Trustees Week - Why it Matters to Lexonik

a photo of lexonik non-executive director simon grant with members of the Butterwick Hospice at a charity event

To mark Trustees Week, we’ve been thinking about how proud we are of the various members of the Lexonik team, who share their time with charities and community organisations.

It’s a big part of who we are and what we stand for – we care about our communities, and we want our employees to feel they can have time and space to participate in causes which matter to them.

That’s why, at our recent staff conference, we formally launched the Lexonik Employer Supported Volunteering initiative, which will give all of our team the opportunity to formally embrace voluntary roles….in paid Lexonik time.

Today, we share a story of trusteeship from our very own finance supremo, Simon Grant:

For what charities and organisations are you a trustee?

I have been a trustee of Butterwick Hospice Care for three years.

Its team deliver holistic, palliative and supportive care to those suffering with progressive life limiting conditions, their families and loved ones.

The hospice itself has an Adult Inpatient Unit, a Children and Young Adults Unit, Day Care Services, Home Care Services, Complementary Therapy plus Bereavement and Counselling Services.

What does your role involve?

I chair the Business Committee, which meets every two months and is responsible for ensuring the delivery of high-quality support services covering finance, HR and estates.

I also attend trustee meetings every two months.

The purpose of the trustee meeting is to ensure that the charity has an appropriate strategy in place to achieve its objectives and also to monitor that the strategy is being implemented correctly.

It sounds really important work. What does the day-to-day involvement of trustees look like, beyond the key meetings?

Alongside the main meetings, the trustees are monitoring the financial position of the charity, ensuring fundraising targets are being met and that day-to-day operations are working well.

In between formal meetings I meet the CEO and Finance Director to monitor and review financial results including cashflow projections.

Why did you want to get involved?

My father passed away at Butterwick Hospice in June 2019.

The nurses and staff cared for him so beautifully and showed so much care for him and his family that he had a good death.

My family and I will always be indebted to Butterwick Hospice for the care they provided.

After this I wanted to help Butterwick to be able to provide this care to as many families as possible.

I thought the best way to do this was to give up my time to try and help run the charity as well as it could be.

How do you think it benefits the role you have within Lexonik, and your professional outlook on life?

My role outside of Lexonik and Butterwick is as a business coach where I am helping business owners and managers to grow their businesses.

The role of a trustee for a charity is very similar to the role of a Non-Executive director of an SME.

Both require you to support the executive team to implement the agreed strategy and to support the executive team with operational issues when required and be an extra pair of hands they can call upon. I have been involved with managing businesses for almost 30 years and over that time I have built up a lot of experience to which I can refer to when faced with business issues.

I see my role as supporting the executive team so they can do the very best job they can and using my experience to help them make informed decisions.

What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a trustee?

I would say it is very rewarding but it is not without a fair bit of stress and worry.

You need to be aware of what the role entails and the legal responsibilities of being a trustee, which are quite onerous.

Also, find out how much time you will have to provide to the charity.

Being a trustee isn't about turning up for a few meetings a year.

It involves getting very much involved in the charity to help it thrive.

Being a trustee can be a lot of work but it is all worthwhile and rewarding when we receive feedback from families on how grateful they are for the service we have provided to their relative in often the darkest of times.