Increase in companies embracing employee trustee programmes to develop leaders

4 September 2018 – Trustees Unlimited and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), have placed the 200th trustee through its Step on Board – board level volunteering programme. Hina Patel, a strategic project manager from investment firm BlackRock has joined the board of children’s charity Starlight.

This milestone placement doubles the number of trustees placed through Step on Board since 2017 and highlights the growing take up of board level volunteering programmes in many UK companies.

Step on Board connects professional people with charities and organisations with a social or environmental mission that need their professional skills. For employers, the programme offers a fresh alternative to leadership development, enabling senior talent to gain new skills and board level experience and contribute to society at the same time. 

Barclays, BlackRock, British Land, Credit Suisse, EY, Google, law firm Mishcon de Reya, PA Consulting are amongst the companies who have adopted Step on Board.

Discussing her motivations for becoming a trustee Hina Patel said, “I wanted to join a charity board to broaden my skills and experience and interact with people from different backgrounds. I work in strategic projects at BlackRock with a variety of different functional teams. I believe my experience will be useful to a charity, particularly as many want to become more business-like and accountable.  I am also keen to do something different and make a positive contribution to society.

“I have a passion to help children with illnesses and Starlight attracted me particularly as my family has been affected by cancer. The charity provides a range of amazing services for children with serious illnesses and terminally ill children, by granting wishes of a lifetime and providing fun and laughter and entertainment to children in hospitals and hospices.”

Hina was first introduced to Step on Board through a Women’s Network Initiative at BlackRock, which is focused on getting more women onto boards and who suggested it would be great way of gaining board level experience.  

Hina started her role in June and has met all the board members and already is making a positive contribution. The charity is undertaking a strategic review of its products and services and has plans to develop its management team. Hina has contributed to the review process and also introduced a great business coach she worked with at BlackRock, who will develop the management team.

Ian Joseph, Chief Executive at Trustees Unlimited and Managing Director of Russam GMS says, “We’re delighted to have made our 200th Step on Board placement at Starlight and Hina will make a hugely valuable contribution.  Step on Board started as a small pilot at Barclays in 2014, but today many blue-chip companies are introducing it to develop existing and future leaders and to engage with charities in a sustainable and meaningful way that goes much further than traditional CSR programmes. Charities and business can benefit in many ways from the programme and for this reason, it is going from strength to strength.”

Greg Davies, Head of Behavioural Finance at Oxford Risk was one of the first trustees placed through a board level volunteering programme at Barclays in 2014. Greg is still serving as a trustee at charity, Sound and Music, which is focused on promoting new music and composition.

Greg said, “The programme offered me the perfect combination of being able to do something useful, put something back into society and gain useful new skills and experience that helped me to progress and prepare for my career. I would recommend the experience to others without hesitation.”

The experience has also enhanced his career.

He added, “I have now moved away from Barclays and am running a small business. Having board level experience at Sound and Music has helped me prepare for this experience in many ways. I would really recommend the experience to others who run their own business or those looking for NED roles or a portfolio career. I would say gain early board experience and get on the ladder as quickly as possible.”

For more information about the programme, visit or email

Notes to editors:

For more information contact: Kathryn Hughes, Kayak PR on: 07801 823 839.

About NCVO

is the umbrella body for the voluntary sector which has a pre-eminent reputation in relation to governance and trusteeship with over 11,000 members.


NCVO”> in October 2009, Trustees Unlimited and its sister organisation Non Executives Unlimited are joint venture between NCVO,  Bates Wells  Braithwaite, and Russam GMS to provide a solution to the problem many not for profit organisations face – trying to recruit high quality trustees in a rigorous and yet cost effective way. Trustees Unlimited has quickly established itself as one of the premier providers of trustee and non-executive recruitment.

Whether it is a trustee for a charity, a director for a social enterprise or a volunteer to sit on an audit committee, Trustees Unlimited has unprecedented access to a large group of high calibre people who are actively looking for such roles and offers a unique model of delivery.

With a database and network that is both large and diverse Trustees Unlimited is making a real difference in terms of helping boards become balanced and effective.

Trustees Unlimited and its sister service, Non-Executives Unlimited, are committed to improving governance in the Civil Society Sector and through recruitment, training and mentoring have developed a unique offering that is helping many organisations strengthen their boards. 

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