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Trusteeship at Terrence Higgins Trust

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Ant Babajee
Member
Posts: 8
Trusteeship at Terrence Higgins Trust
Posted on: September 18 2014, 03:02 pm

Some of you will know I was elected as a Terrence Higgins Trust trustee last November. It's certainly been a busy year for me!

We're now in the final few days before the deadline for this recruitment round on Friday (19 September).

If you're interested in putting yourself forward and you'd like to have an informal chat about it, drop me a private message or e-mail me at tht@t4rdis.me.

The application pack and form to fill in are at: tht.org.uk/newtrustees

I would love to see more people living with or directly affected by HIV represented on the board at THT - I feel it's vital to ensure that decisions about THT's services are made for the right reasons.

UK-CAB's activism course, which I attended last year, was fantastic in helping to give me the confidence I've needed at board meetings and in public speaking engagements over the past year. A big thank you to Memory and the organising committee.

I thought I'd share with you a few words I wrote for the recruitment pack about my experiences over the past year:

Quote
I wanted to make a difference and give back to a fantastic charity that has helped me so much, and so last summer I took the decision to put myself forward for election to the Board. I found out I was HIV positive in January 2007. After my diagnosis, Terrence Higgins Trust’s support – through counselling and the Newly Diagnosed Course – was invaluable in helping me to regain my confidence and feel positive about the future. I now, happily, describe myself as being ‘unashamedly positive’.

As Board members, we are Directors of the charity and are responsible for setting its overall strategy and direction. We do our level best to ensure that Terrence Higgins Trust uses its resources effectively to pursue its mission. This includes supporting people with HIV to live happy and fulfilled lives, free from stigma and discrimination, and campaigning to ensure everyone can make informed choices about their sex lives, so that we can try to halt new infections.

Terrence Higgins Trust was set up to commemorate the death of Terry Higgins – one of the first people in the UK to die from AIDS – and to help people with HIV to make the best of the time they had left. Since the mid 1990s, when effective treatment for HIV started to become available, we have been helping people across the UK to live well with HIV. Terrence Higgins Trust is an amazing charity and I talk to people that it helps all the time. As Board members we are, first and foremost, members of the charity – that means we have either used Terrence Higgins Trust’s services, volunteer our time, or have made a donation.

All of the Board members bring different skills and experience to the table – some of us work in accountancy, business or management, while others work in the fields of public health or the commissioning of healthcare services. We were elected to the Board either by a ballot of all the charity’s members, or invited to join because of our specialist knowledge. As we encourage new people to put themselves forward, we are really keen to fill any gaps in our collective skills and experience.

We are all unpaid – I work full-time in marketing for a university – and have committed to giving the charity 10 hours of our time each month. This can include reading Board papers, answering emails and attending meetings and events. I would say I put in a lot more than this minimum commitment, with my other volunteering commitments at Terrence Higgins Trust, as well as building links with other organisations in the HIV sector.

At the Board Meetings, I am proud to champion the needs of service users and volunteers to help ensure decisions are not made purely on monetary terms. I have been volunteering on Terrence Higgins Trust’s online community forum (myhiv.org.uk) since its launch in 2011. I have been touched by how the support in the forum has encouraged members to be more open and to gain the strength to cope with the challenges they face. I also volunteer with the Health Promotion team on the London gay scene, handing out resources from the It Starts With Me campaign (startswithme.org.uk) and talking to people about how they can make their sex lives safer.

Thank you for reading everything I have had to say. If you are still considering putting your name forward, please do. As a charity, we aim to be ambitious, honest, different and independent. But these are just words if we do not have people who are willing to go the extra mile to help.
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Simon Collins
Global Moderator
Posts: 651
Re: Trusteeship at Terrence Higgins Trust
Reply #1 on: September 19 2014, 11:41 am

Thanks Ant - great you are doing this and also encouraging other people too. It is nice to hear that the CAB training last year helped Smiley
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