Support for community groups and organisations

Training for new and existing trustees

With our bespoke training, the trustees at SELFA have the knowledge and good practice in place to develop their organisation so that more children and young people in Skipton and Craven get the support they need.

What was the challenge?

SELFA, a charity supporting children and young people, contacted us about organising some tailor-made training for their board members. They had recently recruited some new trustees who they felt would benefit from training, and existing trustees were looking for a refresher to make sure they were following good practice.

Joanne, a development officer at Community First Yorkshire, says: “It’s important that trustees – both new and old – have the right information at their fingertips to make sure that they are running their organisation in the most effective and efficient way. It’s useful for existing trustees to be reminded of the rules and good practice they need to follow and it’s important for newly recruited trustees to start out with a good understand of what the role involves.

“We were really pleased to hear from SELFA as it demonstrates an organisation willing to look to their future and to support their service users in the best way possible – by keeping their trustees up to date with their learning and development.”

How did Community First Yorkshire help?

Our development officer, Hilary, designed a two-hour training session, structured around the Charity Commission essential trustee jigsaw, and Hilary and Joanne delivered the session to the trustees in person at the SELFA office.

The training looked at:

  • The objects of the organisation
  • The role of the trustee and management committee
  • The legal structure of the organisation
  • Governance and the key principles of good governance
  • Roles of the officers
  • Trustee duties and responsibilities

After the training, the group were sent links to relevant useful resources on our Community Support North Yorkshire website and elsewhere, and signposted to other relevant training that Community First Yorkshire were running.

The training stimulated lots of discussion both with the trainers and between the trustees who attended. A particular issue which came to light during the training was around the subject of their organisational focus as the group were concerned about mission creep.

During the height of the pandemic, the group had started a community fridge for its beneficiaries and this was now open to the wider community. It was suggested they should look into making sure the service could target SELFA families, so that they could focus on their core work of supporting children and young people. The training also spotlighted that, while the group was looking to purchase a building and hire space to other groups, this would be a big undertaking and again, possibly take them away from their core focus.

What does the future look like?

As a result of the training, SELFA are looking at ensuring their activities, such as the community fridge, align with their objectives as laid out in their constitution.

“Having training that was specific to our charity was really useful. Everything that we learnt was tailored to certain issues within our organisation which everyone could relate to.

It was a bit of an eye opener to realise that our focus had been diverted somewhat because of the pandemic. Sometimes, it’s good to have someone come in and give you a fresh perspective on what you’re doing. After the training we all felt revitalised to ensure that we were on mission to support the needs of children and young people, and to take our organisation from strength to strength.”

Judith Holliday, Chair of trustees at SELFA
About the organisation

SELFA is a local charity supporting children and young people in Skipton and Craven. Their goal is to work towards a community where all children and young people are celebrated, and know they belong. SELFA supports children and families experiencing vulnerabilities, to build resilience, thrive and achieve.