Sir Peter Bazalgette, non-executive Chair of ITV, entertains guests at our 192nd Annual Luncheon

Sir Peter Bazalgette, non-executive Chair of ITV, entertains guests at our 192nd Annual Luncheon

Guests at our 192nd Annual Luncheon at Stationers’ Hall, London, on 14 November, enjoyed an enlightening speech by Sir Peter Bazalgette, non-executive Chair of ITV.

As well as reflecting on the event being held at a time of remembrance, including those who gave their lives in the 18th century for press freedom, and the tradition of free speech on which the printed word was founded, Lord Black of Brentwood, Deputy Chairman of the Telegraph Media Group and President Emeritus of The Printing Charity, introduced our guest speaker, Sir Peter Bazalgette, as someone who, in so many ways, personifies the UK’s creative industries.

In his speech, Sir Peter noted that two of our past Presidents, Disraeli and Gladstone, both towering figures of the nineteenth century, had links to his great-great-grandfather, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, by lending him money to build London’s sewage system and effectively ending London’s cholera epidemic. He said that people should have the confidence to invest in great projects such as Crossrail and a super digital highway as a legacy for future generations, emulating the Victorians’ flair for public works that are still used today.

Jon Wright, our Chairman, reported on the significant progress the charity made in the last year. We helped nearly 1,750 people, up by one third year-on-year. Welfare support was given to 820 people, which included nearly 200 people supported through redundancy in 13 companies, while 830 people received support through our education and partnership activities.

He also spoke about the emotional support the charity provides on the phone to beneficiaries being highly valued and this year we have started to work with industry partners to offer practical and emotional support to their employees. This is an exciting development for us and one we will be talking more about in 2020.

BPIF Carols for Printers – It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas is coming, so it’s time to warm up those vocal chords for the annual Carols for Printers. Carols for Printers, which is the annual Christmas event of the BPIF in conjunction with The Printing Charity, The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, the St Bride Foundation and Unite, will take place from 6pm on Tuesday 10 December at St Brides Church, Fleet Street, London.

We will hear a series of readings from the Nativity from industry representatives, and the St Bride’s choir, along with the congregation, will sing both traditional and modern versions of Christmas carols.

The service will be followed by festive drinks and nibbles next door in the Bridewell Hall at the St Bride Foundation, home of our London office, from 7pm until 9pm.

This is a great opportunity for networking with others in the industry whilst celebrating the start of the festive season over a glass of mulled wine or two. Why not bring along your loved ones?

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters – Halstan & Co Ltd, The Printing Charity, The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, the St Bride Foundation and Unite.

We look forward to seeing you there.

For more information or to register your free attendance, please contact Georgina Cox at georgina.cox@bpif.org.uk

Trustees’ Week

4 -8 November 2019

Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

What are trustees?

Trustees are the people in charge of a charity. They help to make the UK the sixth most giving country in the world.

They play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work.

How many trustees are there?

There are approximately 196,000 charities in the UK (167,000 charities in England and Wales, 24,000 in Scotland, 5,000 registered in Northern Ireland).

And just over 1 million trustees (of which some 850,000 are in England and Wales, 180,000 in Scotland and 30,000 in Northern Ireland)

The average trustee in England and Wales is 59 years old, and 55 in Northern Ireland.

There are many young trustees too with some 86,000 trustee positions held by 16-34 year olds (of which 2,611 in Northern Ireland).

Trustees’ Week – Pauline Blake

A qualified accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a Chartered Internal Auditor with The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, Pauline began her career at HLB Kidsons (now part of RSM UK) before joining Pearson plc’s Internal Audit Team in London in 2005. In 2013 she was appointed Pearson’s Audit Director EMEA and in 2016 joined Financial Times Ltd as Internal Audit Director.

  1. When did you become a trustee?

I became a trustee and the Honorary Treasurer in June 2017.

  1. Why did you become a trustee?

With my love of the printed word, I have been connected to the printing industry in some way since graduation. My roles have included being an Audit Senior on the external audit of Bloomsbury Publishing plc; the EMEA Internal Audit Director at Pearson plc (previously home to well-known brands such as Penguin); and currently the Internal Audit Director at the Financial Times. The charity’s dual focus on providing financial and practical assistance to people working in the sector and encouraging the future talent necessary to secure the sector’s future are objectives that I fully support and demonstrates the charity’s definition of help extends beyond the provision of one-off grants.

