Trustees Week 2021: Why become a Trustee of a homelessness charity?

Blog post by Ellie Hetenyi, Senior Manager at KPMG UK

04 Nov 2021

I’m really proud to be a Trustee at The Wallich and the Board’s Treasurer.

I became a Trustee for the first time in 2017 – it had been something I had wanted to do since I started my job at KPMG.

Working with public sector and charities in audit and assurance, I knew what the role entailed and had seen first-hand how much value the right Trustee could bring to an organisation. I knew I wanted to use my skills to create a positive impact.

After three years as Trustee of an animal welfare organisation, the time had come to rotate and the opportunity arose to become the Treasurer of The Wallich’s Board of Trustees.

Being appointed to The Wallich’s Board is such a privilege and I am so pleased be part of a cause and a movement which I feel really strongly about.

Striking a chord

In 2019, a family member of my own became homeless, and although it is a cause that I have always felt strongly about, I hadn’t realised the full complexity of the problem, the never-ending hoops that he had to jump through and the seemingly impossible struggle to find shelter and accommodation for him to restart building his life.

It was through charities like The Wallich that he has finally now settled into a new flat and is regaining his confidence and drive to becoming self-sufficient.

We can all admit that the pandemic hasn’t been the best couple of years, but I really believe there have been positives coming through.

A key positive being that we have proven that with the right push, we actually can make massive strides to ending homelessness.

After years of impossibility, the pandemic finally meant the funding and resources became available to directly get people off the streets and into accommodation.

I feel extremely powerfully that we can’t let the opportunity of this pass us by and should build on it towards a sustainable future of shelter and accommodation for those who need it.

That’s why I wanted to join The Wallich, to be a part of that and try and contribute my little bit to drive that agenda.

Making long-term change

Since joining The Wallich, we have made some important and brave decisions.

It’s so exciting to be part of an organisation that genuinely wants to change, rather than forever provide short term fixes or cover the cracks.

Being a Trustee gives me the chance to bring my skills, expertise and experience, so that in time, The Wallich can become all that it should be.

In return, I feel rewarded knowing that I am helping the charity, and also get to learn what it’s like to be on the other side of the table, improving my own skills in the process.

I would encourage anyone with knowledge and experience in their field, whether it’s finance, HR, Welsh language, environmental sustainability, whatever you can offer – join as a Trustee and use what you know to make an even bigger impact.

Could you offer our Board of Trustees a set of skills?

Become a Trustee of The Wallich – contact to register your interest

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