Some Words from Our Trustees

Trustees’ Week is an opportunity to think and appreciate the work that our Board of Trustees does for YSS. It is an occasion to showcase and celebrate the work done behind the scenes by Trustees of charitable organisations like YSS who provide community driven services across Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and most recently Warwickshire. 

One may wonder what Trustees do for Charities and why do we need to applaud them? The simple answer is that they are the people who share the responsibility for guiding, supporting and determining the way in which a Charity is governed and delivers in local communities. They are instrumental in providing and directing, along with the management team, the operational framework for the organisation.  

However, what makes them special and deserving of recognition is that they provide all this knowledge, expertise and guidance on a voluntary basis, and despite their personal daily responsibilities. During this year, their support was particularly instrumental in the development and implementation of YSS’s Theory for Change and of our new strategies.  

This year has not been easy for Charities and their beneficiaries but equally this year has not been easy on our Trustees. When asked to identify the main challenges faced by Trustees and ways to overcome them, David Chantler, our chair of Trustees says: 

‘Balancing experience with standing back, recognising that as a trustee and as chair my primary role is to stick my nose in, but keep my hands out. However much I might think I

 know the answer from my past experience, these are today’s issues with new solutions and all I can do is provide a context of understanding for others to find those solutions. That means working alongside the CEO, not seeing her as someone to do my bidding, whilst holding on to the reality that ultimate responsibility lies with the Chair and that is quite a sophisticated relationship.’ 

Equally this year has not been easy on Trustees as the country was still experiencing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which, according to our Trustee, Sandra Kelley, created a challenge in ensuring that YSS kept operating to benefit and impact as many people as possible in the local community. 

So one may ask why get involved? Why become a Trustee for YSS? Are there any real benefits associated with this position? Hear what some of our Trustees have to say: 

‘To be involved and to make a difference. When I retired as Chief Probation Officer for West Mercia I didn’t retire from being interested in all the things that had fascinated me at work. That included directly related things like work with offenders, victims, what makes people offend but also wider concerns about transition to adulthood, how we create a good society , how we can be inclusive etc. The things that YSS does are all part of that rich picture.’ David Chantler OBE (Chair of Trustees) 


‘I enjoy working for a local organisation that I believe in, using my skills and experience alongside other trustees with similar values. It’s been a great way to meet new people too!’ Sandra Kelley (YSS Trustee, Lead for GDPR) 


‘It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to have been involved with such a great organisation that really does make a difference to the lives of those it seeks to support.’ Lady Susanna McFarlane (YSS Trustee) 


YSS has been providing support services in local communities for over 30 years now. Even though the means and methods of our support may vary the key messages and objectives remain the same. It is about supporting people in the local community to become emotionally resilient and overcome life’s obstacles to reach their full potential. 

Our trustees are an important element for the future of YSS so it is important to see that they envision ‘The future [to] be about identifying and meeting hidden need, not stopping when the terms of a contract have been met. Fully utilising the possibilities inherent in being a voluntary sector body, not limited by statutory responsibilities but fully able to discharge them if we wanted to take on statutory work. Identifying and working with partners in coalitions to achieved shared aims.’ David Chantler OBE (Chair of Trustees) 

This is at the heart of the services we provide at YSS: identify needs, establish partnerships and support vulnerable members of our local communities so they can thrive.  

YSS is happy to celebrate its Board of Trustees and the work that they do for us to be able to provide the best service possible to our service users. Thank you for your support!