My journey as a charity trustee
I’d always been aware of the name LionHeart and knew that they were the benevolent fund for Chartered Surveyors. But, somehow, I’d wrongly assumed that it was something for retired members of the RICS.
It wasn’t until LionHeart’s CEO Davina Goodchild attended an RICS Matrics event and told us more about all their services, and the different people they help, that I started to understand more about the amazing work they did. At this time, I was a board member for the RICS Matrics UK and Ireland board and was a few years into running my own business after facing redundancy.
The redundancy hadn’t been expected and had caused me some issues financially and personally, but I hadn’t realised how much LionHeart could actually have helped me at that time. I became interested in finding out more about the charity and, when they were looking for new trustees, felt compelled to apply.
It was a time that LionHeart was going through some significant changes at board level and also greatly expanding and diversifying the types of services they offered. They hoped to reflect those changes with a board that was vibrant and more diverse, and also to start to shift that perception of LionHeart being just for retired RICS members to what the charity really represents and how it really makes such a tangible difference to people’s lives.
I’d already had some board experience from my Matrics involvement, but certainly not to the extent that was being advertised for the LionHeart role. I was also very conscious that I was very different (as a younger woman) to the current trustees and I really wasn’t sure how I would fit in.
However, I was assured that my insight would be of benefit to the LionHeart board and, where there were gaps in my experience, I would be supported through mentoring and training - and I most certainly was.
The support and guidance I received early on in my charity trustee’s role has actually enabled me to develop in all areas of my professional and personal life. To be honest, the first 12-18 months I didn’t really feel I contributed a huge amount as I was still finding my feet and understanding the organisation, but reflecting back this is probably the same for most people joining a board, regardless of their age, background or experience.
That support meant that I now feel confident to add value, challenge, and most importantly advocate all the great work that LionHeart undertakes. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in projects such as the rebranding of the charity, benchmarking and the latest round of trustee recruitment; I continue to learn with each project and actually often feel that I get more back than I put in.
The experience and knowledge I’ve gained through LionHeart has also meant that I have gone on to other roles, such as on the RICS Governing Council and chair for panels at the Department for Education as well as other organisations. I have been fortunate to go from being the youngest ever female LionHeart board member to a stint as its Vice Chair.
Since I joined in 2014, I have been privileged to watch LionHeart grow, change people’s lives for the better, and have such a positive impact on the construction sector. I can’t praise the staff team and the board enough for the experience they have given me and the opportunities for me to give something back to the surveying community.
If you are just a tiny bit inquisitive about what it is to be a LionHeart Trustee, I urge you to find out more and apply. You won’t regret it.
Dayle Bayliss FRICS C. Build E FCABE MCIOB CMgr MCMI was the youngest ever female trustee of LionHeart when she joined the board in 2014, going on to serve as its vice chair and also taking up a position on RICS Governing Council.
- LionHeart is looking to recruit new trustees for its board, with a particular emphasis on increasing diversity. We’re particularly interested in hearing from BAME applicants, women and younger people (under 30).
Find out more here