Becoming a Board member
Play your part in shaping our future
Do you fancy being on the Board? It's not as daunting as you might think! We asked current Board member Audrey Haskell to tell you a little about it and hopefully entice some of you to give it a go.
Standing for election
I've been attending national CSSC conferences for 28 years now, and I've been volunteering for lots of different parts of CSSC - as an Area Chairman, Regional Secretary and National Organiser (Pudding Club!). All that on top of a full-time job!
I loved what I did as a volunteer, from event organising to committee work, and it was easy enough to fit into my life. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband who is a fellow CSSC member, so when I was offered early retirement in 2009, it was he that suggested I stood for the Board. As soon as I expressed an interest, I received a lot of support from a Vice-Chairman I already knew. He assured me that my varied experience would be relevant to a role on the Board.
Throughout the whole election procedure, I received encouragement and if I asked for advice, it was given. Although I was still very nervous, this support really helped me and I encourage anyone else considering standing for election to seek similar support.
I was elected onto the Board in June 2010, and the learning curve started. There are two main sub-committees of the Board: the Sport & Leisure Committee (SLC), and the Resources Committee (RC); I was placed on the SLC. I received a big file of information from Head Office (HO) to read through before my induction day at HO, which involved meetings with CSSC's Chief Executive, the Chair of the SLC and a number of HO staff that I'd be working within the future.
Then, I had my first full Board meeting and, although the agendas are packed and the format is quite formal, everyone was extremely welcoming. Preparation is key, so you need to fully read all the papers in advance. My first SLC meeting was far less formal. Involving only half the Board (the rest are on the RC), in-depth discussion was much easier. By the end of that meeting, I'd made several new CSSC friends with whom I've worked closely ever since.
On average, I give two days per month to being a Board member, including a minimum of six days per year in meetings. SLC and full Board meetings are three times a year each. The rest is made up of reading, emails, telekits etc, which you can do at your convenience.
We also go to the Annual Conference, but many volunteers come to this already. I'm also involved in three other sub-groups that carry out specific work for the Board, so this adds an average of one more day each (so three in total) per month to my workload. Most of this work is done by emails and telephone conferences.
Benefits to you!
Since becoming a Board member my CSSC knowledge has broadened even more and I look at what I do from a completely different angle. Volunteering to be on various sub-groups has tested and developed my skills and abilities. I have made some good friends and I have loved working with such a diverse group of CSSC members with similar ideas and opinions.
Contacting a Board member
If you would like to talk more about what it's like to be on the Board, then let us know. We can put you in touch with a Board member who will be able to chat about their experiences. For more details contact Philippa Glasgow at Head Office on 01494 888 451, or via email.