Every 3 months, a member of the Council of Management writes a blog for the Epilepsy Action website. These blogs provide a topical insight into the work of the Council, who the Council members are and what they’re doing.
1 February 2017, by trustee June Massey
In the last blog, Richard Chapman wrote about the challenges facing the Council of Management as we prepared our new strategy, both in terms of the recent changes to voluntary sector fundraising regulations and in the current financial climate, which remains uncertain.
In the process of compiling the strategy the Council of Management recently considered, at length, the Charity Commission’s guide ‘Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties’.
The guide states “Charity trustees have overall responsibility and accountability for their charity and this includes its fundraising. They have a key role to play in setting their charity’s approach to raising funds, making sure that it is followed in practice and reflects their charity’s values. Getting this right can be very rewarding, a valuable and visible result of a trustees’ commitment to their charity, those that it supports and those that support it.”
It will be interesting and challenging to see how our new strategy performs within the new regulatory framework being introduced in 2017. We are optimistic that we will ‘get it right’.
One of the strengths of Council of Management is that we all have a personal or professional interest in epilepsy which gives us a clear insight of the needs of people who are affected by epilepsy. Mine started when my son developed epilepsy 30 years ago as a consequence of meningitis. For the past 20 years I have worked with disabled post-16 students in schools, higher education and further education and with employees in the workplace. It has been a privilege to work with Epilepsy Action staff on projects involving educational issues and to be invited to judge the Edwards awards.
During the 24 years that I have been a volunteer for Epilepsy Action, 18 of them as a member of Council of Management, it has been with great pride that I have witnessed Epilepsy Action’s influence in the field of epilepsy and the positive changes that have happened in the last two decades. Nevertheless, I appreciate that there is still much work to be done in many areas, including raising awareness and working to improve services. Our new strategy will help us to move forward with key areas of our work.
Throughout the formulation of the strategy, we have been considering our own skill set and breadth of experience. During that process we recognised the need to increase the diversity of the Council of Management, particularly in terms of ethnicity, and to encourage younger people to put themselves forward for nomination for membership of the Council of Management. Within the Council of Management, we have introduced the role of diversity champion who will look at agenda items and advise the members on any issues surrounding diversity.
Although the Council of Management have produced the new strategy, it can only be successful with the ongoing hard work of our dedicated staff, members, volunteers, trustees and other stakeholders.