Trust me, the way our local charities are run is nothing like Kids Company!

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of the 'Kids Company'

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of the 'Kids Company' - Credit: Archant

Royston Volunteer Centre manager Denise Graham’s regular look at the voluntary sector in North East Herts

Charity trustees can refer to all sorts of support as they settle into their role

Charity trustees can refer to all sorts of support as they settle into their role - Credit: Archant

The story of Kids Company is unlikely to go away anytime soon, but the sheer amount of funding that this charity received from successive governments before it collapsed earlier this year – some £30m since 2008 – is practically unheard of in the charity sector.

Most charities are small local organisations who count on volunteers to deliver their services and rely on donations or project funding, spending many hours completing complicated grant application forms.

More importantly, bearing in mind the publicity about the way Kids Company was run, they are also by and large well-governed and financially and administratively sound.

I think it’s a good thing that a spotlight has been shone on governance as our local charities could not function without their volunteer trustees.

These are the people with ultimate responsibility for directing the business of the organisation.

They are often the unsung heroes, playing a vital role, working together to make the decisions that really matter about the charity’s finances, activities and plans for the future.

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People often become trustees to ‘give something back’, but there is a two-way benefit – charities benefit from the range of skills and experience that their trustees bring, but trustees can learn and develop new skills that may open up new opportunities for them, as well as meeting people who share their passion.

Most people have skills, knowledge or experience which they can bring to a charity and we have details of many local trustee opportunities registered with us at the Volunteer Centre – so please get in touch to find out more.

You can find the Royston & District Volunteer Centre in the Royston Town Hall Annexe, Melbourn Street, Royston, SG8 7DA

Phone 01763 243020, email or visit the website at