My name is Mandy and I joined the Lintel Trust Board in 2023. Since this week is National Trustee Week I wanted to share a little bit about me, my background, my reasons for becoming a Trustee and how I've been finding it so far.
I'm a busy mum of five young children, aged from zero to almost 10 years old - that's us in the picture, I like to think of it as 'beautiful chaos'!
I was brought up in a housing scheme in West Lothian and eventually went on to buy a house in the same area, which is where I still live with my husband and children. Growing up here I saw people from different walks of life and from a young age I had a really strong sense of injustice and was very aware of the importance of people coming together as a community - these things have always stayed with me. Since having my own children my passion and 'fire in my belly' has continued to grow and in particular I have become much more acutely aware of the importance of community.
Career wise I've worked in public procurement for the past two decades and more recently set up on a freelance basis working with public sector organisations on their procurement projects and with suppliers bidding for public contracts, which gives me a great balance of career fulfilment and flexibility around my (big) family. Over my career I've worked in many different areas of public sector including local authorities and the social housing sector, amongst others. It was through my connections in the social housing sector I first heard of Lintel Trust.
In my spare time I also run a successful hypnobirthing business and am involved in various voluntary working groups, as you can see I like to keep myself busy! So of course I had to find something else to do with my time and earlier this year decided to become a Trustee for Lintel Trust. I was interested in the opportunity because I see so much value in what grass-roots type initiatives do for their communities - the type of projects that are funded by Lintel Trust - so I felt that by becoming a Trustee I could play a small part in helping these initiatives happen and ultimately benefiting communities.
I'm still very much 'learning the ropes' as they say, so mainly I have been listening and learning from the other Trustees. But already I'm finding the role so fulfilling and its something I would love to continue for years to come. I like that everyone on the Board comes from different backgrounds and with different skill sets to offer, I feel like we all learn from each other and they're also just generally a decent bunch of people, so its not a chore to spend a couple hours with them every couple of months. I've also been really impressed by the passion and dedication of the (very small) staff team, they definitely go above and beyond and totally believe in the ethos of Lintel - and they work really hard to make things happen. The most exciting thing about the role is getting to be involved in approving grant applications, hearing about all of the different projects is very inspiring and getting to approve the funding for some of them feels great. The biggest challenge for me has been that not every application can be approved and getting a better understanding of the parameters and criteria, I just wanted to give money to everyone but its not always possible or the right thing to do. So that part is a challenge but very interesting.
If anyone is interested in becoming a Trustee, in general or specifically for Lintel Trust, I would definitely encourage them to look into it a bit more - its really rewarding and lets you bring your skills and experiences to the fore in a different way and to play a small part in something that genuinely benefits real people.