Case studies > Skills sharing > Working with Trustees

Tenteleni and Peter Barrow

Tenteleni

In 2015, James Fletcher was newly appointed as Chair of the Board of Trustees of a small charity called Tenteleni. Tenteleni is a youth-driven, volunteer-run charity that supports the development of young people in the UK and Africa in collaboration with local partners. The organisation originally coordinated international volunteer placements for young people from the UK, but now focuses on providing small grants to young people and organisations in sub-Saharan Africa to promote educational projects and cultural exchange.

As a newly appointed chair, James was looking for a mentor who had experience not only as a trustee, but also someone with whom he could discuss his career plans. James was soon matched with Peter Barrow, who had experience as a partner at PwC and served as a trustee of a small charity called, Action for Change.

James and Peter met once a quarter in a local café for coaching sessions. During these sessions, they discussed how James could improve his leadership of the trustees and how to serve Tenteleni most effectively.

Tenteleni

Both parties found the services to be beneficial. From the charity’s perspective, James explained that:

I developed my skills to be an effective chair, to think about things more laterally and guide the board to a good decision. The charity and I are both better off for Peter’s help.closing speech marks

The match was a rewarding experience for Peter, as well. Not only was he able to share his knowledge in a rewarding way, he learned more about his own coaching style. He described his coaching experience by saying:

 

I derived great pleasure in seeing someone else work out their own problems, and feeling I have helped them do it. And I always learn from the experience myself – about myself and my own coaching style, and from working with someone else who has a different style and a different approach to problem solving than I do.closing speech marks

As the match came to a close in 2017, James mentioned that the positive change was difficult to quantify, but he could see a clear improvement in the cohesion of the board. From the mentor perspective, Peter encourages others with relevant experience to be a mentor for Small Charities Coalition, saying:

“If you are looking to develop yourself – it is personally challenging to find the right way of passing on your own experience. It is no good trying to impose your own experience on others. However good a coach/mentor you are, you always have something to learn. And it is highly rewarding when you get it right.closing speech marks

 

Match completed in 2017.

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