Living and working in Edinburgh
Ros Claase works at the University and in her spare time is also very active in the local Edinburgh community. She shares her experiences of being a trustee for a local charity, and how her skills from her job at the University have helped her contribute to her community.
I've been working for the University since November 2011, and have been a resident of Edinburgh since 2009. During my time in the city, I've also started a family, and over the course of pregnancy and early parenthood, benefited from the support and relationships I developed thanks to a local charity, the Pregnancy and Parents Centre.
It's a not-for-profit organisation that works with parents-to-be and families in Edinburgh, offering practical and emotional support to enable all expectant parents, parents and their families to experience pregnancy, birth and parenthood with confidence.
The charity welcomes everyone, whatever their circumstances, background, sexual orientation, family makeup or beliefs. Many of the services they provide are free and the sessions are run on a donation basis or a sliding scale of fees, so they never turn anyone away due to financial constraint.
Becoming a trustee
As a way of giving back to the PPC, I applied to become a Trustee of the charity, and have been so since January 2016. I find that being a Trustee is a hugely rewarding and developmental opportunity. In my work for the University, I am in a leadership position, which in itself provides me with some useful skills and competencies to contribute to the oversight and governance of a charity.
However, the challenges facing a small grassroots organisation test me in different ways. We are currently needing to move premises, for example, and as an organisation with a core staff of three part time colleagues, we are very much reliant on the community we have developed over the past 30 years, and the local community of which we are part.
One way we have benefited from our proximity to the University has been to work with the student consultancy FreshSight. We have been working with them to develop a Fundraising and Communications Strategy, something which is extremely important as we enter a period of change and upheaval for the centre. We had a great experience working with such an enthused, talented, interdisciplinary and internationally diverse group of students, and as a member of staff, I was really proud to see in a different setting how University of Edinburgh students have been able to make an impact on our local charity.
If you would like to hear more about how you may be able to help with our relocation, if the services of our charity are something that resonate with you, then please sign up here to stay in touch or offer your support: https://goo.gl/forms/Rhlz6jVWsbLSwelG2 We are also always keen to recruit new Trustees to our board, and in particular would like to recruit those with Legal, Accounting or Marketing and Communications expertise.
I'd be happy to talk to anyone who may be interested, alternatively get in touch with our office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.