STT Trustee Tony Jackson tells us about his role

Tony Jackson is one of our nominated trustees. Being elected to the Town Council in 2015 provided the opportunity to put himself forward to serve as a trustee with Stratford Town Trust. His interest in the Trust first came about during the £1m Community Challenge in 2013. He has lived in the area for over 35 years, working at NFU Mutual. Tony met his wife there and they have two adult children. He is Club Secretary of Stratford Athlectics Club and a competitive runner and qualified official.

Here, to celebrate this year’s Trustees’ Week, Tony tells why he became a trustee and what he gains from the experience:

Being elected as a Town Councillor initiated a move away from full time employment and created the opportunity for greater involvement within the community. An additional benefit was the greater awareness of the numerous excellent charities and community groups that serve the Town so well.

The Town Council can nominate three representatives as trustees of the Town Trust and this was an opportunity I readily put myself forward for. Although my prior knowledge of the Trust was primarily limited to being a grateful member of the Athletic Club who had benefitted from a donation, the potential value of the Trust to the community was evident.

The responsibilities of a trustee are not to be taken lightly but I am a great believer that common sense, a true understanding of right and wrong and the ability to listen provide a very solid base from which to start. With excellent guidance from the staff and fellow more experienced trustees my awareness has developed alongside my increased understanding of the Trust’s responsibilities.

I continue to enjoy my role as a trustee which is very rewarding and I’m proud to look back and see the benefits delivered and the gradual evolution of aims and objectives. The opening of Foundation House remains a highlight but the move from being reactive to proactive is at the forefront of that evolution and being a participatory grant maker that involves the community in the decision making process can only strengthen the value we deliver.

A new five year strategy will be launched later this year which will outline our key objectives for the future but my simple mantra for the Trust will continue  – manage the assets and use the income to benefit the community.