Why I became a Stop Hate UK Trustee, by Brian CulletonPosted on
Stop Hate UK has seen quite a few new faces join the team recently; from volunteers to helpline operators to employees and trustees – which is great news for the strength of the charity and its collective skills.
Just last week, one of the training sessions featured our new trustee, Brian Culleton, who joined the charity in the middle of 2016 and Brian has kindly put together a very emotive piece as to the reasons why he became involved with Stop Hate UK.
We’re only too happy to share this with you, as an insight into one of our newer trustees viewpoint and the motivations behind the decision to become a trustee of Stop Hate UK.
Over to Brian….
“Hello. I’m Brian Culleton and I’m on the Board of Trustees for Stop Hate UK. I joined the board in June 2016 after meeting with Rose Simkins (Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK) and having a conference call with the Chair of Trustees (Graham Lewis) and another trustee.
My main reason for joining Stop Hate UK was due to the ongoing treatment of transgender people, which prompted me to research some charities to which I could support. As it turned out, the more I read around the subject, I quickly realised that I was more interested in stopping all forms of hate, bias and discrimination towards all people.
After meeting with Rose and speaking with Graham, I was even more enthused and became very keen to join the board, to help ensure that the work of this wonderful charity continues for many more years.
I acknowledge that the very mission statement or aim, I suppose, of every charity, group or support network is actually not to exist. For example; if there were no Hate Crime in the UK, Stop Hate UK’s work would be done…! Isn’t that the ultimate goal of every charity?
Unfortunately, just as we think that we’re making strides in this country, people’s mindsets don’t move in line with legislation. For example, just because equal marriage was introduced, doesn’t mean that homophobia was eradicated.
Similarly, the outcome of the Brexit vote resulted in an upsurge in Hate Crime that was unprecedented. Some people thought it presented them with legitimate excuse to attack (verbally and physically) any non-national.
All colleagues and volunteers involved in Stop Hate UK have become part of this wonderful charity because they feel impassioned about preventing Hate Crime and supporting those affected by it. The work of this charity is of paramount importance and will continue to be needed until society accepts the incredible diversity that we have in this country.
As for my role, and the role of the wider Board of Trustees, we simply have a responsibility for the management of the charity. We have to ensure that the charity’s assets and resources are used only for the purposes of Stop Hate UK. This involves safeguarding all of the charity’s assets such as cash, intellectual property (i.e. marketing material), staff and reputation. We are also responsible for establishing and monitoring all associated policies and employment procedures. This includes the recruitment policy, grievance policy, levels of authority policy, disciplinary policy … the list goes on. Essentially, we, as the Board, are tasked with ensuring that the Stop Hate UK is run in accordance with its constitution, charity law and all governing documents. We need to make sure that the board performance is effective and we support/manage Rose as the Chief Executive.
The Board of Trustees is made up of two elements; the overall Board and also the Finance, Governance and HR sub-group. My role is the Finance Lead and it is my responsibility to make sure that Stop Hate UK keeps proper accounts and to review the financial performance.
It is also my responsibility, along with the Board, to ensure that Stop Hate UK has robust and effective financial controls in place.
I acknowledge that it all sounds very convoluted but we, as a Board, are effectively there to ensure that the charity remains as a going concern (i.e. the charity remains operating for the foreseeable future). All the Stop Hate UK Trustees bring different professional skills, resources, connections and life experiences to ensure that we continue to be as effective a board as possible.
We’re not ethereal beings – we’re very ordinary people who are involved in Stop Hate UK simply for the same reasons that you are – we want to make Hate Crime a thing of the past – and step-by-step we’re supporting and educating people to allow them to see the true beauty and diversity of this incredible country.
From my perspective, I would like to thank all Stop Hate UK employees and volunteers for the work that you do. Without your input and support to make Stop Hate UK so fantastic, our role as Board of Trustees would be redundant and cease to exist. All of you do the hard work and we are well aware of that so a massive, heartfelt and sincere thank you to all of you.”
We’d like to thank Brian for taking the time out to write such an emotive, insightful piece and we look forward to his continued support as a Trustee of Stop Hate UK.