Trustees’ Week 2020

2-6 November

Since 2013, Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum has been proud to host a conference for trustees and governance geeks every Trustees’ Week.

This year, our theme was the future of governance. We ran a series of digital events throughout the week. Read below for more information, and to access further resources from the various events.

The Future of Governance

A champion of the charitable sector, both as chief executive and trustee, Edel Harris shared her particular perspective of the sector in Scotland and more recently in the rest of the UK, and addressed the theme of Trustees’ Week this year: the future of governance.

Chaired by Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SCVO and Chair of Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum

group of people sitting indoors

Trustees as Employers: there’s a lot to get right

The trustees of voluntary organisations and charities are ultimately responsible for the safe and legal operation of their organisation. So what does this mean if you have staff?  HR and employment law is the same for all employers. But if you are a trustee there are the particular challenges of being a volunteer. 

This webinar looked at the fundamentals that trustees need to know when employing staff, and highlighted SCVO’s new HR and Employment Support Service.


Tracey Bird, SCVO Information Officer
Lorna Robertson, SCVO HR & Employment Support Service Officer
Eleanor Mannion, MacRoberts, partner in SCVO’s Pro Bono Service

Chaired by Tracey Bird of SCVO

Workshop: Learning through change

This participative learning session, facilitated by the Social Enterprise Academy, created a learning space for participants to pause, reflect and share what they have learnt from their experiences during this volatile and disruptive period. The aim was to draw out common lessons and establish how to harness this learning collectively. 

Chaired by the Social Enterprise Academy Scotland

selective focus photography of two women s white and black tops

Alliances and mergers

A merger or joint working arrangement can often be the best way to support service users and use resources efficiently …” said Alastair Keatinge Head of Charities at law firm Lindsays in the Scotsman this year. Joining him to discuss this topic was Kirstine Fergusson, a specialist in constitutional and governance matters, and experienced trustee, with personal experience of a real live merger.

Chaired by Alastair Keatinge and Kirstine Fergusson

adult architect blueprint business

The Governance debate ‘Face facts, its the Chief Officer who has the leadership power and control, not the Trustees’

Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SCVO and Chris Creegan, writer, consultant and Chair of SAMH debated who’s really in charge.

Chaired by Pat Armstrong, Chief Executive of ACOSVO.

woman in blue suit jacket

Workshop: Developing an enterprising mindset

This learning session, facilitated by the Social Enterprise Academy, focused on supporting boards to develop enterprising mindsets looking at innovation within organisations, including developing mindsets, behaviours and exploring the opportunities and challenges.  

Chaired by the Social Enterprise Academy Scotland

group of people sitting indoors

Boards, diversity and inclusion

Exploring diversity and inclusion on boards were Amanda Heenan and Miles Harrison.  Amanda is an equality and inclusion practitioner, focusing on creating inclusive accessible environments, where everyone can flourish.  Miles works in leadership and governance development and is an independent meeting facilitator.  He is Chair of Birds of Paradise Theatre Company, which is disability led and employs disabled and non-disabled actors.   

Chaired by Kenneth Pinkerton of Brodies LLP

two women having a meeting inside glass panel office

Governance Training and Support – What do you need and where can you get it?

Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum, with support from The Robertson Trust, published a new report mapping governance training and support available across Scotland for boards of trustees. The session showed where you can access the governance training and support you need, and discover more about new E-learning and training opportunities available from SCVO and the TSI Network.

Thea Kellock, report author and Robertson Trust Intern
Steff Bell, Development Worker, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council
Tracey Bird, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Chaired by Shirley Otto Convenor of Consultants for Good Scotland

multi cultural people

Regulations and Resources: lessons for the future of Governance

Jude Turbyne, Senior Manager, Policy and Sector Improvement at OSCR and Stewart Macgregor, Funding Manager of The Robertson Trust reflected on the role that the regulator and the funder play in encouraging good governance, and what lessons there are for the future of governance.

Chaired by Virginia Anderson, Chair Institute of Fundraising Scotland

Digital Trustees – the need for strategic leadership

This special DigiShift for Trustees Week 2020 looked at what makes an effective digital trustee, how to recruit them, how they can work alongside the full board, and why digital strategy is vital now more than ever. With speakers Chris Yiu, Executive Director of Technology and Public Policy, Institute for Global Change and John Fitzgerald SCVO’s Digital Evolution Manager and Trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Hosted by Third Sector Lab and SCVO Digital, with the support of The Catalyst