Turning to Reach in the search for a new trustee

Luke Strachan CEO of Wild Things

When an environmental charity in the Highlands of Scotland needed more trustees for their Board, their CEO went straight to Reach Volunteering. 

Wild Things is an award-winning environmental education charity working in Moray, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands. Since 2003, it has enabled over 16,000 children, young people and adults to learn from and be inspired by their local natural environment.  

“We pride ourselves on bringing nature experiences to all areas of our community”, says Luke Strachan, Chief Executive Officer, who is passionate about the role that a love of the environment can play in people’s lives. When Wild Things needed more new trustees, Luke immediately logged straight onto the Reach website. Having worked with Reach previously, he knew that it would not disappoint and through the site, found Katey Boal. 

Luke explains, “We have a strong board but for various reasons we sometimes struggled to find a quorum for some meetings. We needed more directors. Katey has a background in Museums, National Heritage and Education. She has been working in Heritage for 20 years, starting in Historic houses in Western Canada and for the past 10 years has made the North of Scotland her home”.

Describing the impact she has had, Luke says, “Katey has been brilliant. She’s brought a new set of skills and has supported us to set up a new finance sub-committee, which she now sits on. We are confident that our financial management is more robust as a result”. 

He told us that the selection process was smooth. Becoming a trustee is a highly responsible role and Luke suggested that some volunteers might be surprised that they would go through a formal process. On his approach, he says, “We interviewed them with some other board members and invited them onto the board meetings before formally appointing”.

Did he have any advice for other charities? “Yes, spread the net wide, use advertising, word of mouth and definitely use Reach! It’s important to follow up applications promptly and it’s so easy and useful to pick up the phone or use Zoom these days. You can develop a better rapport by having an informal chat first and give more information about the charity. Speaking directly also helps rule out any obvious barriers”.

Luke was impressed with the quality of applicants through Reach and was pleased that there were even local volunteers, especially given that Wild Things is a rural charity. Would he recommend Reach? “Of course! The website is great, easy to use with lots of information and help. Messaging on the platform is really useful. There’s nothing else like it, especially for trustees and skilled volunteers – that’s Reach’s USP, it’s the strongest source of trustees and volunteers that I know.”