First Swansea Trustee Social a Great Success! On a grey Tuesday evening in June the SCVS LinkUp and BME Skills Projects opened the doors of Matts Café to any trustee active in Swansea to share experiences, meet other trustees and troubleshoot issues over a cuppa and a cake. This was our very first trustee social event, and in Volunteers Week we wanted to celebrate the very particular type of volunteering being a trustee is, offer a safe space to listen to what trustees really need, and allow participants to explore their trustee role further. Nine third sector boards were represented by the trustees that attended the event. This was a departure from the usual format for events such as this, as there was no particular agenda or terms of reference for the evening. We wanted to create a free, welcoming space, introductions, information available if needed, food, and the opportunity to design a networking event that met the needs of trustees attending that evening. It didn’t take long for everyone to become involved in animated discussion of all things trustee! They were pleased to find common ground, and yet also interested to hear different perspectives. Topics discussed during the evening were 3rd sector groups working together to share resources and minimise core costs, trustee tools to measure wellbeing and role, and developing fundraising bid writing skills. Comments about the event included: "So interesting to find out how other charities survive", "Positive, interesting, learning experience", "Good opportunity to see what other trustees / charities do", "Great to find common ground with others", "Inspiring, relaxing and re-affirming", "It was a lovely event, I'm really glad I attended. I met some very interesting people running some wonderful organisations and this is going to be a useful space for learning and supporting I believe. Thanks SCVS for the opportunity!", "Really interesting meeting with people whose experiences are different but in a similar vein has been very useful". Following the success of this event, we hope to hold another trustee social in Swansea this October (date TBC). It will remain an informal safe welcoming space for trustees to meet, explore what the role means and to share new ideas. However, we have listened to feedback and will hole the next social at the slightly later time of 5.30pm to allow people to reach the venue after work, and look at opening the event with an introductory structured group discussion on a theme of common interest to get conversation started. It would be great to see you at the next trustee social! If you’re interested in attending in October (or would like to attend but an evening in the week isn’t the best time for you) contact: El Evans, LinkUp Project Coordinator on 01792 544025 / [email protected] Find out more about the support that Link Up can offer to Trustees and their boards in Swansea – Click here. Find out more about the support that BME Skills can offer to groups and their boards in Swansea – Click here.