What’s involved in being a charity trustee

Posted on April 17th, 2023

Author: Hugh O’Keeffe, MHF’s Chair of Trustee’s

I joined as a Trustee of MHF in April 2021 bringing with me lots of charity sector experience and knowledge, plus extensive experience in risk management, operations and digital. Recently I was appointed Chair of Trustees for the charity – a role I am incredibly proud to hold.


In my day job, I am a Diversity and Inclusion Lead for the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei).

I have a huge passion for the empowerment of all people, and the work of the charity is very close to my heart given that both I and my eldest brother have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD).

Being a charity Trustee in the United Kingdom is a significant responsibility that requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Trustees are the people who are responsible for the overall management and direction of a charity. They play a crucial role in ensuring that the charity is run effectively and achieves its objectives.

What’s involved in being a charity Trustee…

Firstly, it is important to understand what a charity Trustee is. A Trustee is a person who is appointed to oversee the running of a charity. They are responsible for making sure that the charity is working towards its objectives, vision, mission, and that it is being run legally, ethically and responsibly.

Beneficial to have relevant skills and knowledge…

To become a charity Trustee, you need to be over the age of 18 and have no criminal convictions. You do not need any specific qualifications or experience, but it is beneficial to have relevant skills and knowledge in areas such as finance, law, marketing or fundraising, and experience within the charity sector is helpful.

Once appointed as a Trustee, you will have a range of responsibilities. These include (not an exhaustive list but it gives anyone interested a good idea of what is involved):

  1. Setting the charity’s strategy and objectives: Trustees are responsible for setting the charity’s overall strategic direction and ensuring that it is working towards its objectives.
  2. Ensure that the charity is fulfilling its public benefit: Trustees must ensure that the charity’s purposes are properly set out in a governing document (and complied with) and that it is clear what the charity is there to achieve and how it will make a difference to beneficiaries.
  3. Ensuring the charity is financially stable: Trustees are responsible for managing the charity’s finances and ensuring funds are used responsibly.
  4. Complying with charity law requirements and other laws that apply to your charity.
  5. Trustees must always act in the charity’s best interests. This means making informed and balanced decisions and not only looking at the here and now, but also looking ahead and ensuring there is long term strategic planning in place.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Trustee for the Muscle Help Foundation charity, click HERE to get in touch and let’s have a conversation.

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