An impressive one million people across the UK currently serve as trustees, including as board members in the further education (FE) sector. Their important voluntary contribution is being recognised during Trustees’ Week 2017, taking place this Monday to Friday (13-17 November).

The aim of the week is to celebrate trusteeship, to inspire and inform existing trustees and to encourage more people to stand as trustees, using their skills and experience in roles that benefits their communities. If you are an individual interested in serving as a trustee of an FE provider, this is the perfect opportunity to register your interest.

In addition, FE providers may want to take the opportunity of Trustees’ Week to thank board members for their valuable contribution and to recognise the part they play in the strategic leadership of the organisation.

The organisers of Trustees’ Week say: “Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.”

There are approximately 194,000 charities in the UK and just over 1 million trustees. The average trustee in England and Wales is 59 years old, and 55 in Northern Ireland, and just under half are women. There are many young trustees too with some 86,000 trustee positions held by 16-34 year olds.

Trustees’ Week also encourages businesses to consider how supporting trustees can have huge rewards for their organisations and employees.

The Trustees’ Week website stresses that recruiting quality talent is increasingly about the professional development opportunities the organisation can offer, including supporting employees’ time allocated to charitable work.

Encouraging employees to take on trustee roles, such as serving on an FE governing board, can offer huge rewards for both organisations and employees, by supporting professional development which can bring skills back in to the work place.

The Trustees’ Week website has more information and examples of how companies are doing this well. It also has information, tools and resources to support trustees in their role.

If you are an individual interested in volunteering for a trustee role, there are many FE providers looking for new members. Register your interest now and Inspiring FE Governance will help to match you to a role that is right for you.

Inspiring FE Governance also helps FE providers to recruit new board members and future finance chairs. If you represent an FE board, please register your vacancy so that we can put you in touch with prospective volunteers.