Black Beetle Health is a public health community organisation and charity dedicated to promoting health, wellbeing and equality for LGBTQ+ Black and People of Colour. We focus on sexual and reproductive health, mental health and wellbeing, and chronic conditions management.
Our mission is to promote health through evidence-based, peer-reviewed resource development and signposting to culturally safe services and support groups for people of colour throughout the UK.
We have developed resources including a Health and Education Library with 14 cultural-safe health guides, held over 70 virtual and face-to-face health and wellbeing presentations, and engaged directly with more than 20 partnering organisations. Our Health Equity and Advocacy Training programme also aims to redefine standard health and help-seeking practices within communities of colour and counteract negative visibility of LGBTQ+ Black and People of Colour.
The need for trustees with experience and expertise
Our organisation is predominantly run by volunteers including trustees and advisors. We were looking for people to support our charity in the wider sense, specifically trustees who could help us with our governance and infrastructure. We did a skills analysis to identify skills gaps within our charity and through Reach, we were able to find trustees with the experience and expertise that we needed.
Our trustees have a very specific set of skills and a certain level of understanding in a particular area of work. For example, one of our trustees specialises in HR and employment, and was able to help us understand and mitigate any possible risks associated with freelancers doing work for the charity. We also found an individual with a finance and accounting background to be our Treasurer. We wouldn’t have been able to do this on a generic volunteering platform.
Improving accountability, compliance and governance
Thanks to our trustees, we have the infrastructure required to receive public funding and donations and an accountability framework so that we can better manage what we do with donations. They have helped us with compliance and supported the overall governance of the charity. They have also acted as critical friends, providing the necessary expertise to inform organisational and strategic planning. Our trustees have been invaluable, scrutinising our plans, activities, and methods of delivery to ensure they align with our charitable purposes, our vision and our mission.
The resilience and flexibility of our trustees to meet the changing needs of our charity (especially during COVID-19) has been astounding. During the pandemic, a lot of charities were shutting down because they could no longer support their community. We were able to sustain ourselves and are still here, that speaks volumes. Without a doubt, we have an ongoing need for volunteers and they will continue to be an essential part of our charity.