September 3rd, 2012 by Robin Gordon-Walker

Reach, the skilled volunteering charity, has appointed two new Trustees – Simon Hebditch, a social organisation consultant, and Andrew Jenkinson a Board level insurance specialist.

Reach’s Interim Chief Executive David Collins said, “Simon and Andrew bring a key range of management, financial and professional skills to Reach’s work. We are very pleased to have them on board as Reach embarks on its next phase of delivering an enhanced and more effective service to charities and professional volunteers.”

Simon Hebditch said, “Having worked for many years in the voluntary sector I have been aware of Reach and the invaluable and unique service it provides and I look forward very much to helping it develop its services and thrive for the future.”

Andrew Jenkinson said, “Reach is a highly regarded organisation and I look forward to contributing my financial and business experience to further improve its services to charities and volunteers.”

Liz Maher is standing down as a Reach trustee after nine years of service.

David Collins said, “Liz has made a very strong contribution to Reach and has been an inspiration to the our Board, staff and volunteers. We wish her well for the future.”

Simon Hebditch has worked in the voluntary and community sector for many years, specialising in policy analysis, strategic planning, campaigning and external relations. He is a Trustee of the Small Charities Coalition and was the first chief executive of Capacitybuilders from February 2006 to March 2008. Previously he had been external affairs director of the Charities Aid Foundation and assistant director of NCVO.

Andrew Jenkinson is Non Executive Director, Consultant and Interim Manager at Andrew Jenkinson Associates. He was formerly Group Finance Director at Barbon Insurance Group Ltd and Chairman of Friends of Hertfordshire Youth Music Groups.

Liz Maher is Director of Centurion VAT Specialists Ltd, a Council Member on Newport Board at South Wales Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of Friends of Newport Cathedral Choir and a member of the CBI Enterprise Forum in Wales at CBI.

The current board of Reach Trustees is:

  • Bob Fee (Chair)
  • Frank Moxon (Deputy Chair)
  • Andrew Jenkinson (Treasurer)
  • Iain Herbertson
  • Liz Burns
  • Nicky Field
  • Simon Hebditch
A retired journalist, Robin now looks after Reach’s press and PR functions on a voluntary basis.

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YMCA England
August 28th, 2012 by Reach

Reach Volunteering is teaming up with YMCA England offering a discounted service to help it fill trustee positions at member associations around the country.

Paul Smillie of YMCA England said:

“It is really good to be working with Reach. We always need new trustees to help us deliver our work throughout the UK. Reach is a very professional organisation that is attentive to clients’ needs. They are putting forward a good stream of suitable professionally skilled volunteers who make a valuable contribution to our associations.”

At a cost of £60 per role, Reach’s TrusteeWorks service promotes YMCA trustee roles to its database of 2500 available professional volunteers.

David Collins, Interim CEO of Reach, said:

“We are excited to be working with YMCA England and helping its associations find the right trustees they need to develop their board’s full potential. Having worked with YMCA, we have a strong understanding of what is important to them.”

Find out more about our TrusteeWorks service.

Reach Volunteering: connecting people, skills and good causes.

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May 25th, 2012 by Janet Thorne

With the Charity Commission recently debating the merits of formal training for charity trustees, I wanted to talk about Reach’s position.

I’d agree that there is an urgent need for much more training for trustees – to help them deal with increasingly complex issues raised. However, I also want to clarify and reinforce understanding of what a good trustee/chair does.

One common issue is that boards tend to develop their own set of behaviours and expectations. Where the board is weak, this perpetuates poor performance, and training for new trustees is crucial to arrest this. However even good boards could benefit from new trustees bringing in fresh and up to date perspectives on good governance.

Compulsory training would be problematic, but charities could have an expectation that new trustees would attend training. After all, schools expect all governors to attend training (both induction and specialist / update sessions).

The key question is who will pay for this? Most smaller charities have no budget at all for governance.

Janet Thorne leads Reach as Chief Executive

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Traditional college
March 28th, 2012 by Janet Thorne

In an article on Third Sector recently Peter Sandford set out why he doesn’t lose any sleep over the old boys’ network. I’d like to respond and put an alternative view.

There will always be a role for word of mouth and serendipity, but it’s not without its drawbacks.

As well as the lack of transparency and diversity mentioned, it can result in serious skills gaps on the board which can make it difficult for the charity to face new challenges. For example, I know of several charities in the care sector who want to increase the business skills on their boards, but the board members, who are largely from the care sector, simply don’t have these people in their networks. And the narrower the experience of the board the less likely they can plug these gaps from their own contacts.

However, there are more options than the author suggests. There are free places to advertise and services such Reach’s TrusteeWorks, which are low cost. We’d strongly encourage charities to spread their nets are far as possible, and ensure that recruitment does involve a process of ‘selection’, whether an interview or a more informal meeting, where both board and potential trustee test the waters and confirm that they want to move forwards.

It can make all the difference in the long run.

Janet Thorne leads Reach as Chief Executive

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Colourful display of files
October 24th, 2011 by Madeleine Boomgaarden

Making a Difference – To Be or Not To Be a School Governor?

Monday 7 November 2011

Baker Tilly, Hartwell House, 55-61 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6AD

School governors are one of the country’s largest voluntary groups with around 300,000 individuals contributing to strategic development and raising standards of achievement at more than 30,000 schools nationwide.  You probably have the skills that all schools have a need for.  You do not need to have a background in education.  This presentation will give you an outline of the role and responsibilities of governors in different types of schools, including perspectives from a Head Teacher and  current Governors.

Email to confirm your attendance (no charge for this event).

