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BLOG: Become a trustee for PACEY

Is being a Trustee the role for you?

Being a trustee for any organisation is a valuable and influential role. At PACEY, expertise of the board not only covers childcare and early years but also business, finance marketing and charity operations. This group of volunteers who make up the PACEY board are ultimately responsible for PACEY's work and resources and have legal responsibility for PACEY as company directors. Being a trustee is very rewarding but demands a lot of time so we’re extremely grateful for the knowledgeable and experienced board we have.

Have you ever thought about being a trustee? It is Trustee Week 2021 and we are shining a light on just a handful of our fantastic trustees here at PACEY and asking them a few questions.

From left to right: Chair of Trustees Dr Amy Page, Sharn McLean, Shanti Flynn, Andrew Maxwell and Chloe Webster

Why did you want to become a PACEY Trustee?

Sharne Mclean, Head of Early Years at the London Borough of Royal Greenwich says “I was aware of the work PACEY was doing on behalf of the sector and wanted to support it and get involved. I thought by joining I could help further with my insights, understanding of the pressures of the sector and the opportunities too.”

For experienced educational professional Shanti Flynn, who works to support bi-lingual settings but has a professional background of being a teacher, local authority advisor, Area SENCo and Early Years Ofsted Inspector, being a trustee was about giving back. “I was looking to do some voluntary work as I felt that it was time to give a little back...the opportunity to serve as a PACEY trustee came up and I thought that if my voluntary work was inevitably going to be linked to children and families, it would be perfect to use my expertise to support an organisation that I already knew well.”

It was Andrew Maxwell’s own family that really opened his eyes up to the role. With a background in delivery, operations and sales including his current role as Head of Markets and Infrastructure at a large IT Services organisation it was his “three young children which has really opened my eyes to the importance of early years practitioners and what a big part they play in the development of our children. I’m very grateful to everyone working in childcare and early years! I came across a PACEY advert for trustees on LinkedIn and knew immediately that I wanted to be involved.”

What do you enjoy most about the role?

Shanti loves that she can use her skills and knowledge to navigate the role and work with PACEY. She comments that “...it is a sector of our industry that I feel passionate about.” It has also given Shanti a chance to widen her own skills and knowledge, “it has been a steep learning curve as the role is not just about early years and childcare, it includes other aspects such as finance and legal issues.”

For registered childminder and current board member Chloe Webster, it’s the opportunity “to represent the sector and support and advise on things that are essential to our day jobs. I also enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with people with different skills in order to effectively solve a problem or achieve a shared end goal.”

It is the variety of challenges that Andrew enjoys. He comments that “the Board focuses on anything and everything necessary to fulfil PACEY’s mission of supporting early years practitioners to provide high quality childcare and learning...the variety is challenging but also one of the most enjoyable aspects of the role”

What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering or becoming a trustee?

“Being a trustee is an absolute honour, especially for an organisation like PACEY and it’s something I am incredibly proud to be a part of and so I would whole-heartedly encourage anyone who is considering volunteering/becoming a trustee to do so.” Chloe adds, “you learn so much and get to meet some truly wonderful people and be part of something incredibly important to our sector.”

Sharne simply says “Do it! There is lots of support for trustees, a thorough induction is followed by ongoing opportunities to develop understanding of the work and your existing skills will be utilised well.” For Shanti, it is important that anyone who wants to become a trustee realises that it is demanding, “so you need to be able to give that commitment. It is rewarding and I am already learning new skills.”

“Don’t hesitate – come join the team” are Andrews clear words of advice. He adds, “volunteering can be personally and professionally rewarding, and the unique skills and experience that volunteers bring to PACEY make a real difference.”

Thank you

A huge thank you from PACEY to all our board members for all the time and expertise you give the organisation to help us give the best support, advice and offer to the childcare and early years sector.

If you want to find out more about our current board, including our Chair Dr Amy Page, you can read more about all our board members here.

Thinking about applying to join our board?

Anyone looking to be part of our Board must have strong strategic leadership skills as well as financial and sector understanding. Most important of all is your passion for ensuring high quality early education and childcare for all children and families. You can email your interest to support@pacey.org.uk  

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