From 13th – 17th November, it’s National Trustees Week, highlighting the important role of Trustees in guiding and supporting Scotland’s charity sector. Each day we’ll be highlighting the stories of Trustees from across the LGBT+ community and the vital role they have in driving forward equality in Scotland.
David Taylor, Fife Pride
“My name is David Taylor and I am a semi-retired Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner and Mental Health First Aider trainer from Dunfermline. Over the years I have been a volunteer in a number of organisations, beginning with a mental health charity in Perth. This was followed by an involvement with an organisation set up to help to reduce the numbers of young people becoming involved in car crime in Perth. It was very satisfying and rewarding. Over the years I volunteered for a number of other organisations including Body Positive in Dundee, which was an HIV and AIDS support organisation. After a very short time I was invited to join the management committee and become a trustee. I was then invited to take on the role of chairman of the management committee. I also have many years of experience in the corporate world.
Being a trustee of a charity gave me the opportunity to provide help, support and backup to the staff and volunteers who provided all the facilities to the service users. The trustee position is a very satisfying one and a lot of emphasis is focussed on the word ‘trust’. I found that my enthusiasm and involvement with the charity became stronger as I became more committed to achievement of the charities’ aims, but also responsibility for ensuring the safety of the organisation and its development.
Growing up in Scotland as a young gay man at a time when being gay was still illegal, I found this quite difficult especially as at the age of 21 when I joined the Police force. For many years my sexuality was something that I hid from family and friends. It’s only when I look back at it now that I really appreciate how painful it was at times. Due to the work and efforts of many people working hard to have the law changed in Scotland, and work on changing attitudes and reducing the stigma that existed then, has created an environment where being gay is becoming easier for most people. There is however still much work to be done. Many young people still have to live with this stigma, the lack of understanding of friends and family, the fear of being attacked on the street. As I have benefited personally from the changes that have been achieved I have, for some time, been looking for a way of making a commitment or “giving something back” to the community.
As a trustee of Fife Pride, I believe that this organisation can make a significant difference in the gay community in Fife. I would like to think that in the role of a trustee, I would be able to provide enthusiasm, experience and security. Working with the members of the committee and other trustees would give us a very strong platform on which Fife Pride can grow and develop.”
Trustees are the people in charge of a charity. They help to make the UK the sixth most giving country in the world. There are around 180,000 trustees in over 24,000 charities operating in Scotland. They play a vital role and make important decisions about a charity’s work.
Charities in Scotland are regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Their Chief Executive, David Robb said:
“In my six years as OSCR Chief Executive, I’ve been fortunate to see the huge impact that comes from the hard work of dedicated trustees. The 180,000 trustees of Scottish charities make an enormous difference to communities across the country, volunteering their time and working together to lead the strategic direction of their charities.”
“We encourage anyone who is a trustee, or who is interested in becoming one, to participate in Trustees’ Week. Many people are booked to attend events held throughout the country that highlight the significant impact of their work and provide practical advice on how someone can become a trustee themselves – but there are opportunities to participate online too.”
“As always, it is a privilege for OSCR to be involved. It is a brilliant opportunity to highlight the great work that goes on in charities and to show the ways in which people can get more involved in the Sector.”