This Trustee Week we have introduced you to our Board of Trustees and I wanted to share with you some thoughts about why they matter. The theme for this year’s Trustee week is ‘making a difference in changing times’ and for those of you that know a bit about ADSS, you will see that this theme is particularly pertinent for us and our Board.
ADSS has undergone a huge period of change over the past few years in so many ways and in all areas of the organisation. The people on our Board are now different people, the senior management team have changed, the organisation has had to cope with Covid-19, and we have also set ourselves some ambitious plans to do more for people affected by dementia.
So, what does a Board of Trustees do, you may be asking?
It is a role that can sometimes be shrouded in a bit of mystery but in essence, trustees are the people in charities who take the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the charity delivers on its mission and purpose. They volunteer their time to set the direction of travel for the charity, ensuring that the charity is operating for a public benefit, using its resources wisely and complying with the law.
For ADSS, this means that they helped to set our strategy in 2020 of where we wanted to get to over the following 5 years and review our progress against that strategy. They also monitor the finances and ensure money is spent wisely and ensure we comply with laws like health and safety legislation, employment rules and many more.
So how does our Board make a difference in changing times and what difference does a Board make?
A few years ago, our Board worked on setting an ambitious strategy and this is hugely important and has set the tone for all the team. Our Board’s utter commitment to our vision of ensuring everyone with dementia in Kent and Medway get the support they need to live the life they want, means that they direct our attention and resources into doing as much as we can, for as many people as we can. They all have their own personal reasons for volunteering their time and their professional skills; some have a personal connection to a loved one with dementia, others may have more of a professional link, but whatever their reasons, it gives them a sound understanding of the work we do and the values of the organisation.
When it came to tendering for new contracts there was no question that we had to be as bold as we could, recognising we could only tender for the work we could do and do well.
Our Board gave the whole organisation the confidence to believe that people with dementia in Kent and Medway would be worse off, if ADSS weren’t working as hard as we do.
The last few years have been changing not only for ADSS, but for the world and to keep pace, ADSS has had to look inwards and get ourselves in the best shape possible. Through the teamwork with the senior management team and with the Trustees understanding of the work the charity does, ADSS has modernised, digitalised and we are also using data better to ensure we understand our impact, whilst still enabling the fabulous ADSS team to offer the kind and compassionate care and support we are so well known for. There is still lots to do together to ensure people in Kent and Medway, who are affected by dementia, know they can rely on ADSS being led by very capable and committed Trustees.
All that is left for me to say is a huge thank you to Sam, Karen, Chris, David, Denise, Catherine and our newest recruit Ade. Thank you for your dedication, drive and sound governance.