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Trustees’ Week

November 5, 2012

Michael Reiss, Trustee of Red Balloon Learner Centre Group, talking with guest at Speaker’s House

What a surprise – I didn’t think there was one – and now I do – what a splendid idea – so let me get started with my praise of and for Trustees.

Red Balloon Learner Centre Group and all the Centres in the Family: Cambridge, Norwich, NW London, Merseyside and Reading, and let’s not forget Red Balloon of the Air, have the most committed hard working, creative, supportive and positive Trustees of all time.

We are a small charity with a large punch!  We help children unable to go to school because of some trauma, phobia or horrible experience such as systematic and on-going bullying that makes going to school too difficult.  Our aim is to raise these children’s self confidence, get them back on an academic track and return them to school or on to further education or into employment – and we do that very successfully – but we could not do it without the Trustees who stand full square behind us all.

Certainly my job would be much harder, nay impossible,without the lawyers, accountants, business strategists, business planners, human resources advisors, marketers, communications experts, PR experts, events organisers, fundraisers, counsellors, educators, local councillors, teachers and just good-hearted individuals who have time and resources to help us at a range of levels. And they all do it pro bono – actually not pro bono – in our charity they don’t even charge for their expenses!

Never did I think 16 years ago that Red Balloon would grow as it has – requiring five or six Trustees at each Centre as well as the Trustees of Group.  Interestingly we have had little movement in Trustees as a whole – once they come they seem to stay!

So – Trustee Week across the UK eh?  Perhaps we ought to raise our glasses tonight – CEs, CEOs, and beneficiaries of small and large charities alike and say a big and heartfelt thank you to the many thousands of people who attend your and my Trustee meetings, fundraise for your and my charity, attend your and our functions, and make mince pies, draw up yet another business plan, write budgets or smooth out unpleasant personnel issues.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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