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An Interview with an RSPCA Trustee

Jan 13, 2016

Ian has been a trustee with RSPCA Derby for 3 years now, and recently became the chair of the group. This means he is in charge of organising the group, and spends a lot of time liaising with the centre to help design and implement any changes that the branch needs. Ian works with 8 other trustees, who all give up their time voluntarily to make sure the centre continues to develop and improve in a sensible and sustainable manner.

When did you become a trustee?

"I became a trustee in January 2013, when the Branch was returned to local trusteeship. In the years immediately before that the Branch had been in a lot of trouble financially. But Deb, our Branch Manager, and others worked hard to rescue the situation, and eventually Deb persuaded a number of us to become trustees so that control of the Branch could be taken back from the RSPCA National Society."


Ian organised our first Carsington 7 Race way back in 2012!

What are your duties in the role?

"The Board of Trustees has 2 main roles:

The first one is governance. In a nutshell, that means that the trustees must make sure that the Branch is using the money that people donate properly, in accordance with our charitable aims (in our case Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome animals in need). The trustees must also make sure that the Branch acts responsibly and that it remains in a viable financial position for the future.

Secondly, the trustees set the strategic direction for the Branch – looking at what the Branch should aim to achieve in the years ahead and how we might get there."

Why did you decide to join Derby RSPCA?

"I love animals and wildlife and wanted to do something to help. My partner Lesley and I have a wonderful rescue dog who we adore, so helping the RSPCA seemed the perfect way to give something back. When we first got involved with the Branch as volunteers, we began by helping look after collection boxes. That involved picking up the full boxes from shops and other businesses in and around Derby and replacing them with empty ones. I don’t quite know how I ended up as a trustee!"


As a trustee, Ian is responsible for making sure the branch develops in the right direction, including premises changes such as the new rabbit accommodation built in 2015. 

What would you say to people considering volunteering at the RSPCA?

"I can’t describe how important volunteers are to us – last year we rehomed 793 mistreated or unwanted animals, and we just couldn't do it without them. There are many ways that people can help – animal care, dog walking, fundraising, working in our shops, taking animals to the vets (or driving in general), helping at events, supporting our customer care team etc. So I would say, if you want to give animals a better life and you have a few hours to spare, come and join us as a volunteer. You will be making a real difference."

Tell us about something you've achieved as a trustee that you're particularly proud of

"As a trustee, I am pleased that we have been able to invest in improving the Animal Centre over the last couple of years. We have managed to complete improvements like cat intake, the exercise yard and the new rabbit accommodation and we have more changes planned.

On a personal level, I am pleased to have organised the first Carsington 7 race in 2012, a 12.5 kilometre run around Carsington Water that is now one of our regular annual fundraising events. The event is going from strength to strength each year, and I am proud to have completed the 2015 race as a competitor – no mean feat at my age. The 2016 race is on Sunday 15th May – why not give it a go?"

Thank you Ian!

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a trustee, email Ian at for more information.

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