Trustees Week is an opportunity to turn the spotlight on Carers Support Merton’s dedicated and committed volunteer board members and to thank them for putting their time and energy to work on behalf of our charity to the benefit of Merton’s unpaid carers.

What is a Trustee?

Trustees are volunteers who take on ultimate legal, strategic and oversight responsibility for an organisation’s work. Being a trustee is an often overlooked area of volunteering but one that plays a vital role in the governance of a charity in addition to raising awareness. 

Hard at work behind the scenes and out of the limelight, which is how they like it, our trustees play a vital leadership role at CSM. Most importantly trustees challenge and support their fellow board members and CSM management to ensure our organisation is the the best it can be for carers.

Trustees come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Between them, CSM’s Trustees have a diverse range of expertise, skills and experience, including invaluable carer representation. The full board meets four times a year, plus four sub-committee meetings.

We asked some of our trustees what motivates to give their time and energy to CSM

Catriona Lumiste has been trustee for Carers Support Merton for over five years. A member of the Personal Finance Society, she is also a professional partner of the Care Adviser Network and a Dementia Friend. Catriona is “passionate about the world of care” and using her professional skills to help support her fellow board members and CSM, which in turn supports the staff and volunteers to make a real difference to the lives of adult carers and young carers in Merton."

“I find the Trustee role very fulfilling and I think it is important for me to share my skills and help to add value to the charity with all the wonderful work they do and the people they support.” Catriona Lumiste

Newest member of the board is Mike Ribton. For a charity that works with both adults and youngsters from the age of five, former teacher Mike’s years as the head of an inner-city secondary school have been ideal preparation for the role.

“Ultimately I see our job as ensuring that our beneficiaries - all carers in Merton - are put first and that their welfare is at the heart of all we do.” Mike Ribton

Merton Park resident, Jenny Tyson has always been an active volunteer in her local community running art and craft sessions in a care home for people with dementia; and raising funds for her children's primary school and cricket club. She was looking to help a local charity when a friend suggested Carers Support Merton.

Although Jenny has never been a full-time carer she had recently “done a lot of caring for her frail, elderly mother."  She has also advocated for her elder sister with learning disabilities and deafness.

In addition, a period of ill health “affecting what I can do in my day to day life,” has given Jenny an insight into what issues a carer may face.

Since joining the board of trustees in the spring Jenny has also made her mark beyond the CSM boardroom, raising both funds and our profile in Merton. Jenny’s magnificent ‘mask tree’ has been popping up around the borough festooned with her handmade, stylish face coverings. To date, Jenny with assistance from CSM’s very own talented needlewoman Moira, has raised almost £2000 for carers from donations to the mask tree.

Learn more about the work of our trustees, here

Further reading

Other volunteering opportunities at CSM:

Mentor a Young Carer

Become a Digital Champion