To celebrate the work of Voluntary Trustees as part of this year’s Trustees Week we sat down with Mairi Norman from the North East Edinburgh Counselling Service to talk about the impact and role of Trustees in her organisation.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your organisation?
My name is Mairi and I am the Service Co-ordinator at North East Edinburgh Counselling Service (NEECS). We have been around since 1995, offering free counselling services to the communities of North East Edinburgh, working with people aged 16 and over. We’re lucky to have an extremely invested team of Counsellors, most of whom have been involved with NEECS for a long time – our newbie has ‘only’ been with us for 6 years.
What kind of impact do your Trustees have on your organisation and the people you support?
I work very closely with our Board of Trustees who bring a great mix of skills to NEECS, including experience of the social care sector, human resources and IT. Unfortunately, we lost our key funding earlier this year and our Trustees have been phenomenal in what has been a really challenging time. They’ve come up with funding ideas, worked with us to build a fundraising strategy and taken on specific roles as we find ways to keep NEECS going. Each and every one of our Trustee’s makes a real difference and we are very, very grateful to the time and energy that they contribute.
You’re currently recruiting for two new Trustees can you tell us a bit about the skills and experience you’re looking to add to your Board?
Volunteer Edinburgh has always done a great job of helping us recruit new Trustees and at the moment they’re supporting our search for a new Treasurer – a person with basic accounting skills – alongside someone with experience in digital marketing and fundraising. It’s really important that we develop the online profile of NEECS and look at suitable crowd-funding opportunities as we find new ways to secure the future of the Service. Anyone who has either of those skill sets and would be interested in becoming an NEECS Volunteer Trustee can find out more on Volunteer Edinburgh’s website.
What role do your Trustee’s play in the future of NEECS?
Although we are facing a challenging time financially, our Staff, Counsellors and Board all have aspirations for the future of our Service, and we are planning some restructuring. Like most organisations we have had to learn and adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and although digital support isn’t for everyone it is an alternative we would like to develop in the future. Our Trustee’s continue to play a very key role as we move forward, and so for us it is really important to thank them, and celebrate their ongoing support this during this year’s Trustee’s Week.