Trustees’ Week at JVN

This week is Trustees’ Week, an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do. To show our appreciation for not only our own wonderful trustees but also for trustees in general, and to promote the involvement of other people in trusteeships, JVN hosted two special events to celebrate Trustees’ Week 2012.

John O’Brien entertains the room…

The first event was held on the evening of Monday 5th November. Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB), our corporate sponsors, were kind enough to host a seminar at their London offices. There were three highly interesting speakers and the seminar was chaired by JVN trustee David Lazarus. First, Jonathan Brinsden, the Partner responsible for Charities and Social Enterprise at BDB, spoke about recent changes in the law and the Charity Commission that have affected the position of charities and their trustees and may do so in the future. Second, Ben Brice, the Associate responsible for the same depratment, spoke about trustee governance. Finally, founder of the Jubilee Hour campaign John O’Brien gave an enormously entertaining talk featuring his personal reflections on his vast experience in the charity sector, including his view on what makes a good trustee.

… and our friends from BDB answer questions from the floor.

It was truly an explosion of knowledge that Guy Fawkes himself would have been proud of! He identified the four key features that affect a turstee’s performance: who they know, what they know, who they don’t know and what they don’t know. A particular highlight was his description of the plight of organisations who are desperately searching for young trustees for their boards – he said that the majority of trustees,  white men over 55 years of age, were “male, pale and stale”! A Q&A section followed, after which refreshments were served in the foyer, also kindly provided by BDB. The evening was as a whole extremely interesting and thought-provoking.

As if JVN had predicted what John was going to stay about the “male, pale and stale” nature of trustees, the second event of the week, co-hosted by LEAD at the offices of British ORT, was specifically focussed towards recruiting young, fresh and vibrant trustees for a variety of charities. The trustee drive followed the graduation ceremony for the Adam Science Foundation Leadership Programme (ASFLP), a programme which takes enthusiastic, bright young people and turns them into thoughtful, informed and exciting new leaders for the UK Jewish community. ASFLP graduates are perfectly placed to become trustees in leading UK Jewish organsiations, and the trustee drive provided opportunities for a variety of charities to talk to the graduates about the trusteeship opportunities they had available. Present at the event were charities from across the spectrum of UK Jewish life, and all of them benefitted from talking to the graduates with many finding new trustees for their boards. Maybe we shouldn’t be so glum about the future prospects for trustees after all!

Opportunity of the Week

Next Sunday 18th November, Interact are hosting an Interaction Day from 10am-3pm at Spitalfields City Farm. Interaction Days are volunteer days that bring together young people aged 16-25 from all faith and cultural backgrounds in supporting London’s diverse environmental sites. Working with professionals, young people will learn new skills in gardening, animal care and wildlife maintenance, carrying out a range of different activities during a fun volunteering day. Fill in the form on the Interact website to sign up!


Categories: Uncategorized


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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