Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do. They play a vital role and this week aims to highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

There are approximately 196,000 charities in the UK and over 1 million trustees. The average age of a trustee is 59 years old, but you may be surprised to learn that there are many younger trustees too with some 86,000 trustee positions held by 16-34 year olds.

Our trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility, as a group and individually, for governing our charity whilst directing and monitoring how it is managed and run. They ensure that Devon Air Ambulance fulfils its duty to its beneficiaries and delivers on its vision, mission and values.

On a day-to-day basis, these responsibilities include many things, such as overall governance and strategic direction of the charity, our financial health, the integrity of our activities and making sure that we are developing our aims, objectives and goals in accordance with our strategy.

They also ensure that we are operating within all of the current guidance set out in governing documents, and in legal and regulatory guidelines. The duty of all trustees is to make sure that:

  • The charity is carrying out the purposes for which it is set up
  • It complies with the governing document and the law
  • The board acts in the charity’s best interests
  • Trustees manage the charity’s resources responsibly
  • Trustees act with reasonable care and skill
  • The charity complies with statutory accounting and reporting requirements
  • Jointly with other trustees, hold the charity “in trust” for current and future beneficiaries 

Diversity of the group 

To be confident that our team of trustees has the range of skills needed to carry out their duties, we take great care to recruit a diverse range of individuals who each bring different qualities and expertise to the group.

Devon Air Ambulance is signed up to ACEVO’s Diversity Principles (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), which helps to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status.

Becoming a Trustee for a Devon Air Ambulance can be an exciting, fulfilling and rewarding role. Our newest trustee, Justin Wylie, talked to us about what led him to become a trustee for Devon Air Ambulance:

I really wanted to help a charity in a voluntary capacity and to give something back. I felt that the best way for me to do that was by becoming a trustee and using my skills, knowledge and experience gained from having worked in the charity sector as a fundraiser and marketer for the last 14 years. It felt like the best way in which I could make a meaningful difference and really be of value. I chose to support DAA because I wanted to work for a charity that directly supports my local community and that has a direct presence in our lives.

We are looking for volunteers to join our board of trustees and to help lead the charity and support the management team in developing our service. If you are interested in joining us and feel you have personal qualities, skills and expertise that would complement our current board, please get in touch by contacting Ali Simpson at [email protected].