Trustees' Week 2020 - More Trustee Insights
05/11/2020 (Volunteer Post )
Thursday already of #TrusteesWeek2020 and today we're hearing from another trustee. This time a different perspective as our contributor, Bob McWilliam, is both a director and a trustee. Read on to see what trusteeship means to him, and how PaisleyFM's trustees and volunteers have adapted to this year's challenges.
"Paisley FM broadcasts on 107.5 FM with a community radio licence to serve the towns of Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone and surroundings parts of Renfrewshire. Paisley FM also broadcasts across Glasgow on the DAB digital radio waveband. Webcasts on the internet to the world, plus the Paisley App and on ‘smart-speakers’.
My role in the organisation is that of a Trustee and as a director. Because Paisley FM is a relatively small team, the role within it is wide and various in terms of a charitable cause, social business, Ofcom licence key commitments and revenue generation.
My perception of being a trustee is that for a period in time, a person is a guardian of the charitable organisation. With Paisley FM, trusteeship and director go hand-in-hand, but foremost, charity trustee comes first before the legal entity, that of the company.
If a person has been asked to become a trustee of a charity, then it is likely there will be board of trustees and they will be experienced, and there will be leadership available to the trustee board. It is also likely that an invitation to become a trustee would indicate that the nominated trustee has certain skills which are relevant to the charity to improve its work in the community that it serves.
Being a trustee may also provide the person with further respect in the community or at their place of work. Other individuals may be of a mind that they do not wish to make it ‘a big deal’ and keep their trustee appointment ‘quiet’ for personal reasons.
I bring to the trustee role at Paisley FM previous experience of the sector, that is, being involved with community and voluntary organisations, and supporting these organisations in their own particular way. I also bring knowledge and experience of the community radio sector since it was established in 2006 following UK government legislation.
Previously, I have had media related experience from the 1960s in national newspapers to local newspapers in Paisley in the 1980s to radio broadcasting in the 1990s and some 15 years with the BBC in social action and support.
The other trustees/directors also bring their experience and talent to the organisation to ensure ‘best practice’ is adhered to. The other directors have experience is running their own businesses with the resulting key skills in cash and budgets, the all-important spreadsheet management and business acumen, together with social responsibility and just ‘wanting to do good’ for the community and for people who are less fortunate.
Paisley FM became registered with OSCR as a charity from April 2019, and therefore just 19 months of trustee activity, but in common with all charities across the country, the past eight months have been dominated with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
This has brought challenges and opportunities to Paisley FM 107.5
The immediate challenge was how Paisley FM should respond to the changing circumstances and reflect what the community, the audience of Paisley and Renfrewshire will expect from their community radio station ‘The Voice of Renfrewshire’ which is also ‘Radio for Renfrewshire’.
There were also operational challenges in that the Paisley FM 107.5 studios and office are based in a building within Paisley Grammar School, Glasgow Road, Paisley.
The trustees and the volunteer members of Paisley FM resolved to keep the programme schedule intact to include Paisley and Renfrewshire news bulletins in the morning and afternoon, general information with regular features from health professionals, in particular from Renfrew Health Centre and from Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau in Glasgow Road, Paisley.
The opportunities that came with COVID-19 lockdown was to reach out to communities and people with information and involvement; improving the local news bulletins and to include social media channels of Facebook and Twitter.
With the use of smart technology, presenters and producers have continued to provide programming and content from home, including interviews with relevant people and officers in the community to ensure latest information is provided to listeners across Paisley and Renfrewshire and beyond the Renfrewshire Council boundary."