Trustees' Week 2016 - introducing Roger Pemberton

Day four of Trustees’ Week and today we are introducing you to Board member, Roger Pemberton.

Name: Roger Pemberton

Career background:

For thirty-two years I developed an import/wholesale business in the automotive aftermarket which I sold in 2010 to a U.S. company based in the U.K.

What roles does a Trustee undertake on behalf of a charity? 

The Trustees of a charity individually and severally are responsible for ensuring good governance, ethical practice and financial stability. 

Why did you want to become a charity Trustee?

I wanted to become a charity Trustee for a number of reasons. First, I wanted to continue to exercise my intellect and practice my business skills after retirement. Secondly, no longer having to seek gainful employment I wanted to offer my services for the benefit of a charitable organisation.

Why did you choose to apply for a Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) Trusteeship?

I chose the MAAC Trusteeship because the position was advertised at precisely the time I was thinking of offering my services. When I found out more about the charity I was delighted to discover that it was just the sort of innovative, energetic and committed organisation that would suit my own approach to business and my attitude towards improving the welfare of the people of our community.

What projects have you been specifically involved with for the charity?

I have sat on the main board of course and have chaired the Fundraising Committee for four years. At the same time I sit on the Human Resources and Recruitment Committee. I also chair the newly formed Midlands Air Ambulance Charity Trading Company Ltd.

What are you especially proud of in your time as a Trustee?

I am proud of our charity and the way it has developed in the four years since we became independent of West Midlands Ambulance Service. I am very proud of the way the Board has worked shoulder to shoulder with an excellent executive team as a cohesive unit – not always agreeing but always pulling together and in the same direction. 

I am proud of the fact that we have in each year increased our fundraising income while at the same time keeping costs to a minimum thus enabling us to broaden the scope and continually improve our service provision. 

I am proud of the way we have developed our brand, supported and looked after the welfare of our volunteers; have opened three charity shops with a fourth in the pipeline and have developed an inspiring and committed team of charity ambassadors.

What are the challenges facing Trustees and your thoughts on how Trustees face these challenges?

As central and local government spending continues to diminish, the pressure on charities to fill the gap in funding becomes greater. Competition for the ‘charity pound’ has never been keener and it becomes more difficult with each passing year to come up with innovative fundraising ideas. 

The well-publicised ethical and fiduciary failings of one or two charities have reinforced the imperative within the MAAC Board to further improve the quality of our Governance and to ensure that the donors to our charity have complete faith in the good management of the funds they contribute. Thus the responsibility bearing upon Trustees is greater now than ever before and the challenge to continue to attract funds becomes greater too. 

A good Board, like the MAAC Board welcomes these responsibilities and challenges and does not consider them a burden.

What do you like to do outside of work / your Trusteeship?

I am a Trustee of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Music plays a big part in my life. It is a passion that I and my wife share. We are fond of symphonic music and opera. Being a part of the orchestra’s support team is a way of giving something back for all the pleasure it has given us. In the same way my support for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is very much a thank you for the good things my adopted community have given me. I am an active Freemason, which again involves fundraising; I enjoy gardening and long distance walking and I enjoy the company of my three children, two step-children and seven grandchildren.

Missions completed since 1991: 50,563 | On average we airlift a child every four days | Road traffic collisions make up around 35% of the incidents we attend | The service airlifts on average four horse riders each week.