Press release: Commission re-emphasises the fundamental role and value of trusteeship

Today the seventh annual Trustees’ Week launches to celebrate the great work that trustees do and highlight their complex but invaluable role in society.

Charity trustees oversee charities and are ultimately responsible for how they are run. There are approximately 850,000 trustees in England and Wales, overseeing 165,000 registered charities.

As part of Trustees’ Week, the Commission is reminding trustees that their fundamental roles and responsibilities are the same as they have always been, despite the recent increase in focus. Trustees should act in the best interests of their charity, ensuring it is best placed and equipped to achieve its charitable purpose for the public benefit.

The Commission also wants to encourage anyone thinking of becoming a trustee to use Trustees’ Week to find out more about the role and the various ways they can get involved. Trusteeship brings excellent opportunities including meeting new people, developing new skills, and applying existing expertise to new, real-life challenges.

This year’s theme for Trustees’ Week focuses on Stronger Charities through Good Leadership, reflecting the excellent leadership the Commission often sees in its case work from a range of trustees and charity staff.

William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, said:

We know the work of trustees is crucial to the success of their charities, and they often bear a considerable load. However, this Trustees’ Week we want to encourage trustees to keep doing excellent work – and remind them that despite the recent increase in focus, the legal burden hasn’t changed.

We see great stewardship in our engagement with charities, often by trustees facing difficult and complex situations. Some of the best decision-making we have seen has been a product of having diversity on boards, meaning trustees can challenge each other and offer conflicting perspectives to ultimately achieve the best outcome for their charity.

Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society, said:

Charity trustees make an invaluable contribution to society, helping support our local communities. From helping in a local parent teacher association to being on the board of an national charity, our trustees are helping to create a society that works for everyone. Trustees’ Week offers us a great opportunity to thank them for all their hard work and dedication, raise awareness around the support available to trustees and to encourage even more people to volunteer.

Trustees’ Week runs from 7-13 November 2016 and is supported by a coalition of charities, umbrella organisations, professional bodies and regulators. The Commission’s Chief Executive Paula Sussex will be supporting the week’s launch by speaking at the NCVO/BWB trustee conference in London today. The Commission’s Director of Policy and Communications Sarah Atkinson will be hosting a webinar on ‘What every trustee should know’ on Tuesday 8 November at 7pm, and Head of Strategy and Insight will be speaking on building trust in the sector at an event by WCVA and the Association of Chairs in Cardiff on 9 November. For a full list of events taking place throughout the week across the country, as well as case studies, articles, and lots of resources about trusteeship, visit and follow @TrusteesWeek on Twitter.



Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  2. Search for charities on our online register.
  3. Trustees’ Week is from 7-13 November 2016. For more information, visit
  4. For more information about the organisations behind Trustees’ Week, please visit or the websites of the organisations themselves:
    a. The Charity Commission –
    b. CCNI –
    c. OSCR –
    d. Association of Chairs –
    e. Small Charities Coalition –
    f. ICAEW –
    g. NCVO –
    h. NUS –
    I. WCVA –
    j. Governance & Leadership Magazine –
    k. School Governor’s One Stop Shop –
    l. Institute of Fundraising –
    m. SCVO –
    n. Career Volunteer –
    o. Centre for Charity Effectiveness –
    p. NAVCA –
    q. ICSA –
    r. Reach –
    s. NGA –
    t. FSI –

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