Madeleine was Reach’s Marketing Manager until August 2014

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October 13th, 2011 by Madeleine Boomgaarden

Whether you are new to trusteeship, considering taking on a role, wanting to brush up your governance skills or are responsible for leading a board, Reach’s free events in the North East will help you along your trusteeship journey.

Timed to coincide with national Trustees’ Week, our workshops focus on trustee management in tough times and what trusteeship is all about. Click on the links next to each event to book your place or find out more.

Trustee Management in Tough Times

  • Hosted by Reach Volunteering and NCVS
  • Friday 4 November, 12.30-5pm
  • The Collingwood Suite, Civic Centre

Aimed at anyone leading or supporting a trustee team, this free event offers a workshop on team building, advice on involving your trustees in fundraising and tips on trustee recruitment. There will also be governance advisors available for individual surgeries. To find out more and book your place click here.

The What, Why and How of Charity Trusteeship

  • Hosted by Reach Volunteering and GVOC
  • Thursday 3 November, 4-6.30pm
  • The Caedman Hall, Central Library, Gateshead

A free event aimed at those who are interested in becoming a trustee and who would like more information about what the role entails and the satisfactions which it brings. To find out more and book your place, click here.


Madeleine was Reach’s Marketing Manager until August 2014

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October 4th, 2011 by Robin Gordon-Walker

With only one month to go to this year’s national Trustees’ Week, Monday 31st October – 6th November, Trustees’ Week partners are encouraging local charities and organisations to hold their own events to celebrate the work of their trustees and encourage new people to volunteer in this unique way.

Trustees’ Week 2011 celebrates the fantastic work of existing trustees and aims to increase awareness and understanding of the trustee role.

There are already 30 events in England, Scotland and Wales being promoted on the Trustees’ Week website, from training events to ‘speed matching’ evenings matching charities with prospective trustees. There are downloadable posters and flyers available for any groups wishing to hold an event as well as top tips for events and how to get local media coverage. The website also profiles trustees from around the UK who are passionate about their charities and the difference they can make.

Vanessa John, from Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) said;

“We organised an event for the first Trustees’ Week last year and it was a great success, so we are organising events again for this year focusing on current issues affecting organisations. Trustees’ Week is a great opportunity to get trusteeship on the map locally and support existing trustees with training to help them in their work. I’d recommend to any voluntary groups to get involved – you never know what might come of it!”

This year Trustees’ Week is also promoting the potential for young people to become trustees. The campaign highlights the mutual benefit of invaluable experience that trusteeship can bring young people as well as the worthwhile contribution they can make to a charity.

Research published by the Charity Commission showed that young people are hugely under-represented on charity boards in England and Wales. Despite the fact that young people aged 18-24 make up 12% of the adult population, only 4,220 trustees are aged under 24 out of a total of over 810,000 trustees in England and Wales, yet research shows they are the age group most likely to consider being a trustee.

Trustees’ Week is additionally now being supported by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), Charity Finance Directors’ group (CFDG) and the School Governor’s One Stop Shop, in partnership with the Charity Commission, Charity Trustee Network, recently merged with the Small Charities Coalition, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Reach Volunteering, Getting on Board, ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales), Governance magazine, the National Unions of Students (NUS).

Whilst there are around 800,000 trustees in England and Wales, estimates suggest that almost half of charities have a vacancy on their trustee board.  A number of the organisations behind Trustees’ Week provide trustee matching services, details of these can be found at

The Trustees’ Week website will be updated regularly in the run-up to 31st October with information about the campaign and details of events and activities planned by charities and other organisations.  If you are organising a Trustees’ Week event or if you are a trustee and would be willing to be a case study, please email or on Twitter you can follow @trusteesweek and use the hashtag #trusteesweek.


The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. See or call 0845 300 0218 for further information

For more information about the organisations behind Trustees’ Week, please visit or the websites of the organisations themselves:

A retired journalist, Robin now looks after Reach’s press and PR functions on a voluntary basis.

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September 22nd, 2011 by Madeleine Boomgaarden

Find all the information you need to plan for Trustees’ Week in the autumn and build a great charity board at The handy guides build into an essential library of everything you need to know about trusteeship.

There’s a quick introduction to recruiting charity trustees, how to promote your vacancy and all about inductions for your trustee. You can also find examples of how to describe the roles of chair and trustee. Our introduction to a skills audit and a skills register will take you and your board through a simple but effective process to make sure your organisation stays supported.

And if you’re a volunteer looking for that perfect trustee role, don’t forget to read our guide on being a trustee. It covers the roles and responsibilities, skills needed and legal position of taking on that role. You can check out all our trustee resources here.

If you’re planning an event to support Trustees’ Week (31 October to 6 November), go to their free and downloadable resources at

Madeleine was Reach’s Marketing Manager until August 2014

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September 21st, 2011 by Madeleine Boomgaarden

In the run-up to Trustees’ Week, we’ve highlighted three great trustee roles this week:

Become a trustee for Brentwood Mind, providing a drop-in centre which gives people a safe environment to socialise and benefit from peer support:

Volunteer as Chair for National Family Mediation and help ease families through painful break-ups:

Become Treasurer for a UK neurological charity:

Madeleine was Reach’s Marketing Manager until August 2014

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September 19th, 2011 by Madeleine Boomgaarden

Reach is proud to be partners of the second national Trustees’ Week.

The week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

Watch this space as we announce events we are running and supporting during this week. Use this space to tell us your trustee story as we build up to the autumn celebration.

More information about Trustees Week (and the vital role trustees make to charities up and down the country) at Find out about how Reach supports trustees and the charities that need them here.

Madeleine was Reach’s Marketing Manager until August 2014

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