Trustees’ Week 2019

I’m Lina Johansson and I’m a trustee on
the board at The Rising Sun Arts Centre in Reading, which is a charity. I’m also a
volunteer at the centre. The Rising Sun Arts Centre is a charity in
Reading on Silver Street. We’re in an old listed building that sort of got taken over by squatters when it was about to be torn down. We took it over and then it got turned into an arts centre. We have music events, we have a lot of things for people with learning disabilities, we have drumming lessons, dancing lessons, art classes, exhibits. In essence, it tries to be a place for everybody. It’s a place of art and community within Reading. I would say that a trustee is a person that has an overview of the organisation where obviously they are a trustee and help with the day-to-day – not so much running – but more if you’re thinking of all the admin and the decisions on what you’re spending certain money on, or what you’re doing with things, then you get involved in that process. If there are issues, then they get involved in that process. In regards to being a trustee and being on the board and working at the University, there are a lot of skills that I can bring across. So obviously we look through things like policies and documents which I to some extent work with at the University anyway, so I think my admin skills, in part, and also my HR skills are very useful with volunteering over here, but I also don’t think that necessarily matters. I don’t think you have to have a certain profession in your day job to be able to be a trustee because I think that you’ll always find that there’s something in what you do that can transfer across. Time is a struggle sometimes, just because I’ve taken on a lot of things, but also I like being busy and it’s quite nice – it’s very rewarding, you know. If you come in here on a Saturday, it’s a case of yeah I’m here, I’m working on a Saturday, but it doesn’t feel like work because I’m in a place that I enjoy being in, with people that I enjoy meeting, so it’s like having a nice day out on a Saturday or Sunday – but technically I’m working, which I think is the big difference. If you’re interested in being a trustee, first I think you should think about where you’d like to be a trustee, so do you have a specific organisation that you’re interested in? Like, do you volunteer, and you like to go there, and that’s where you’re interested in. So you should then contact the current trustees and ask if you can meet up with them and maybe if you can even sit in on a meeting, so you can see what actually happens and what gets covered. I love the centre, I really do, and I feel that obviously you need to have a board, you need to have trustees and I feel like I am helping the centre by being able to be a trustee and trying to make sure that things run smoothly to make sure that more people like me can come here and find out what a great place it is to be.

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