"I found out about the Be a Trustee training after a colleague shared it with me. She also mentioned that people could apply for bursaries that absolutely ticked every box for me—I wouldn’t have been able to afford the training at full price, but was now keen to get involved. I wrote to Sarah with everything that I was feeling about being on the career ladder in the arts, and the barriers women of colour face in having their voice heard the sector. I was exhausted with holding back my thoughts and ideas for organisational practice, and keen to actually have a seat at the decision-making table.
Luckily, I was successful in my bursary application, which had an unexpected knock-on effect. I was quite early on in my role at Opera North, and working completely remotely, but after telling my colleagues the good news, I received their full and dedicated support. My organisation then supported my professional development in giving advice on trusteeships and relevant training. So I had a positive change before I even started the training as a result of gaining the bursary—I was confident in sharing my news with a team I’d mostly only met digitally, and it opened up new relationships with my colleagues.
The training itself wasn’t exclusionary in language or content, and assured a solid foundation of knowledge for anyone who wanted to take it further. Cause4 guided us with resources and a point of contact the whole way, and eventually provided us with a charity matching service. One of the charities I was matched with was Compass Live Art, a Leeds-based arts organisation that offers artists residencies and a biennial festival of live art. I applied for the position and am delighted to say I was successful, and am now a trustee of the board.
The Be a Trustee training was something that the panel were very interested in during my interview, and allowed me to understand governance and responsibilities in a way that was not accessible to me before the sessions. I’m so excited to see where Compass will take me, and likewise, how I can guide the organisation and live up to the Be a Trustee training."
- Manpreet Dhadda, Events Co-Ordinator, Opera North & Trustee, Compass Live Art
To find out more about how we allocate bursary places and our social impact please get in touch with Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org.