As you may already know I’m standing in the election to be a NCT Trustee and as part of the process you get to answer three questions that are put on the website for the public to read…
- 150 words for a biography,
- 175 words to say why you want to be elected
- and a list of NCT roles held (past or current).
So 150 words for a biography is a challenge – but if you want to know more about my background you can read it on LinkedIn which tells you a lot more about what I have done.
If that is a challenge 175 words for why you want to be a trustee is attempting the impossible – I hope I wrote enough to get people interest… So without the word restrictions that mean every word has to be carefully crafted here are some more reasons:
- I love NCT – I’ve been involved as a volunteer for over 12 years and I’m not a practitioner or employee so every minute of my time has been given for FREE and lets face it you wouldn’t do that for a charity you didn’t love would you?
- I’m proud of NCT’s work to increase reach – of course we still have a way to go but if you look at our annual conference now and compare it to 10 years ago we are a much more varied bunch (even at the most simple level the number of dads there reminding us that we are for all parents not just mums) and I want to be part of making sure we extend this even further.
- I’ve had a fantastic time as a Regional Coordinator and whilst I’d happily continue for longer I think that after nearly eight years in the role it’s about time to hand it over to someone else to let them have that fun and experience – so I’m looking for a new challenge
- I’m passionate about supporting new parents to make the choices that are right for them and want all parents to have access to the evidence based information they need without commercial pressure (read the Politics of Breastfeeding if you need some examples)
- I know the NCT branch and region structure inside out and upside down and I feel that this knowledge base will be an asset to the board to balance the professional skills that our trustees have.
- I love papers, reports, policies and procedures – it’s what I do when I go out to work, it’s why I ended up on the Steering Committee of the British Youth Council (which was my volunteering before I had a baby!) and it’s why I have learnt so much about NCT as I’ve read ever piece of information I can get my hands on!
- I have understanding of the issues in Wales – the Nominations and Governance committee were particularly asking for candidates from Wales and I nearly didn’t apply because I strongly believe that the board should represent all of the nations that make up the UK but as their isn’t a candidate from Wales one who has longstanding links with volunteers from across Wales (and the other devolved nations) I know some of the challenges NCT being seen as an ‘English’ charity causes.
And as for the roles I’ve held.. I kept it simple with “I am currently the West Midlands Regional Coordinator and Chair of NCT’s Regional Volunteer Support Network as well as volunteering in my local branch as a NCT Breastfeeding Peer Supporter / Bumps and Babies host. I have held a variety of other branch roles across three different branches over the last 12 years.”
The real list of NCT voluntary experience:
- Open House Host
- Nearly New Sale Volunteer
- Open House Coordinator
- Branch Secretary
- Branch Chair (as it was back then) Coventry branch
- NCT Rep (at a Children’s Centre Parents Forum)
- Branch Volunteer
- Interim Branch Coordinator (after the role title changed) Warwickshire Central branch
- Branch Treasurer (of a brand new branch) Southam & Villages branch
- Branch Newsletter Editor
- Interim Branch Coordinator
- Breastfeeding Peer Supporter
- Branch Webmaster
- Bumps and Babies host
Sorry I can’t remember the exact dates – some of them e.g. Nearly New Sale Volunteer are ‘ongoing since 2004’ and some of them are roles I held and passed on. I was definitely a Rep in 2009 as I went to Rep’s forum in Swansea and the new Southam & Villages branch started in 2010.
You can read more about #mynctstory here.