How can a trustee help your organisation?

We’re sometimes asked “what do trustees or committee members do for their organisations, and how do they support them?”. Stuart Williams, Principal Officer at the National Union of Teachers Cymru in Cardiff and Chair of Show Racism the Red Card’s Wales Advisory Committee tells us more about his role, the challenges he faces, and how he contributes to the success of their campaign.

“There are many responsibilities in being Chair for Show Racism the Red Card, one of which is to chair the advisory committee meetings which are usually held four times a year. I’m also a media spokesperson for the charity and am expected to conduct television and radio interviews if and when required. I meet up regularly with the UK Chief Executive and Wales Campaign Manager to review and assess the needs of the campaign and give advice on how to achieve the charity’s goals in Wales, and I’m also included in the recruitment process if the charity needs to expand its staff.

“I’ve been associated with the Show Racism the Red Card campaign for over 6 years and have been Chair since April 2014. During that time I have attended events such as school workshops, football and rugby club events (with Cardiff City, Scarlets, etc.), Initial teacher Training University Conferences and UK-wide events, such as launches of new school resources and research findings, and some fun events such as the annual Ex-Professionals vs MPs football match.

“What I enjoy most about my role is seeing the charity make a difference on a day to day basis, be it with primary school pupils or trainee teachers. They make a difference by educating young people through challenging stereotypes that are portrayed in the media and giving young people the opportunity to discuss difficult topics, such as immigration and terminology, and allowing them to ask difficult questions.

“There are also many challenges associated with the role, and keeping control over an enthusiastic advisory committee during meetings is one of them! Everyone on the committee gives up their time to attend, and ensuring that every agenda item is covered within the hour we allow for meetings can be tough as all items are as important as each other.

“Another challenge is being able to give the role the time it needs and deserves. I’m very fortunate to be able to do this as my employer is a big supporter of the campaign, and they allow me to manage the time I spend doing my job and the time I spend being Chair. This includes time off work to do some media work for the charity, usually live television and radio interviews, especially Welsh language interviews.

“I’ve only been in the role for a short space of time but one of my key achievements was getting some much-needed national television publicity for the Wales Creative Arts Competition back in 2015. A camera crew visited the Show Racism the Red Card office on 20th March 2015 to film the judging of the competition which was broadcast on a Welsh afternoon magazine programme. Photos from the award ceremony itself were then shown on an evening magazine programme in May 2015. The competition hadn’t received any publicity at all in the media during my time on the committee so being able to get national coverage was great, and as a result, a lot more people were made aware of the charity and more entries were received from schools in 2016.

“My top tips for other advisory panel members would be:

  1. If you’ve been invited and accepted a role on an advisory panel or committee then ensure you make time to carry out the duties that go with the role, such as attending meetings – be engaged and committed.
  2. Be passionate about the charity and be pro-active in its promotion within your business circle.
  3. Make use of the contacts you have to help the charity.”

Show Racism the Red Card were awarded a grant through the National Lottery Community Fund’s People and Places programme to deliver workshops in schools relating to racism, providing young people with a greater understanding of the issues involved.

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