I had a feeling that there was something I needed to do, but I wasn’t sure what. It’s a mood that I’m certain you can relate to, comprised in equal parts of the desire to feel useful, to be purposeful, to act intentionally, to contribute meaningfully. Sometimes you feel it in crashing waves, other times it's in the background, and most often, it leaves you with no choice but to have a little faith and follow the feeling.
I work within the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) space, my experience is primarily within creative and commercial businesses, and my academic foundation within intercultural communication. I’m fortunate to have time and resource available to me, and I’m a strong believer in skills-based volunteering as a way of giving that is responsible, thoughtful, and productive. I wanted to share my professional skills and I was using Reach’s site in the hope that there was a good cause out there in search of a willing EDI practitioner.
I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, possibly a one-off project or a medium-term commitment. I hadn’t considered a trusteeship, but I was delighted to see that Reach were looking to strengthen their governance through EDI.
I needed no convincing about Reach – I was happily using their service as a potential volunteer – but I wasn’t sure about being a trustee. I had a vague notion that it probably wasn’t something for me and I might have discounted myself, but for a few things that made the difference. One was the advert, which was clear, concise, focused on skills rather than qualifications, and especially welcomed applications from Black, Asian & minoritised ethnic backgrounds, people with a disability and young people (under 35 years). The other was Reach’s trustee candidate pack, which effectively clarified the role and outlined the charity’s strategy and values. It honestly explained where the skills gaps were, which in turn helped me to assess where I might add value.