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Local homelessness charity is on the lookout for new trustees

Rosie Fraser

This Trustees’ Week (12-16 November), homelessness charity Emmaus Hertfordshire is highlighting the valuable contribution that trustees make to their work supporting formerly homeless people across Hertfordshire and is calling for new people to join its Board of Trustees.

Emmaus Hertfordshire provides a home for as long as needed and meaningful work for up to 39 people, known as companions, who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. As an Emmaus companion, people are offered a supportive long-term home, as well as the opportunity to gain valuable skills through working in the charity’s six second-hand shops in St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Tring, Harpenden, Hertford and Barnet. The trustees play an important role, offering their skills, knowledge and experience to help in the development and governance of the charity.

Rosie Fraser, a self-employed Heritage Consultant based in St Albans, has been a trustee at Emmaus Hertfordshire since 2013 before becoming co-chair earlier this year: “I became a trustee after discovering how unique the Emmaus model is. Not only does Emmaus provide a home, work and support for vulnerable people, but it gives people as much time as they need to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. Some companions stay months, but others stay years – there is no time limit.”

As a Heritage Consultant, Rosie brings a variety of skills and experience to the charity’s Board of Trustees: “I have experience in property development, landlord and tenant issues, project management and fundraising. I wanted to use these skills to support others less fortunate than myself, and this role has given me the opportunity to drive the growth of the social enterprise, which has included identifying and opening new shop premises.”

The role of a trustee can be demanding, but ultimately extremely rewarding: “In return for using my skills and experience to support a local charity, I get the satisfaction of knowing that I have helped others and done something meaningful with my time. I also know that I am acting as a role model for my two young children and I hope it will encourage them to grow up wanting to help others.”

The highlight of Rosie’s time on the Board of Trustees is the companions: “I love hearing about the companion successes, whether that is someone moving into their own place and getting employed, to passing their driving test or completing a training course. These stories show me that Emmaus is doing important work.”

Rosie and the rest of the board is keen to recruit new trustees: “The ethos behind Emmaus is entirely about supporting those that need it while they take the time to rebuild their lives. I feel extremely fortunate to be involved in making that happen.

“I would tell anyone interested in applying as a trustee to go for it – the role is very worthwhile and can be tailored to complement their strengths and experience.”

Trustees’ Week 2018 is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people to get involved and make a difference. Emmaus Hertfordshire currently has seven trustees that work to deliver the organisations strategic goals so that the charity can help as many homeless people as possible.

Emmaus Hertfordshire is keen to encourage applications from anyone with professional backgrounds including, but not limited to, planning, quantity surveyor, building surveyor, architect, structural engineer, ICT, health & social care, finance, communications, advertising, retail, direct marketing, fundraising and events management. Trustees meet as a board six times each year and individual trustees may also get involved in other ways, as their time permits. The charity provides full induction training and offers reimbursements for travel expenses.

For more information about Emmaus Hertfordshire, head to: www.emmaus.org.uk/hertfordshire. To apply as a trustee, contact Emmaus Hertfordshire on 01727 817294 or by email at: community@emmausstalbans.eu.

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