We’re excited to welcome some new faces to our Board of Trustees. Below, we’re introducing Lauren, Rob and Jamie.
Who are you and what is your role at CABB?
Rob: “My name is Rob and my role at CABB is as a Trustee. While at university I volunteered at a local Citizens Advice Bureau. After graduating I got a job as an outreach adviser at a neighbouring Bureau. I worked there for 4 years in several roles including advice session supervisor and project coordinator. After that I moved to London to work for another local Citizens Advice office, first as an advice session supervisor then as a service manager. I then moved to national Citizens Advice where I spent 3 years as a quality officer. I currently work as a senior quality officer at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in Manchester.
I hope to be able to bring my experience of working in the Citizens Advice service to help develop the services offered by Citizens Advice Bury and Bolton. ”
Lauren: “My name is Lauren and I am one of the new trustees. I work in User Centred Design for the Civil Service. I pride myself on acting as a champion for users and their needs. I hope I can bring some of these skills into my role at CABB as advocating for the user is a true passion of mine.”
Jamie: “I currently work in as the Transformation Lead in Childrens Services at Bury Council, leading on the development of Family Hubs in Bury. I have previously led on various projects, managed support services for venerable people, including rough sleepers, and worked with young people. I am also a former elected Councillor and also previously worked for a Member of Parliament.
I bring lived experience to the role of Trustee and hope to use my project management and transformation skills to help support CABB through a period of transition and development.”
Why did you decide to apply to be a trustee?
Rob: “Although I was no longer working at Citizens Advice, I remained passionate about the aims and principles of the service and wanted to support it in any way I could. I live in Bury, so I wanted to do this with my local office.”
Lauren: “I have always been supported by those around me in life and have been very lucky. I wanted to give back to my local community and use my skills to ensure that everyone who access CABB are getting what they need. If I have learnt one thing during my time doing user research, it’s that there is no such thing as a typical user!”
Jamie: “Growing up, I was the subject of various support services and in the area where I lived, there were many families, including my own, who relied on support from organisations, including CABB. I witness first hand some of the struggles people faced on a day-to-day basis and the immense impact that the advice and guidance offered by CABB had in supporting people and changing outcomes for them.
I decided to apply for the role of Trustee at CABB to support the organisation through a period of transition and enable it to continue to provide good quality local advice, guidance and support to local people.”
For you, what is the role of a trustee and why is the role important to an organisation like CABB?
Rob: “The trustee board helps to set the strategic direction and ensure there is appropriate governance of the organisation. They have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the charity. In addition to being legally necessary for the organisation to operate, trustees have varying backgrounds and bring different perspectives and expertise to help support the senior leadership team.”
Lauren: “Trustees should bring skills and knowledge to CABB, using varied experiences and backgrounds to provide insight to act in the organisation’s best interest. This in turn will allow CABB to remain a local, trusted source of support for Bury and Bolton and allow it to grow and flourish.”
Jamie: “The role of a trustee is to set the direction of the organisation and provide scrutiny, advice and support to the senior leadership team so that the organisation meets its objectives and continues to provide the best support possible to the people of Bolton and Bury.”
“The role of trustee is important to organisations like CABB, as it brings in people with a variety of expertise to compliment the organisation and brings in different views to scrutinise the organisation so that it’s working for the people it seeks to service.”
What are you most looking forward to in your new role of trustee with CABB?
Rob: “Learning more about the organisation and meeting more of the staff and volunteers”
Lauren: “I am looking forward to working together with the other trustees to use our various skills and experiences to enable CABB to grow and develop.”
Jamie: “I’m looking forward to understanding more about CABB and getting a more in-depth look at what CABB does, the impact it is having and meet the great people that make the organisation what it is.”
What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a trustee?
Rob: Go for it! There’s the opportunity to observe board meetings and learn more about the organisation before being formally co-opted onto the trustee board, so you can get a good idea if the role is a good fit and you’d be supporting a vital service for local residents.
Lauren: “It was recommended to me by someone I work with! It is definitely insightful to see the amount of work and advice CA provides to the local area, I didn’t realise how much was done before my shadowing day! It really gives key insight into the issues the local area is facing, and just how important the work CABB provides is.”
Jamie: “I would encourage anyone thinking about it to go for it. There are many trustee roles out there and charities looking to add new people to their board. Don’t worry if you are not an ‘expert’ in a particular area. All knowledge is great, including life experience, and there will be charities out there that would love to have you join their board and have your support.”