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Trustees’ Week - 6 to 10 November – Introducing Jo Pittman

Tuesday 7th November

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Farleigh Hospice is a charity, governed by a Board of Trustees. They are responsible for ensuring that Farleigh is solvent, well-run and meets its purpose.

Our eleven trustees each make a valuable contribution to Farleigh. They bring their own talents, viewpoints and experiences to the Board and their individual committees, to support us in achieving our objectives. During national Trustees’ Week we have been celebrating their achievements, along with the other one million trustees across the UK.

Here, we talk to Jo Pittman – a trustee since 2015, Vice Chair of the Board of Governance and Chair of the Financial Governance Committee.

What is your professional background and experience?

I am a chartered accountant and partner at Sayer Vincent, a firm that specialises in audit and advice services for charities and social enterprises. I am also the audit partner for several charities, advising on charity accounting, VAT and tax and governance matters.

What motivated you to become a trustee at Farleigh Hospice?

Prior to becoming a trustee, I had worked with several hospices and seen the amazing work that they do, so I knew that if I were ever to become a trustee, I would want to work with a hospice. When the opportunity arose at Farleigh, which is my local hospice, I immediately applied.

How do you think your skills and experience best add value?

My main contribution has been through the financial governance committee and through working with the Finance Director. We have a good relationship and I have supported with the development of systems and controls, the presentation of the annual report and financial statements and in appointing new auditors who can add value.

I have also brought experience from working with other trustee boards and charities which has helped us develop how the trustees operate, for example in looking at the Charity Governance Code and ensuring that the trustees understand their role and work effectively.

What is the most important thing to you when you are acting in your role as a trustee?

The most important thing to me when acting in my role is to ensure that as trustees, we steward the assets that Farleigh has, which includes our people, our expertise, our reputation and our resources, and put them to the best use for our current and future beneficiaries.

What contribution to Farleigh Hospice are you most proud of?

For the last few years, I have been involved in meeting with potential new trustees to tell them about Farleigh and what the role involves. This is before the formal application and interview stage that a trustee goes through before joining the board. I think it is an important part of the governance arrangements and ensures that those applying to be a trustee know what they are applying for and that it is the right role for them. Several have since joined the board, either as trustees or independent members of our committees. It is important to me that we have a strong and diverse board to act as stewards for the hospice.

What do you enjoy doing in your own time?

I live very close to the hospice in Broomfield. Between work, Farleigh and my three children, I don’t have much time for hobbies, but my ideal day would include a walk with my husband and Amber the dog and some time at the beach.

To find out more about Jo and our other trustees, please visit Trustees - Farleigh Hospice