#TrusteesWeek (1-5 November) is an annual event to recognise the great work trustees do. This year, we get to know a few of CIWM’s trustees a little better as we ask them why they became a trustee for CIWM.
You can discover more about CIWM’s Trustees, as well as the Presidential team, here.
Why did you decide to become a Trustee for CIWM?
AR: It was part of my increasing desire to give something back to the sector and CIWM, and to be able to make a bigger difference than to just take part in working groups, etc, and participating on a local centre council. I wanted to be part of CIWM’s board of trustees as we set out to reshape the institution, ensuring it’s fit for purpose in a world facing decarbonisation and the need for circular economies – which is the journey we are on right now with our newly-published strategy.
DS: I felt that it was time to give something back to CIWM. I also felt that it was an important period of time to help guide the organisation through a period of change. Adam [Read], our current President, made a comment of being ‘a bridge’ and this struck a chord with me. I think my role should be to support and enable the organisation to grow, evolve and develop, but also to build on the existing knowledge and experience we have without hampering that desire to evolve. I pushed in my early career for CIWM to focus on issues I wanted to hear about and things I wanted to happen. A number of more senior CIWM members and Councilors challenged me, listened and then supported a need to change and move forward without losing the core and essence of what CIWM is. I think I need to be that bridge and support now.
MG: I’ve been a member for some time and CIWM is very relevant to my area of work, so I wanted to get more involved in CIWM’s work and to support what it does. CIWM cuts across all the sectors working on sustainable resource use and is important because of its common, personal agenda-free voice.
What has been your favourite project to be involved in?
AR: Other than my Presidential report which is very timely and gaining great traction, I would have to say it has been working on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group which the Trustees formed several months ago to help inform the institution’s plans as an organisation, but to also ensure we are well positioned to lead the revolution across our sector which, to date, has been poorly represented on many fronts. The momentum, both within the group and beyond CIWM, is ramping up and now seems like a critical time for us to make our institution and the sector more engaging and representative as we adapt to changing demands and needs, in terms of resource management and the circular economy. New potential members will expect a very different offering from the institution, so we must be actively planning and delivering against this.
DS: I am not long into the job so hard to say as yet, but already I am excited by the recently-published Strategy, the huge ambition and comforted by a great team of Trustees and CIWM staff who have been working so hard to enhance the organisation and support members, now and into the future.
MG: I have particularly enjoyed being part of CIWM’s new Strategy development. It has been good to see CIWM re-inventing itself and re-thinking its relevance as the world looks for more sustainable leadership and direction.
What is a unique skill you bring to the CIWM Trustee board?
AR: I guess I stood on my sectoral breadth and experience, but I also have strong communications skills and have a deep interest and background in training, education and learning agendas, so perhaps I had the right mix of skills when compared with the other trustees who were applying at the time. I certainly think my skills and experience have been fully utilised over the last few years with the integration of WAMITAB, the new Learning & Development Strategy and the ongoing work around the Scientific & Technical Committee and associated working groups.
DS: I am not sure I have a unique skill. I do tend to speak to a lot of people and I am keen to absorb what makes them “tick” – what are their skills and what is it they want from life? Hopefully, this means I can bring back opinions, knowledge and experience to the Trustee role and ensure that the course we help steer CIWM through is a welcomed course, a stable course and one which is fit for purpose.
MG: I hope I bring experience of working in a charitable organisation, experience of leading a sustainability organisation and insight to CIWM’s mission.
What is one important skill that you think everyone should have?
AR: The ability to listen and be open to new ideas and approaches – that is why this Board of Trustees works so well because we are all different, with differing areas of expertise and experience and differing interests – but we are all open to learning from one another and identifying the best direction of travel for the institution and its members.
DS: The ability to listen and to empathise.
MG: Right now, I think resilience is a critical skill. Our world is getting more and more difficult to work in, with ever increasing pressure and lack of access to the support networks we are used in our workplaces. Building our own resilience and looking at how we can support others seems crucial at the moment.
CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 5,700 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at www.ciwm.co.uk