Delivering circles of support and accountability to protect communities from sexual harm and sexual reoffending


About Circles South West’s Board of Trustees, marking National Trustees’ Week 2020

Trustees' week (2-6 November 2020) is a celebration and acknowledgement of the work of over a million Trustees in the UK who volunteer their time to support and make important decisions for the 196,000 charities of which one is, of course Circles South West (CSW). You may ask what do these Trustees actually do and why are they so important?

Setting up a charity and obtaining funds is a good start but in order to actually deliver a service you need to make sure it is well run, sustainable organisation. This is where the Trustees come in. Literally they are a group of trusted volunteers who work together to make sure the charity is run correctly, in line with its aim and objectives, making the important strategic decisions.

In CSW’s case we currently have a Board of nine very active Trustees from various backgrounds and I am lucky enough to be the current Chair. We have four officer roles (Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) and Trustees take on an oversight role for important areas such as Safeguarding and representing our Volunteers. We are elected for a three-year period and currently we have Trustees with a wealth of experience including, Probation, Social Services, Management Accounting, Mental Health, Publishing, Independent Monitoring Board, Charity Governance, Young People’s Services, Criminology, Police and also from our friends at the Quakers.

We meet quarterly and we undertake the work that any business owner or Board member would recognise. For example ensuring we have robust strategic plans in place and then monitoring performance against those plans. We make sure we are fully legally compliant with Company and Charity Commission rules, monitor strategic risk, oversee our finances and produce detailed financial reports, all the work required to employ our brilliant staff (payroll, pensions, HR policies, training etc etc) and ensure our fantastic volunteers are safe, well trained and able to undertake their valuable work.

Most importantly our role is to make sure we use our limited resources to deliver as many programmes as possible to meet our purpose of working with those who have sexually offended to reduce the number of victims of sexual harm. We are very lucky in CSW to have such a dedicated group of Trustees and this has been amply demonstrated by the support and work undertaken to keep CSW going through a difficult 2020. Trustees met every few weeks to ensure we could deal with an ever-changing situation and the result has been that CSW has been able to continue provision and is in a good position move on in 2021.

I am always humbled by our volunteers and the work they do for CSW and never more so than with our dedicated Trustees. I am honoured to work with them.

If you would like more details on our Trustee Board or if you think you would be interested in becoming a Trustee, please do get in touch with me. We are always looking to diversify our Board and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.

Tim Price, Chair, Board of Trustees, Circles South West. (


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