OPAL Services is currently on the hunt for a new Chair of Trustees to replace Jane Colville, who has decided to step down from the role and provide an opportunity for somebody else to continue leading the charity forward.
As part of Cheshire West Voluntary Action’s (CWVA) Year of Volunteering campaign, in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, November is Business Volunteering and Trustee Month, celebrating the important role trustees play.
After training as a Social Worker and working for the Council for more than 30 years, Jane took early retirement and started volunteering as a driver for Kelsall Day Club, which her mother had attended.
Jane explained: “My mother loved going to the club and it gave us a bit of a break too so I was keen to give back. The best thing about volunteering is you make an obvious and positive difference to someone’s day.”
Jane joined the Board of Trustees in 2009, continuing her role as a volunteer driver, and she was then appointed Chair of OPAL six years ago.
She said: “The role of Chair includes chairing meetings and coordinating activities, but it’s also about prioritising and being accessible.
“You need to make sure the skills and experience of other trustees and staff are being used to the full. You have to be able to take a strategic overview and, at times, be a representative or ambassador for OPAL.”
During her time in the role of Chair, OPAL has introduced extra services, including those for carers in rural communities, and community sessions like What’s Cooking, Breaktime and GoOnLine.
OPAL was also given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service earlier this year, recognising the real difference the charity and all its volunteers and staff make.
She added: “It was a fantastic achievement for our volunteers and testament to the empathy, respect and good communication we all endeavour to provide to those who use our services.”
Despite Jane’s decision to move on as Chair, she will remain on the Board of Trustees and involved with the charity.
Jane said: “It’s too rewarding to move completely away from. I get as much out as I put in.”
If you’re interested in volunteering, becoming a Trustee or applying for the Chair post, please contact Janet Handley, Volunteer Coordinator at OPAL: firstname.lastname@example.org.