Business Works Magazine Article 

For the past 25 years David Foulds has been working in the Third Sector, managing and running charities and working with Trustees on strategy planning and delivery. At the beginning of 2018 David set up Bedale Consulting to provide management and governance support to Third Sector organisations and now works with the HEY Smile Foundation running the Smile Trustee Academy in Hull.

David says “I have worked with some excellent Trustee boards and seen how they can enable their charity to reach and surpass strategic goals. Equally I’ve experienced charities whose governance has been more challenged, and seen how that can curtail the efforts of the operational team in attempting to best meet the needs of beneficiaries.”

“Last year I started talking with Andy Barber at Smile about some of the governance challenges faced by charities across Hull and East Yorkshire. We decided that some form of training for potential new Trustees would only serve to strengthen the sector, and the idea for the Trustee Academy was born! We’ve been really lucky to secure sponsorship from Smailes Goldie Accountants and Jelf Insurance which means we’re able to offer the Academy free to delegates.”

Delegates attend nine sessions hosted by Gosschalks Solicitors, Rollitts Solicitors, Smailes Goldie and CatZero where experts from across the sector present on a range of topics that will prepare people to serve on a charity Trustee board. Subjects covered include the history of charities in the UK, legal models for charities, legal responsibilities of Trustees, the relationship between Trustees and the management team, fundraising best practice, reading charity accounts, assessing and mitigating risk and managing HR issues.

Why is the Trustee Academy so important? People can find themselves Trustees of a charity for a host of reasons, and often they are ill-prepared for the challenges they face. For example, if someone joins the board of a failing charity which later runs out of funds, the consequences for Trustees can be far-reaching; potentially including personal financial liability. David says “People become Trustees with the best of intentions, only to feel out of their depth when things start to go off-track. The Trustee Academy equips new Trustees with the skills to govern effectively, to set strategies that are challenging but achievable, and to spot the warning signs before things start to go wrong.”

What impact have you seen from running the Trustee Academy? We have had delegates going on to be Trustees in local charities and existing Trustees whose skills have been significantly increased. Our aim is to properly prepare delegates for the demands of being a charity Trustee, and in doing so strengthen the Third Sector across Hull and East Yorkshire.

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee or if you are already sitting on a charity Trustee board and want further information about the Academy, please contact Tessa Wray at Smile on 01482 590270. For help and advice concerning charity management and governance generally contact David on 07467 948546 or email david@bedaleconsulting.co.uk.