‘In whom we trust?’: the experiences of trustees in learning disability charities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

External departments

  • Durham University


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-309
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of volunteers who are trustees in learning disability charities. Addressing a gap in the study of charity governance, we consider (i) what it means to be a trustee; (ii) what trustees do and (iii) what it is like to be a trustee. We argue that the complexity of the trustee volunteer experience suggests a need for a dynamic understanding of trusteeship. Drawing upon Saward (2010, 2009, 2006), we discuss “what is going on in trusteeship?’’ and the experiences of trusteeship as a series of representative claims. This is particularly pertinent to charities that work with and/or for people with learning disabilities where questions of representation are highly complex and politicised. The article presents a novel perspective on trusteeship to further our understanding of how trustees negotiate and address the demands of the position.

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