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National Trustees’ Week: What is a Trustee, and How Do They Fulfil a Crucial Role at a Charity like ellenor?

“Our goals, as trustees? I am delighted to have been elected as the Chair of ellenor’s Board of Trustees and I am fortunate to be supported by the other trustees on the Board. Trustees play a pivotal role, providing the strategic direction of the charity and ensuring that there is sufficient scrutiny of its work. Our goal is to provide care and support within the diverse community we live in today and the future. To reach out to many different cultures and identify the fantastic work carried out at the hospice and in the comfort of patient’s homes. To learn and be educated from various faiths and communities in regard to cultural requirements. To be a centre of excellence in the care sector and to be at front of mind if anyone requires assistance with a loved one. To lead the way in the hospice sector and continually improve and adapt to the needs of our communities. To set the standard for hospice care.”

ellenor Trustee Mac Cheema MSc BEng

6th to 10th November 2023 marks National Trustees’ Week in the UK, a time when we come together to recognise and celebrate the remarkable contributions of nearly one million trustees. These individuals invest their time, dedication and expertise in supporting charities and their mission.


Their responsibilities include:

  • Making crucial decisions
  • Shaping a charity’s strategic vision
  • Managing its resources and assets
  • Safeguarding its reputation, ethos, and values
  • Overseeing its financial matters
  • Ensuring it complies with all legal and regulatory requirements.


At ellenor these responsibilities lie with our Board of Trustees:

  • Mac Cheema Chair of Trustees
  • Manjit Atwal
  • Shaminder Bedi
  • Karen Griffiths
  • Victoria Heath
  • Vanessa Jeans
  • Jess Kuller
  • Peter Shotter
  • Nigel Springhall
  • Duncan Holt
  • Paul Obey
  • Christina Dianellou

Just like the people who support ellenor through volunteering or donations, our trustees are all volunteers who receive no compensation for their tireless efforts, they are selected for their specialised knowledge and skills.

For example, the Chair of our Trustees Mac Cheema brings over 30 years of experience at the highest levels of the business world, leading a prominent real estate company in the UK. Another trustee, Karen Griffiths with four decades of experience in GP practices and hospital trusts, works as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. Additionally, chartered account Victoria Heath has a diverse career in finance, charities, and more and is responsible for overseeing ellenor’s guidance and compliance.

ellenor’s trustees also maintain close relationships with ellenor’s leadership team to stay informed about the charity’s activities on the frontlines. They ensure that the charity remains true to its vision “We are dedicated to enabling every person we support to have a seamless and personal experience that meets their personal needs and wishes – and mission.

We respect patients’ dignity and independence, providing quality care and supporting them, and their families, to live with life-limiting illnesses in their homes or our hospice. 

 The trustee’s role is instrumental in helping ellenor achieve these objectives, because the strength of the charity’s goals depends on the quality of its governance. Effective governance helps a charity comply with all the right regulations and creates a culture where everyone – from board level to volunteers – is working in the same direction.

This is why trustees are so important – not just to ellenor, but to the 168,650 charities across the UK. As National Trustees’ Week approaches from the 6th to 10th November, it’s your opportunity to recognise and support the vital roles they play.

Take the time to get to know ellenor’s Trustees. To understand their responsibilities and appreciate how they work hard to enable the care and support delivered to life-limited patients, and their families, across the Kent and Bexley communities.

If you are a trustee, use this week to connect with other trustees to share your experiences and take advantage of the training, guidance, and events available to develop your skills.

And, if the role of trustee is one you feel you’re suited to, get in touch to explore what unique skills and qualities you could offer as an ellenor trustee. Whether you’re an experienced trustee looking for a fresh opportunity or considering that first step up to board level, we welcome well-connected business professionals from all sectors, including accounting, HR, PR, Marketing and Law.  We also want to encourage people from all communities to join us to reflect the richness of the local Kent and Bexley communities; and improve, in turn, our own diversity of thought at the highest level.

As a trustee with us, you’ll help oversee ellenor’s crucial services in the local community and help set the direction of its 168 staff and 262 registered volunteers. Your commitment will ensure the best palliative, life limiting, and end-of-life care remains accessible to those who need it most in our local communities, now and into the future.

To find out more about what the trustee role involves at ellenor, please contact executive.assistant@ellenor.org.