Trustee Week

Trustees at Naomi House & Jacksplace play a crucial role in steering the charity and ensuring compliance in a number of areas. Our Trustees are all volunteers who bring with them skills and experience from their personal and professional lives that benefit the charity hugely. This Trustee week we caught up with two of them who shared their motivations for volunteering in this challenging role, and their thoughts on Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices.

Julian Cracknell joined the Naomi House & Jacksplace Board of Trustees in 2016 and is the Managing Director of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.

Julian told us about how he came to be a Trustee at the region’s hospices for children and young adults, and a little more about the role:

“I had done some work with a charity called Pilotlight that connects business executives with the leadership teams at not for profit organisations. I thoroughly enjoyed bringing my skills to bear to help charities, and while I had spent time shaking collection buckets and setting up fundraising stalls, I knew I could be of most impact by utilising my professional skills and experience.

“I decided to look for a Trustee role. I was looking for a charity that was large enough to be impactful but not one that was so vast that I would be a small cog in a large machine. It absolutely had to be a cause I could get passionate about. That’s when I found Naomi House & Jacksplace.

“Trustees play a crucial role at charities, and for me, I feel where we are most beneficial is in challenging the management team to step back from their day-to-day to look at the longer-term strategic view. We act as an independent assurance, and provide support and guidance to the charity, ensuring compliance and lending our skills and experience.

“The Board are currently looking at our future strategy and our role in the broader context of hospice care. Underpinning all that we do is an absolute need to ensure the charity is stable and sustainable, because we need to be there for life-limited children, young adults and their families long into the future.

“I would say to anyone considering taking up a Trustee role at a charity that they should absolutely do it. There’s a huge emotional boost that comes from being involved with such a great organisation and strong team. I learn lots that I am able to take back to my own teams in my day job. Perhaps most importantly, I know I’m playing my part in supporting hundreds of families on the good days, difficult days and last days.”

Dr Mike Miller, Retired Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine, told us:

“I’m glad I am able to give something back, with all the experience I have had over the years. It’s good to know that’s it’s not going to waste and I can use the expertise I have gained over a life time of work to help others. 

It is a little bit daunting because there are a fair number of responsibilities being a Trustee.  Making sure the charity is working properly and keeping an eye on the budget etc, but it is a real privilege to be that involved in such an organisation.

My particular focus is the clinical aspect and the service the charity is offering, helping to ensure that the charity is doing its best for the children and families. I can share my experience of other hospices so that we can make sure that Naomi House is doing as well as possible with keeping up to date with best practice, which it certainly is.

I enjoy working with the other Trustees, who are all from different backgrounds covering a range of professions – it is a good strong group and I think we have all bases covered to help us be successful."