Bal was a trustee, and chair of the board at Staffordshire University Students’ Union. Bal has just finished her masters and is about to embark on a PhD. We asked Bal to reflect on her time as a young trustee:
1) How would you sum up your time as a trustee?
“My time as a trustee was completely unique. It was something that I had never experienced before but that I would love the opportunity to do it again. I relished chairing the board as this allowed me to shape the agenda of trustee meetings. I loved having the support of the external trustees who were able to guide and advise me. Being a trustee enabled me to interact on a deeper level with different members of Students’ Union staff such as Finance and HR.”
2) Do you think having young people on boards helps charities make better decisions?
“Yes, I unequivocally believe that young people should be on the boards of charities! As a young person myself I have had different life experiences compared to the ‘stereotypical’ standard board member and this gives charities the opportunity to hear from different opinions at an executive level. Having a diverse board of trustees gives a broader range of ideas for any debates or problems that arise which has got to be a good thing for all concerned. Having young people involved also helps to keep charities current.”
3) How did you find holding the charities management to account?
“Holding the management of the Students’ Union to account was something that I found challenging but rewarding at the same time. This is because being a sabbatical officer as well as a member of a trustee board meant that I worked with management on a daily basis; however, I think that I did a good job, and this allowed a more professional work relationship with managers within the Students’ Union.”