Trustee Week: Paul Formosa at Centre 404

Paul, holding certificate, wins Islington Trustee of the Year 2019

Paul Formosa is a Trustee for Centre 404, a local charity that support people living with learning disabilities by providing housing, family support and leisure activities. He was named Islington Trustee of the Year 2019. This Trustee Week, Paul explains more about the work does as a Trustee.

Paul says: “I have been a Trustee at Centre 404 for over 10 years. My job is to make sure the organisation is well run, taking an overview of decisions and getting together a strategic framework for the charity to operate within. As well, trustees are on hand to help out when problems emerge or important changes need to be decided. But, the most important thing about it is that we are entrusted with responsibility for the organisation and all the people we care for.

“So, earlier this year when there was a huge amount of disruption due to the pandemic, my trustee role involved being available to work with staff and other volunteers to make absolutely sure that we would not fail in our responsibilities. I found myself sent off, scooting around looking for PPE, working to organise volunteer contingency staffing should it be needed in our care homes (which fortunately, it wasn’t), and being part of a big team who had to do an absolute ton of shopping for our supported housing.

“I got involved with Centre 404 as a family carer when my children were young. I needed help and the family support team at Centre 404 provided it to me and my family. My sincere gratitude for this support has meant that I have said YES! to any request for help from this wonderful organisation. The CEO, Linda McGowan and Chair, Jean Wilson, had confidence that I would develop to be an effective Trustee, and I am now vice-chair and secretary. Also, my work experience in community development has stood me in good stead.

“My favourite part of the role is always speaking to people who are benefiting from our work and also meeting people who work for us and show such a high level of commitment and care, it causes me to re-double my efforts. It is really important to me that I can give back to my community, service, and this is a great opportunity to do so.”

And Paul’s top tip for people who are considering becoming a Trustee. “Do not assume you are not good enough and that you will not be supported to grow. A good organisation will think long-term and keep space on its board for people who are developing their experience. If you care and are willing to learn then you are likely to be an ideal candidate!”

Find out more about Centre 404 on its website.

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