Trustees' Week 2016 - introducing Rob Fulton
We’re mid way through Trustees’ Week. Rob Fulton has been a member of our Board of Trustees for over three years. Find out more about him here.
Name: Rob Fulton
I was the head European in-house lawyer for the aerospace systems division of United Technologies Corporation, a US conglomerate with an annual turnover of c. $60bn. I retired from this role in June 2014.
What roles does a Trustee undertake on behalf of a charity?
I liken the role of a Trustee to that of a Director of a company. Trustees are responsible for the stewardship of the charity which includes many roles and responsibilities. We have to act in the best interests of the charity, ensuring good governance and also that the charity operates within the scope of its purposes as specified in its governing documents.
Why did you want to become a charity Trustee?
I have had a life in the aerospace industry with a lot of aerospace industry experience. I love the industry and I thought that I could contribute some of the experience I had gleaned voluntarily to a fantastic cause. The advertisement for the post appeared in the press just before I decided to retire and so was very timely.
What projects have you been specifically involved with for the charity?
I have been significantly involved in undertaking a governance review with the charity business manager which has taken over a year to manage in reviewing and amending policies and procedures where necessary. I have also assisted the charity in securing PQASSO Level 1 which is a recognised quality standard for voluntary organisations.
What are you especially proud of in your time as a Trustee?
I was very proud to have volunteered to do a parachute jump in Nottingham from 13,000 feet and raise over £5,000 for the charity. I am also very proud of the governance achievements too.
What are the challenges facing Trustees and your thoughts on how Trustees face these challenges?
There are many challenges facing Trustees today, including:
- staying up to date on changes in charity laws and procedures
- ensuring that we comply with all of the Charity Commission's requirements
- managing the risks involved with operating three helicopters and managing trauma incidents
- ensuring that adequate funds are raised each year and ensure that the administration costs are reduced as low as possible, whilst still providing an excellent service to the public
- being mindful of the risks of funding being lower than budget and having a plan to deal with that quickly
- ensure that the decisions we take are in the charity's best interests
I think these are all significant challenges and as a result Trustees need to spend time with the management team and each other thoroughly discussing matters and ensuring that everyone is agreed on the direction the charity is going. We are lucky to have such an experienced group of Trustees who have a lot of industry experience and applying that to the charity's operations is invaluable.
What do you like to do outside of work / your Trusteeship?
I play golf at Stourbridge Golf Club and I also enjoy gardening and walking our two border collies. My wife and I love travelling and seeing new places and with two daughters this periodically involves shopping too!