Charity Commission leadership praise ‘mission critical’ trustees

Charity Commission leadership praise ‘mission critical’ trustees

The hard work and dedication of trustees enable charities to provide vital support to communities in this country and overseas, the chair and chief executive of the Charity Commission will say today (6 November 2023) in speeches delivered to mark the start of Trustees’ Week, thanking trustees across the country for their dedication and encouraging more people to consider trusteeships.  

Trustees, most of whom are volunteers, take responsibility for a charity’s crucial work. The latest figures, due to be released by the charity regulator this week, show almost one million trusteeships oversee the work of almost 169,000 charities registered in England and Wales with a combined annual income of £90.74 billion.  

Speaking at Getting on Board’s festival of trusteeship, Charity Commission chair Orlando Fraser will encourage more people to give their time to a cause they believe in. In a separate speech at BDO, chief executive Helen Stephenson will outline the benefits people get from being a trustee and the support the Charity Commission offers to anyone who is already a trustee or is thinking about becoming one.  

The Commission wants to encourage people from all walks of life to consider a trusteeship. It already offers a range of practical support for trustees, such as its suite of 5-minute guides, which provide the basic syllabus of issues trustees need to know about, in simple, easy to read, actionable format.  

Running from 6-10 November 2023, Trustees’ Week celebrates the important work of the nearly one million trustees across the UK. The week offers an opportunity to share experiences, as well as engage in a range of training and events to help develop essential trustee skills.  

Over 54,000 people have taken the Commission’s latest quiz on trustee responsibilities, with an average score of just over 8 out of 10 across all participants. 

The theme of this year’s Trustees’ Week is ‘Many voices. Working together. With purpose’. Celebrating the individual talents, viewpoints and experiences that trustees bring to their boards, and how a diverse collective of people can help make a charity stronger and achieve its purpose. The campaign also encourages more people to consider what they may be able to give and what they may gain in return from a trusteeship. 

Orlando Fraser, Chair, Charity Commission, said:  

Trustees are critical to the charity ecosystem in England and Wales. Their contribution helps shape the character, wellbeing and resilience of our communities – meeting the needs of beneficiaries across the country and, in some cases, across the world.  

Our existing trustees are leading the way where, for the good of society, more need to follow. It is a moment for all of us to consider what more can be done to inspire others to get involved and to encourage prospective trustees to take up the baton. People from all backgrounds and walks of life can and should become trustees to put something back into society.  

Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive, Charity Commission, said: 

It is, in my view, not just nice, but necessary that we take time each year to hold the flame of trusteeship up high, to showcase the enormous contribution trustees make to our society, to thank them, and to encourage others to get involved in charities as trustees.  

The passion, skill and experience people bring to trusteeship determines not just the success of individual charities, but contributes in great part to the health of our communities and the cohesion of society.  

Trusteeship is rewarding as well as challenging, sometimes delightful, sometimes hard work, requires energy and imagination in the here and now –– and is also, always, an investment in the future. Trustees collectively, ensure charities deliver on their purposes today, and they sow the seeds for the strong society we want to see tomorrow.

To learn more about Trustees’ Week and trusteeship, visit   


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