  1. What is the best thing about being a trustee?

Quite simply, I believe the secret of living is growing and giving.

Being a trustee allows me to develop my transferable hard and soft skills, whilst allowing me to use my existing skills, knowledge, and business contacts to support another organisation whose mission I care about.

It is my way of giving back to society and I think those who can, should.

4. What does your role as a trustee involve?

I am a trustee of the charity and its Honorary Treasurer.

The main duties of a charity trustee involves areas such as ensuring the charity complies with its governing document and is pursuing its objectives, ensuring the charity’s resources are being applied appropriately in the pursuit of its objectives, actively contributing to the Board of Trustees, supporting the organisation’s financial viability, ensuring the charity’s governance is of the highest standard, and making use of any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Board make good decisions.

The Honorary Treasurer’s main purpose is to oversee the financial affairs of the charity, ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures are in place, monitor and report on the financial health of the organisation, oversee the production of necessary financial reports and returns (including assisting with the year-end external audit), and to work effectively with the Executive Team on financial matters.

  1. What would you say are the important attributes a trustee should have?

I believe it is important for a trustee to be genuinely passionate about the charity’s work and its plans for the future. You should not sign up to support a charity if you do not care about or support the charity’s aims and objectives.

A trustee also needs to have the ability to give time and energy to their charity. I am very fortunate in that the Financial Times gives all its employees up to two days of paid leave from work in any one calendar year to participate in charitable or community initiatives. However, in my dual role at the charity I am still required to use days from my annual leave allowance to attend necessary meetings. Before signing up to be a trustee, do not underestimate the time commitment involved – a current trustee will be able to give you a good idea as to what it means in reality. Not being present at key meetings is not fair to your charity. However, with meetings typically taking place during normal office hours, a trustee may need to have a supportive employer to enable them to fulfil their duties. As a trustee, you are there for a purpose and your ability to effectively support and challenge your charity are important aspects of the role.

A willingness to share your knowledge and connections is another important attribute. It can be a challenge for many charities to get appropriate quality guidance and advice. A very good example is GDPR compliance, where many large corporates/organisations were able to pay for legal expertise but it was a challenge for many smaller charities. As a trustee, you may have industry contacts, professional connections, and supplier contacts that can help your charity and you are in a prime position to help connect those parties together. I regard it as a time when you can call on those favours you may have in the business world, for a very good cause!

Above all, a trustee must have integrity and an ethical mindset. As an accountant and internal auditor, integrity is one of the attributes you must possess and demonstrate when conducting your work. A trustee with integrity is likely to demonstrate the following characteristics: honesty; fairness; reliability; accountability; practises and encourages open communications; complies with laws and regulations; respects and contributes to the legitimate and ethical objectives of the organisation; and their actions are consistent with their words.

  1. What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing charities?

Looking beyond the challenging economic climate and the expectations that demands for the charitable services are likely to increase in the future, I think one of the biggest challenges that charities have faced in recent times has been the adverse public perception of what they do, how they manage their resources, and how they interact with beneficiaries and vulnerable parties, which has eroded public trust. Many good charities are reliant on donations and they may be unduly penalised by this lack of trust by the general public.

The Printing Charity has challenged this trend. Its surveys of the people it supports with financial assistance have received excellent results and a strong emphasis on safeguarding is central to its governance.

  1. How has The Printing Charity changed since you’ve been a trustee?

In the two years I have been a trustee I have seen the charity take so many positive steps in increasing its value to those in need. Under the leadership of our CEO, Neil Lovell, who is supported by our Chairman, Jon Wright, and the other trustees, we have seen the Print Futures Awards go from strength to strength in terms of the number of applications and winners. We continue to update the charity’s systems, processes, and resources. Both trustees and staff hold a great amount of optimism in the charity’s future influence and its ability to work more efficiently in the future. Although nearly 200 years old, The Printing Charity is very much a 21st century charity.

  1. What impact does the role of a trustee have on the charity?

The key impact of a trustee’s role is the sharing of knowledge and expertise. It enables The Printing Charity to draw on different skill sets from the commercial sector to help it achieve its charitable aims of promoting independence, protecting dignity, and furthering education.

  1. If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about becoming a trustee what would it be?

Once you have taken into consideration factors such as what you can contribute including availability of time, the one piece of advice I would give is just go for it.

