How professional skills can help your local community

PUBLISHED: 15:47 20 May 2014

Mum of two and Trustee, Catherine Battershill

Mum of two and Trustee, Catherine Battershill


2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week throughout the UK. Running from 1 – 7 June, it’s a celebration of the work done by all sorts of volunteers and a time for the charities to say ‘Thank you’.

As part of this celebration, we’re looking at what volunteering has meant for one Sussex resident, local charity Trustee, Catherine Battershill.

Catherine lives in Horsham and works in the City, running a global investment communications program for a multinational investment management company. She is also Mum to two small children. And it was her understanding of the challenges that can be faced when raising a young family that influenced her choice to become involved with the charity Home-Start CHAMS (Crawley, Horsham & Mid-Sussex).

Home-Start works with local families who have young children, where the parents are experiencing difficulties or struggling to cope. They aim to help prevent family crisis and breakdown, so that the children won’t suffer. As Catherine explains: “Quite simply, the inspiring work of their volunteers, who offer time each week to help disadvantaged, local families give their small children a better start in life, is why I wanted to become involved. I approached Home-Start CHAMS because I wanted to see if my professional skills and experience could be useful to them as one of their Trustees; in particular I was keen to help them develop their own fundraising plans.”

Trustees can be a forgotten group of volunteers, but without them charities would not exist. They are the people who give their time, skills and commitment to make sure that the charity is governed properly, with strategic direction and sound financial management. In return, they have the opportunity for personal and professional development, as well as the satisfaction of knowing they have made a real difference in their community.

Catherine talked about what her Trustee work has meant to her. “As a member of the Board of Trustees, I’ve learnt first-hand what it takes to run an organisation like Home-Start CHAMS, I’ve had the chance to shape how the charity progresses, as well as to develop valuable extra business and personal skills myself. Since joining the Board last year, I’ve already been involved in HR, corporate governance and fundraising initiatives. I’ve joined a talented team of trustees with a diverse range of skills and experience and I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in this type of work to consider becoming a Trustee or a volunteer.”

If you are interested in what the role of a Trustee can offer you, and would like to be involved in a family support charity, there are currently opportunities for Trustees at Home-Start CHAMS, who can be contacted on 01293 416327. Or for more information, visit

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