Following on from Trustee’s Week (7-13 November) we interviewed Cinema For All Trustee, Nadine Thomson about the importance of a Board of Trustees and about some of her highlights in her role so far.
Tell us about your role as a Trustee.
Every charity has a Board of Trustees. As a Trustee, I, along with my fellow Trustees, am responsible for ensuring the proper governance of Cinema For All. In conjunction with our very talented staff, we ensure the charity stays focused on its objectives, set the strategic direction of Cinema For All and ratify major decisions. We meet formally as a Board four times a year. In addition, each Trustee is involved in working groups which focus on certain areas such as fundraising, education or industry partnerships.
Cinema For All has nine Trustees on the Board each with different skillsets and backgrounds. Many of our Board members have extensive backgrounds and experience in community cinema and film which is important when we are evaluating issues and making decisions. My background is in technology in the commercial world so I bring a different perspective to the Board. It’s important to have diversity of thought so we consider issues and opportunities from all angles.
One of the working groups I’m involved in is Marketing and Communications. In conjunction with our Operations and Development Manager, Jaq Chell, I produced our 2015-2016 infographic which is a snapshot of our annual report.
Why did you want to be a Trustee for Cinema For All?
I joined the Board in 2014. I was looking for a Trustee opportunity with a charity so I could give back to the community. I also wanted to gain experience of working on a Board as I plan to play a part in governing commercial organisations in years to come. I came across Cinema For All and had initial conversations with Katherine Sellar (then Chair and current Trustee) and Jaq Chell (Operations and Development Manager). I was struck by their passion for the organisation, depth of knowledge of the sector and their professionalism. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of Cinema For All.
What have you found particularly enjoyable or satisfying whilst being a Trustee at Cinema For All?
Listening to the staff updates at each Board meeting is always inspiring. The staff achieve so much on a small amount of funds. Recently we reviewed the Reaching Communities project which brings together diverse and marginalised communities through community cinema. Hearing about the difference the project has made to people’s lives was heart-warming.
The annual conference which brings together community cinemas and film societies from all over the country is a fantastic event. The awards ceremony recognises achievements of community cinemas and the panels allow different community cinema groups to share both their mistakes and successes with others.
Why is it important for someone like you to be a Trustee?
It’s important to give back to the community and share your skills and experience. A strong, organised Board will give a charity a much greater chance of success and long term existence. I’m proud to support Cinema For All as it works to broaden access to diverse cinema to diverse communities. I’ve learnt a lot about film and community cinema and met inspiring and talented people through my involvement in the organisation.