To mark National Trustees Week, a number of our trustees made visits out across the organisation. Foundation has 12 trustees on our Board, including customer trustees. The trustees have a broad range of professional and personal experience. Teams were able to introduce trustees to customers who benefit from Foundation’s services and also share how changes in financial climate impact on support work.

Claire Villarubi – Chair of the Board. Visited the Calderdale Team

Tameside Claire Vilarrubi

As part of a series of trustee visits planned to coincide with national trustee week, Claire Vilarrubi, our new Chair of the Board visited the Calderdale Team on 7th November.

It was a cold winter morning but I was quickly warmed by fantastic welcome I received from Nancy and the team. Nancy spent some time with me explaining the schemes operating in Calderdale including the Adult Offender Service and the West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI) project.
I then met with a number of team members who explained the challenges they were currently facing and their innovative practice to overcome these. In particular, they highlighted the need for more effective mental health to meet the immediate needs of their customers. Finally, I met with a potential customer trustee – he was extremely positive about the support he has received from the team and believed the service was invaluable.
Throughout my visit, I was impressed by the enthusiasm, passion and commitment of the team. They provided lots of positive suggestions on Foundation might be improved including communication and sharing best practice across the organisation. I came away in awe of their dedication and with lots of ideas on how we might work together to improve our organisation. Thank you to everyone at Calderdale!

David Powell – Trustee. Visit Leeds: Tenant Hall Breakfast Club

What’s not to like about an English breakfast in the agreeable surroundings of Tennant Hall? Foundation customers seemed to agree when I visited Debbie and her team at the Wednesday Breakfast Club. As well as keeping up to date with news on TV, in this case the election of Donald Trump, there was an opportunity for customers to go on the internet and to get involved in other Foundation activities. A theatre visit to Miss Saigon was upcoming and the Jobs Club was taking place that morning. A Christmas event was also in the planning stages.
After enjoying a breakfast myself, it was an ideal opportunity to talk to customers, some of whom had interesting plans for their futures and all of whom were very appreciative of the Breakfast Club.
Thank you to Debbie and the team for making me welcome.

Rebekah Smith – Trustee. Visited Legal Services in Bradford.


As the newest member of the Foundation Board, I was lucky enough to meet the newest additions to the organisation – the legal team based in Bradford and York.  Jackie and the team gave me a warm welcome and were clearly enthusiastic about the work they do and the role they can play in Foundation.  They have a big challenge: combining their housing- related representation work at Courts stretching from York to Scarborough and Bradford,  to offering legal advice to all the teams in Foundation.
I talked through the challenges of juggling these two sides of their work, as well as their plans to extend what they do in the future.   They clearly face the same challenges as other teams in the organisation: squeezes to funding that put extra pressure on workload and dealing with increasing numbers of people with complex support needs.  But despite all that they clearly believe that the work they do is important and necessary, and that helps them stay positive.  For those of you who haven’t needed to contact them yet, be confident that when you do they will help you as much as they can.
A big thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

Peter Johnson – Trustee. Visited Harrogate: Belmont Road

As part of a series of trustee visits planned to coincide with National Trustee Week, I visited 34 Belmont Road on 9th November. I first met a Support Worker and his line manager. There was a good discussion about the role of the service provided for young people and how the increasing demands from Commissioners and other stakeholders for monitoring and key performance reporting has changed the working day for staff.
I then met three customers who showed me their flats and talked about what the service has meant to them as they try to bring stability and progress into their lives.
I was extremely impressed with the commitment of the staff to customers, and the way the customers responded to the interest shown in them.