Cathy Gilman
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Trustees' Week: An opportunity to praise some very special volunteers

Cathy Gilman
Posted by
04 Nov 2013

Trustees Jeremy Bird and John Reeve with Geoff Thomas at the London to Paris launch

It’s Trustees' Week this week, and so I thought we should take a moment to thank these special volunteers who give of their time throughout the year to govern Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. When I think about what the role of Trustee entails, I have nothing but admiration for those willing to take on the responsibility. It’s not just the legal requirements but the way in which they manage a passion for our cause without getting too involved with the nitty gritty - I know I’d find that very hard!

Our belief at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is that life is a gift to be used wisely and lived fiercely and our Trustees have certainly lived up to this as we have been reviewing our Governance over the last couple of years. Together we have looked at our principles and beliefs and honestly discussed the behaviours that we need to see at Board level and throughout the organisation to manifest what these demand of us.

Their united purpose behind beating blood cancers and their willingness for self-reflection to ensure that we are doing all that we can to achieve this vision made for a thoroughly absorbing, engaging and emotional Board Development Day last year.

Peridot have helped us to look at our Governance and it’s appropriateness in the contemporary environment, understanding where we are and where we might want to get to. Again our Trustees have given their feedback honestly and have willingly tackled some challenging conversations about the role of a Trustee and the skills and experience that this requires in such a rapidly changing environment.

Informed by “Good Governance” the code that was created by a team led by ACEVO, we will be reviewing the changes that we plan to implement at our Board of Trustees next week. They have had the courage to keep going and do what needs to be done, even when it’s been hard.

Richard Delderfield in conversation at the London celebration evening in 2010

I am fortunate to have a group of people at Trustee level who have such passion for the cause. For example we have a Trustee who has organised the street collections on Sir Ian Botham’s walks every year since they began; another who knows that people “hide behind the broccoli in Waitrose when they see me coming” because she is so passionate about fundraising;  another who willingly uses his expertise to ensure we exceed all expectations with our investment management; and another indefatigable adventurer Trustee who climbs Kilimanjaro before breakfast and of course a rather well known one who simply takes her clothes off to raise £3 million!

Although they’re not all mentioned here but we value each and everyone of our trustees for their contribution in so many different ways. During the course of this week you’ll get to see their faces and hear their voices as we celebrate all that they do and we say heartfelt thank you to them all, with their support we know that we won’t stop until we’ve beaten blood cancer.