Spotlight on – Our Trustees – Helen Whitfield
Posted on Nov 3 2021
It’s Trustees’ week! To celebrate we want to shine a spotlight on some of the incredible trustee’s that we have at ategi. This year we’ve had a flush of new Trustee’s joining ategi, Helen Whitfield joined us in February 2021, she brings with her a wealth of experience in project management as well as experience […]
It’s Trustees’ week! To celebrate we want to shine a spotlight on some of the incredible trustee’s that we have at ategi.
This year we’ve had a flush of new Trustee’s joining ategi, Helen Whitfield joined us in February 2021, she brings with her a wealth of experience in project management as well as experience of running her own charity! Read more about Helen below.
What made you become a trustee?
I had several motivations for wanting to become a trustee. I’m a Co-founder of a small charity, so I wanted to understand more about how larger charities work, so I can bring that understanding to my charity. I’ve learnt a lot about charity governance as a trustee and it’s greatly helped me to understand how charities sit with local authorities, funders and stakeholders.
What expertise do you bring to the role?
I have worked as a project manager for over 7 years. So, I’m really good at looking at the big picture and seeing how to make things happen. Also, having worked with my own charity, I’ve a good understanding about working with volunteers and understanding what motivates a charity and the energy and commitment you need for the third sector.
What is it that makes a trustee role special?
I think it’s the level of responsibility towards the charity and working with the people who are part of the charity. The individuals including the people on the ground delivering the service. Also, being able to help ategi develop, support their staff and remain competitive – it’s a privilege really.
What do you enjoy about being a trustee?
I enjoy the responsibility that comes with being a trustee and learning how ategi runs. Being part of the future development of ategi, part of the decision-making process. It’s about the trust put in us to make these decisions and the mixture of people we work with. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the commitment people have to ategi and the service it delivers.
What do you get up to in your spare time?
I like to stay active, I swim every morning, I go salsa dancing and I practice yoga. I’m a keen gardener, and am currently studying a diploma in gardening, I’m also member of several book clubs. I’m quite crafty and in the process of setting up a small cottage business, oh yes, and I’m learning Welsh!
Tell us an unusual fact about yourself…
Myself and a friend have started up a small charity called the Marigold Chain. It’s based in Nepal in a rural area in the Himalayas where we support a rural remote area, 3 or 4 small villages with populations of less than 1000. In 2015 there was a devastating earthquake, my friend and I set up a ‘go fund me’ page and sent out money before any aid agencies could get into the area. This helped to support those affected by the earthquake and they managed to purchase food, medicines and building supplies before the Nepal infrastructure collapsed, for the most in need. As demand for support and aid continued, we developed and registered the charity, whilst continuing to develop the support we could offer.