We continue to mark Trustees Week, by looking at the volunteering work carried out by another of our team.
While Regional Trainer Farrah Akhtar is not a formal trustee of the organisations she plays a role in, she is undoubtedly a significant force of energy and empathy.
Here’s her story.
With what charities and organisations are you involved in your community?
I'm part of the Thrive Muslim Women's Network and a member of their Steering Committee (which is a sounding board for the Executive branch).
I'm also a member of the South Manchester local Nisa Nashim Group, which is part of the national organisation of Muslim & Jewish women's group.
My third role, when I’m needed, is as a fundraiser for the Sight for Life Charity which raises funds for an eye hospital in Pakistan.
The hospital runs solely on private donations to offer free eyecare to patients where there is no free medical care for the poor.
What do these roles involve?
Thrive sees me being involved in challenging, learning, leading and collaborating with people of all backgrounds whilst tackling inequalities. It's being involved in opportunities to flag up these inequalities or promote better understanding and cohesion.
For example, through the Thrive network, I became a Mentor for 'Solutions Not Sides,' which is a charity for their Bridge Building programme for their 2021 student cohort.
With Nisa Nashim, the aim is to breakdown stereotypes and promote cohesion between our communities.
Why did you want to get involved in work of this kind, particularly when you already have a very busy ‘day job’?
Charity work is something which my late father was very much involved in.
We grew up seeing him fundraising, so it was a natural thing being involved in the community and in projects which help others.
How do you think it benefits the role you have within Lexonik, and your professional outlook on life?
I think it has widened my understanding of people.
As Regional Trainers, we work with teachers, support staff and SLT.
I'm able to confidently connect with people from varying backgrounds and especially staff from BAME backgrounds who quite often face all sorts of other challenges.
However, networking is a skill I learnt when living abroad, and it has been enormously beneficial both in work and in the community.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a trustee?
I would say volunteering or becoming a trustee will undoubtedly enable you to excel further in your professional life.
It brings you greater confidence and means that you’re continuing to develop yourself and your wider network.