Trustee spotlight -- Margaret Barrett

It's Trustees' Week!  To celebrate, we'll be shining the spotlight on some of our own fabulous trustees.  Today, we're pleased to introduce Margaret Barrett, who joined our board in 2019.  Margaret worked for Gateshead Council for 27 years as a social worker and subsequently as the Head of Adult Social Care until she took early retirement in June 2016. Since then, Margaret has worked as a consultant and with local universities in the field of social care.

Margaret has been a fantastic addition to our board and we appreciate her contributions so very much. 

What made you become a charity trustee ?

I worked in the public service for over 30 years in adult social care, and when I took early retirement, I knew that I could not walk away from serving the community in some way. I wanted to use my skills and experience in a voluntary sector setting, work with others, expand my skills and knowledge, and see the impact that the work of a charity has on the lives of the people in the area that I grew up in. There were a variety of organisations to which I could have applied, but I chose Gateshead Older People’s Assembly as I admired their work and was spurred on by how they had moved and changed with the times.  I could see directly what their support meant to people, and had a very positive image of ageing.  

What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a trustee?

It’s a really rewarding way to serve your community or support a cause that is dear to your heart. You can make a difference, meet like-minded people and colleagues on the board, and you can help shape how the charity works and see the results. You can learn new skills, expand your knowledge base, and meet fantastic volunteers. It’s not too time consuming – there are basic commitments and you can expend more time above and beyond this, depending on your circumstances.  Support is there when you first join as a trustee so you are not jumping in at the deep end!  Charities are innovative, get down to the business and deliver results – it’s good to be part of that and still learn and develop yourself along the way.