Being a trustee may be the most rewarding ‘work’ experience in your career to date. Doing something for the good of others should not be about giving yourself an egoistical slap on the back, many charities are small and the good you can do may not be measurable in terms of great public recognition, but if a cause is genuinely important to you, you do not need to be celebrated. I believe our work legacies and contribution to the world can extend beyond what we get paid to do!

  1. How important is the relationship between the chairman and chief executive of a charity?

It is a critical relationship that drives a charity forward. Our Chairman and Chief Executive come from different commercial backgrounds but they are both imbued with a love of print and the role print in its many forms plays in our everyday lives.

Trustees’ Week – Jon Wright

Jon is a qualified accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He joined the Financial Times in 1974 and worked his way up to Acting Finance Director. From 2003 until his retirement in June this year, he was the Finance Director of Pearson Global Real Estate.

  1. When did you become a trustee?

I joined the charity in 2004 as a trustee and Honorary Treasurer, became Chairman of the Investment Committee in 2007, and was appointed Chairman of Council in 2013.

  1. Why did you become a trustee?

I had never considered being a trustee until the charity’s then Chairman, with whom I worked at the time, mentioned the charity was looking for a treasurer. Told it would only take up about an hour a week of my time, I decided to take it on but quickly realised the role would require a lot more of my time than I had initially expected.

When I stepped up to the Chairmanship, I was uncertain whether the charity still had a place. However, through the work it has done over the past five years to extend its reach, coupled with the fact the printing industry is still absorbing the impact of the digital revolution, it is clear that there is still a very real need for what the charity does.

  1. What is the best thing about being a trustee?

In a nutshell, the best thing about being a trustee is knowing that you are making a difference to so many people’s lives. That is a brilliant feeling because the charity is here to make life better for people facing difficult times.

Being able to share my expertise in finance, management, and property with the charity is another positive aspect of my role. The charity is beginning to upgrade its two sheltered home schemes for people, who have retired from the sector, and I am able to contribute by giving a steer on structuring the programme of work.

Another great thing about being a trustee is that you have the opportunity to learn new skills. As a member of the charity’s Investment Committee, which receives independent investment advice, I have gained a far greater knowledge of the investment world.

  1. What does your role as a trustee involve?

As Chairman, my role is to be available to help and guide my fellow trustees, our Chief Executive, and the Management Team when appropriate. In essence, I am a sounding board for ideas. It is also about identifying problems that may arise and how to resolve them if they do. That may involve advising on the steps to take or proposing additional resources that may need to be put in place.

  1. What would you say are the important attributes a trustee should have?

It is a given that trustees come with a particular area of expertise and a willingness to share that expertise to benefit the charity. It is a voluntary role so trustees have to be willing and able to give their time to the charity and their role, which includes preparing for and attending Council meetings.

  1. What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing charities?

I think the biggest challenge for charities is not falling into the trap of providing essential services that are the Government’s responsibility. With funding cuts to services, it can be difficult for charities to strike the right balance. In my view, they should be careful not to be seen as a soft option to fall back on as providers of essential services.

  1. How has The Printing Charity changed since you’ve been a trustee?

The granting of our Supplemental Charter in 2014 has fundamentally changed the way we can help people. Recognising the importance of education and the digital age in our sector, it has allowed us to spread our net wider.

  1. What impact does the role of a trustee have on the charity?

The positive impact of the trustee role is the sharing of professional expertise and opening doors for the charity. The role is a strategic one, separate from the charity’s day-to-day operations carried out by its staff.

  1. If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about becoming a trustee what would it be?

Being a trustee is a well-kept secret. Admittedly, people can be put off by the fiduciary duty but that should not be seen as a barrier. The rules are not a straitjacket; they are there to guide and protect trustees and decisions are made with the help of expert advisors. My advice would be ‘just do it, you’ll enjoy it’. Being a trustee is a great experience working with like-minded people to make a difference and give something back to society.

  1. How important do you think the relationship between a charity’s chairman and chief executive?

There is no doubt the relationship between a charity’s chairman and chief executive is absolutely critical. It is the oil that keeps the charity’s wheels turning. A chief executive deals with a charity’s day-to-day running, while a chairman’s role is a strategic one. Both need to understand and respect each other’s role.  A good working relationship between the two allows a charity to flourish.

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