It’s Trustees’ Week, and this year’s theme is “Making a difference in changing times”, a sentiment particularly relevant for us at Respect, as the charity has been going through a period of growth and change.
With more attention on - and funding for - perpetrator work, we’ve grown quickly to develop, deliver and support in this area. With this growth, comes new challenges, and we’ve relied on our trustees to support and steer us during this exciting period.
To celebrate Trustees' Week, we spoke to five of our Trustees about why they choose to spend their time supporting Respect.
Diane is Respect’s Vice Chair and brings a wealth of communications, public affairs, reputation management, marketing and leadership experience to Respect’s Board. At a time when women’s’ rights and men’s behaviour are coming under greater scrutiny, and the media is more engaged, she wanted to support Respect to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to build its profile and influence to help end domestic abuse.
"I know it’s a cliché but after years working in a commercial setting in communications and marketing, I wanted to do something that felt more worthwhile. I had little idea of what that could look like but then a friend sent me the LinkedIn ad for Respect trustees."
"To be honest, I hadn’t much experience or understanding of the domestic abuse issue or of what being a trustee would entail but what drew me in was that Respect works to stop the cause of domestic abuse. They hold perpetrators to account for their behaviour and develop safe and effective perpetrator interventions to change behaviour. That chimed with the way I had always worked – getting to the heart of the problem. And in a sector where the safety and agency of victims and survivors must always be at the centre of domestic abuse work and resources are limited, I could see there were communications and policy-influencing challenges, where I thought my experience could be helpful."
"Supporting the Respect team over the last three years, as the domestic abuse issue has become increasingly high profile, has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. My part is small. As a trustee, I am responsible (with the rest of the Board) for the strategic direction, governance and culture of the organisation but I am also part critical friend, part unpaid expert consultant and part student, as I continue to learn about domestic abuse and charity leadership."
"I'm so proud of what the team has achieved so far, and I’m excited about what’s ahead. Interventions for people using harm have never had as much profile as they do right now, and Respect is evolving to take advantage of this awareness and help more survivors live free from abuse. I’m glad to be part of that."