Read about Christine Hornshaw's Trustee role with Platform Provision in her own words -
They say hindsight’s a wonderful thing. I look back over the period when my journey to becoming a Trustee started. The idea that we could do something more for these special young people; support them to live a fuller life, not isolated but included, and become part of an inclusive community when full time education ends.
From my experience, the reason for becoming a Trustee is a cause that pulls at the heartstrings, something very close to your own heart that has a huge impact on you and your family. Wanting to see change, to ensure there are more opportunities and choices, in my case for young people with profound and multiple disabilities.
That was in 2016, and 6 years later, hours of hard work and sleepless nights, Platform is now everything I hoped it would be. I’d never been a Trustee and never written a funding application before.
I did have some business experience and good family and friends that supported me. It was a steep learning curve for all concerned.
In our first year we had the support of the HEY Smile Foundation, which was a huge help in sourcing funding, building partnerships and receiving guidance on becoming a Trustee. A huge thank you to Smile for that. A number of small businesses financially supported us and still do, and their continued generosity is much appreciated. Our aim was to become self-sufficient and in the main we have achieved this.
Initially, we had a 5-year business plan and a few Trustees who put hours of work in. They had the skill set that supported Platform, but most importantly the financial knowledge which underpinned the development of our business plan and most things we wanted to achieve.
There have been many lessons learnt and we didn’t always get it right, but we learnt from the experience and formed invaluable partnerships.
We are now able to support the employment of twenty-two local people, and our first apprentice is now a senior support worker.
We now have a further 5-year business plan, supportive trustees who voluntarily give their time, and a manager who puts her heart and soul into the role and is part of the decision-making process.
The quote ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’ most certainly would have made the journey easier and somewhat less stressful. However, in my role as a Trustee, the most important and heart-warming achievement is the young people living their life to the full, with smiles on their faces, making new friendships and enjoying their life. Would I have changed it? No. What a wonderful learning experience.
If you, or anyone out there wants to join Platform Provision and become part of our journey we would love to hear from you.
To find out more about Platform Provision, please click here: Platform Provision - Our Story
Christine was the winner of the Trustee Award at the Time2Volunteer Awards 2022.