Trustee roles give you an opportunity to give something back – and to learn

John Gourd

 John Gourd, CEO, Cambridge Network

Becoming a trustee is a two-way street: you get to share your experience and expertise while developing yourself, your own network and your career.

Cambridge Network ‘s Recruitment Gateway portal will, at any one time, contain up to 800 job vacancies. Most of these roles reflect the knowledge-intensive nature of the Cambridge Cluster and the Network’s membership, with technical roles required across a broad range of sectors, from Life Sciences to AI.

However, an ecosystem like ours requires a broad depth of organisations to support the community in which we live and work. As part of our commitment to the area, Cambridge Network has a long tradition of helping local charities connect with the region’s businesses.

As part of this service, we often have the pleasure of helping our charitable members – through our website and contacts – to find volunteers, partners and trustees to help them grow and prosper.

At present, two of the Network’s charitable members are actively looking for trustees: Cambridge Museum of Technology and Alzheimer’s Research UK. Others, like Blue Smile, are also often keen to hear from people who would like to become trustees.

These organisations frequently reach out into the business community to recruit trustees, who will bring a range of benefits to the charity, including, but not limited to; experience of running a business, experience of setting out and delivering a strategy, specialist expertise (for example IT, Finance, HR, Audit, etc.) and, often, an established professional network.

But becoming a volunteer Trustee is not a one-way street. While it’s obvious that the charitable organisation will gain from your knowledge and experience, becoming a Trustee also offers a great deal in return:

  • It’s an opportunity for you to give something back to the community and, for those in companies which support such initiatives, it is also a great statement of intent from your employer about its CSR commitment. You will also become aware of challenges and issues in your local community that may have been hidden from view.

  • It can be stimulating and rewarding to apply your expertise in a new environment.

  • You will learn and develop from your interactions with the organisation and your fellow trustees. Your own full-time role may well benefit from these interactions and experiences.

  • And you will expand your own personal network.

Please consider applying for one of the roles that we are advertising – you can find the details on our website. Speak to the charity and ask them about the role; try and talk to other trustees about their experiences.

Even if being a trustee isn’t for you, many charities are keen to speak to experienced businesspeople who could offer ad-hoc help.


This article was originally published in Business Weekly.


Cambridge Network is a membership organisation based in the vibrant high technology cluster of Cambridge, UK. We bring people together - from business and academia - to meet each other and share ideas, encouraging collaboration and partnership for shared success.

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