Building Trust(ees)

9 November 2022

Check out these top Trustee tips from George and Sheila Jane

By Co-op Foundation trustees, George Imafidon and Sheila Jane Malley

We believe at the Co-op Foundation that co‑operation is at the heart of strong communities, and this makes us a different kind of funder.

It’s our job as trustees to make sure our Foundation is living up to this inspiring aim. By doing this, we can be sure we’re best placed to build communities of the future together and deliver on Co-op’s vision of ‘Co-operating for a Fairer World’.

Being a Trustee is something everyone should have the opportunity to do, regardless of their background. In fact, more diverse backgrounds are great because it means Trustees can provide different, complementary advice. This is just one reason why Foundation funding for groups like the Young Trustees Movement and Action for Trustee Racial Diversity is so important (more on this later).

Why not check out our video above to learn more about what we do, and to find out a few tips for aspiring Trustees? You can also read this guide on the Trustees Week website.

Who we are

Sheila Jane Malley

I was Director of Grant Making and Policy for BBC Children in Need until 2016. I am currently Vice Chair of Rosa, the fund for women and girls, which funds frontline women’s organisations across the UK.

I’m an advocate of community development approaches that enable people to work together to generate solutions to needs that they identify, and I apply this perspective to all of my grant-making experience, both in Northern Ireland (where I live) and across the UK.

George Imafidon

I am the CEO of Motivez, supporting thousands of young people aged 14 – 25 to access jobs in STEM.  A Performance Engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s racing team, and Board Member at The Hamilton Commission improving diversity in STEM and motorsport, I am passionate about building products and programmes that improve lives and communities.

I also lead the #AB1Million campaign raising £1 million for the Amos Bursary to ensure talented men of African and Caribbean descent have the opportunity to excel in education and beyond.

We’ve had a great time working together. It’s helped us to offer advice based on different perspectives, experiences and areas of expertise.

Trustees Week

This week (7-11 November) is Trustees Week where the charity sector takes time to celebrate the achievements of more than one million trustees volunteering across the UK.

This year’s theme is ‘making a difference in changing times’. We’re thinking about this a lot as we implement our new strategy, ‘Building communities of the future together’. There are lots of challenges in communities right now, but embracing co-operating, prioritising young voices and tackling inequity are central to how we’ll tackle them.

You can learn lots about being a trustee from the Trustees Week website.

Diversity matters

While we celebrate all the amazing trustees across the sector this week, we also acknowledge that charity boards still have diversity issues to overcome.

The latest data shows that than 3% of trustees are under 30 and only 8% are from Black or minority ethnic backgrounds.

We’re proud that Co-op Foundation funding for the Young Trustees Movement and Action for Trustee Racial Diversity is helping to combat these issues so we can build fairer and more co-operative communities in line with our Future Communities Vision.

Thank you for reading our story, and we hope you’ve had a chance to watch our video, too.

Sign up to our blog (below) to keep up to date with the Co-op Foundation. Help us build communities of the future together by giving a one-off or regular donation. Co-op Members can also donate their Member Reward online or on the Co-op app.

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