As we get closer to the end of Trustee Week 2021, we sit down and chat with ex-Jessie May employee Miranda McGinn about why it was important to her to return and support the charity in a different way.
How did you first hear about Jessie May?
I worked for Jessie May before I became a Trustee. I originally heard about a job at Jessie May through the ‘children’s hospice grapevine’ while I was working in another children’s hospice in South Wales. I applied for the job and was appointed Director of Finance & Coporate Services at Jessie May.
What attracted you to become a Jessie May Trustee?
Firstly, I think it’s the relationships you build – Jessie May is such a lovely cause, it was a great place to work and for me it was kind of a win/win as I was able to progress with my career when I left to take up my current role, but then keep my hand in Jessie May by joining as a Trustee.
There are so many other families out there, along with the families that we currently support, who need our help – and I just wanted to do what I could to be able to support and hopefully help that grow and see where Jessie May can go.
What was it like for you becoming a Jessie May Trustee in the midst of a Pandemic?
It was actually quite good in a way. Obviously Jessie May is quite a small charity and resources are limited, financially things can be tight even under normal circumstances . So it was nice for me, working for a much larger organisation, to be able to bring across some of the ways that we were working and adapting to the Pandemic, and implement those into Jessie May.
It was obviously so hard for everyone involved, we were all thrown into something completely new that none of us had ever dealt with before. It was worrying of course, thinking from the Fundraising side of things that all the income could suddenly disappear overnight, but then we were able to work closely together to be more innovative and look at other things that we could do to ensure that didn’t happen. That innovation was also key to the Care sides of things as well, building the relationships with other healthcare providers to be able to keep supporting as many children and families as possible.
I think the thing I’ve missed most is having the opportunity to support some of the Fundraising events like we would have done in the past like selling raffle tickets at some of the World Snooker Tour events! But hopefully things will start to settle down and we will have those opportunities again soon.
How does your professional/personal experience inform your work as a Jessie May Trustee?
I’m a qualified accountant, which I think stands me in good stead as Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee! But I think my background and experience in children’s hospices and other third sector roles, has given me a good insight into charities of all sizes and sectors. It’s also given me a good grounding in the challenges that all charities can face, and hopefully I can help to implement some of the solutions we need to thrive. Even though I’ve moved on from Jessie May professionally, working in a completely different sector, there are things that I’m learning that I can bring to our Board and Committee meetings to support the way Jessie May works and help us to develop the way we operate.
From a personal point of view, I think having been a part of Jessie May in a different way previously, it helps to give some perspective and to know that you’re doing something meaningful and that makes a real difference to people’s lives.
What’s the most rewarding part of your role as a Jessie May Trustee?
It’s difficult to pick out one specific experience from the last year, as mostly I think we’ve all just been stuck in our bedrooms on Zoom calls! But it has actually had some benefits. In one of our last Board meetings we heard a story from one of our Jessie May nurses, Claire Matson, and it really helped to bring home what Jessie May was all about and why it is we do what we do.
What would you say to other people who are considering becoming a Jessie May Trustee?
It is a wonderful cause, and certainly for Jessie May it’s really rewarding because it is a small charity and so you can get really involved in problem-solving and make real decisions. I think sometimes Trustees can just find they sit on a Board and it’s more of an honorary title, but here you really get to become part of the wider Jessie May family and make a real impact to the lives of the children and families we support.
What is Trustee Week 2021?
Trustee Week is an annual event that takes place at the beginning of November to showcase the vital role that Trustees play in our charity. Volunteering their time, and working together to make a real difference to the children and families we support.
Find out about our whole Board of Trustees by heading over to their page on our website: www.jessiemay.org.uk/about-us/board-of-trustees