oversees the work of the staff.

The first thing you need to be a trustee of the CLA is to have been in care (in foster care or a children’s home or other forms of care) as a child. That makes us unique among charities in the UK. We welcome people on the board with helpful skills – such as legal and financial skills – but these are not necessary. It is just as important that you have enthusiasm for our work and experience that can help us make the right decisions.

If you are not already a member of The CLA you will need to join here https://www.careleavers.com/membership-account/membership-levels/

Trustees are elected at the AGM for three-year terms. They can then be re-elected. We meet, as a Board, every two months on a Saturday in Manchester (usually 11-4), though board members can now join us online via Zoom if they can’t make it in person on the day. We send out papers a week or so beforehand, for trustees to read in advance. These papers are about our finances, the work of the staff and other matters.

Our work is driven by what care leavers tell us is important to them. For this reason, it changes over time. The best way of getting a sense of this is by having a look at the various projects on our website: https://www.careleavers.com/

To add to what’s on the website, one of the most important things we will be doing over the next three years is running our ‘Care Leavers Connect’ project. This is a National Lottery funded project to help build up connections amongst care leavers of all ages. Having care leavers on our board who are interested in this project will be a big support to the staff delivering it.

If you are interested in being a trustee, we recommend that you speak with our Chair, Jim Goddard – jim.goddard@careleavers.com  He can tell you more about what it involves. He will arrange a chat with you to explain what trustees do, the legal aspects of being a trustee and to answer any questions.

The formal process of becoming a trustee involves you writing something to support your application, which we can then circulate to members when they vote at the AGM. The best way to do this is as follows: 1) a paragraph about yourself, including a bit about your time in care (such as how long you were in care for and when), 2) a paragraph about any skills, qualifications or experience you think might be helpful to the board, 3) a paragraph on why you want to stand for the board. This final paragraph can include details of any issues you are particularly interested in helping us with.

Please send completed trustee applications to david.graham@careleavers.com