The role of trustee requires people who have transferable skills and/or expertise that can make a valuable contribution to governing the charity. You may be surprised to learn that having animal welfare knowledge is not a requirement, instead we want people who are passionate about providing the best outcomes for animals most in need. To help us achieve this goal you must be business minded with demonstrable expertise in an area that will benefit the charity, e.g. legal, financial, HR, H&S, project management, senior management or previous governance experience. It is a rewarding role that demands as little or as much of your time as you wish to commit.

Kirsen

Charity Trustee

How long have you been volunteering for RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch?
Since 2017

What does this role involve?
As a trustee, I am part of a committee of fellow trustees responsible for the management and financial control of the branch. As a committee we make decisions about financial expenditure, income generation, future strategies and goals and we are also ambassadors for the branch. We are advised and supported throughout by our wonderful Branch Manager and by the national RSPCA. I also hold the role of the branch Secretary, which means I am responsible for arranging the monthly committee meetings, taking minutes and ensuring actions are recorded and followed up, as well as the recruitment and induction of new trustees. 

What skills and experience are needed for this role?
The trustees on the committee have a wide range of skills and experience. As the role of trustee is essentially about managing the branch, including finances, it is helpful to have some experience in business management, finance or fundraising (although I didn’t have any of those!). Of more importance is to have common sense, an inquisitive mind, to be committed to the aims and objectives of the RSPCA and to be dedicated to the role. Of course, most of us are animal lovers too! 

What are the highlights of the role you do?
I love being involved in the management of the branch, knowing that the decisions I make ultimately help make a real difference to animals’ lives. 

What are the challenges of your role?
It is not always easy to make difficult decisions, especially about finances, and others on the committee may have different views and ideas to you. You need to ensure that you have fully prepared for meetings and also that you come with an open mind and are prepared to listen to others views and sometimes change your own! 

What do you get out of volunteering?
I like knowing that I am using my skills, experience and time to help make a difference to animals in need. I also love working with the other trustees on the committee and have learnt a lot from them. 

Have you gained any skills and/or knowledge from your volunteering?
Definitely! I have increased my knowledge of finances and business management, which are skills I have been able to use in my day job as a Civil Servant. 

How much time do I need to commit to the role?
The committee meets once a month on a Tuesday evening, so you need to be free to attend that. Meetings usually last around an hour. You also need time to prepare ahead of the meeting, including reading the Branch Manager’s report, reviewing budgets and often thinking about ideas for fundraising etc. Outside of that you can put in as much time as you like, there are always projects ongoing which you can get involved in! Additionally there are specialist Trustee roles such as Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and Regional Representative which are elected each year and have their own additional responsibilities. 

If someone was thinking about becoming a trustee what would you tell them?Do it! It is a really rewarding role which will expand and enhance your skills and ultimately make a difference to the lives of animals in the North West region and beyond. Animals like my giant rabbit, Humphrey, who I adopted from the branch in 2018.

RSPCA Manchester and Salford - Trustee - Kirsen

Mark

Charity Trustee

How long have you been volunteering for RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch?
Since 2017

What does this role involve?
Anything and everything by helping when and where you can. The end goal is to do the best we can for the animals we rescue and care for, but there are so many things involved in making that work. Using your knowledge, experience and skills (including those you didn’t even realise you had!) to support that branch and its amazing staff.

What skills and experience are needed for this role?
Fundraising, business, IT skills, accounting, Legal, HR, sales & marketing, etc., all super useful! But if you care about animals, want to make a difference and will give the time then you’re valuable already.

What are the highlights of the role you do?
When we get to see the animals rehomed, especially when it’s a sick or abandoned animal that comes into us. Then, by the end of our work, it’s a healthy and happy animal going to a loving home. Also, the people I get to work with, the RSPCA staff, volunteers & other trustees all giving their best because it’s important to them and not just work.

What are the challenges of your role?
Sometimes it’s hard to balance personal, work & volunteering time. I can’t always be available when I’d like to, but we all understand that and support each other. It’s easy to get distracted by your day to day pressures but remembering why I wanted to do this in the first place always brings my focus back.

What do you get out of volunteering?
Quiet satisfaction, knowing that I’m making a difference to something that matters to me for no other reason than I want to.

Have you gained any skills and/or knowledge from your volunteering?
I have learned a great deal from my fellow trustees and the RSPCA staff I work with. A big area is obviously how charities operate, but I get to work with other people from different professional backgrounds (IT, HR, Finance, etc.) and I always learn from them. Everyone knows something you don’t!

How much time do I need to commit to the role?
As a minimum, you should aim for a couple of hours a month to attend the Branch meetings. After that as much as you are comfortable with. One month you may only be able to attend the meeting, next month you might do more because you’re working on something for the branch or helping at a fund-raising event. Short answer = whatever you can.

If someone was thinking about becoming a trustee what would you tell them?Being a trustee is rewarding and enjoyable, but it’s also an important role because the branch will depend on you. If you care about animals, it’s a great way to help make their lives better.

RSPCA Manchester and Salford - Trustee - Mark

Interested in this position?

We welcome engagement with people from across the community and proactively embrace equality, diversity and inclusion, so if you would like to join the team please be rest assured you will be welcomed with open arms. We are open to learning how we can adapt our workplaces and include more people to support us with the vital work that we do. 

We aim to:
Treated everyone with dignity and respect
Challenge inequalities
Respond positively to different needs and circumstances so that everyone can achieve their potential