Taylor Root UK Trustee Network: An interview with Fran Forsyth, Indigo Volunteers

Author Sarah Ingwersen
February 7, 2023

As part of the Taylor Root UK Trustee Network, a pro-bono initiative we created to help our networks and communities, we are always looking to speak to legal professionals who want to develop themselves personally and professionally.

Here, Sarah Ingwersen, Partner and Global Head of In-house Legal, sat down with Fran Forsyth, Global General Counsel at Arcadis to learn more about her role at Indigo Volunteers.

What does your trustee organisation do?

Indigo Volunteers directly and efficiently connects volunteers with humanitarian organisations. Indigo helps hundreds of humanitarians put their boots on the ground each year. This means that dozens of projects have the vital support necessary to keep their programmes running and increase their activities. 

Why were you interested in becoming a Trustee?

Having been involved in fundraising for refugee charities, I realised that I could provide additional, much needed support by volunteering my time in support of a small charity where specialist skills are needed. Indigo Volunteers focuses on organisations supporting refugees and migrants which is a cause I was keen to support. Having spotted an advert for Trustees for Indigo, I realised that my legal skills could be applied to support them. 

Briefly describe your role as a Trustee and what involvement you have in your organisation?

I am one of five Trustees and act as Secretary to the Board. We meet quarterly for Board meetings and more regularly where required. Each Trustee is also involved in other aspects of the Charity’s organisation whether it’s fundraising, finance or supporting the CEO with strategy planning. As a lawyer, I get involved in employment matters; insurance arrangements, policy documents and governance. It has been a learning curve since I had no prior experience of how charities are run but there is so much information available through the Charity Commission and elsewhere and we work closely with an excellent and committed management team.

What are the benefits to a General Counsel being a Trustee?

Feeling a part of an organisation that is really making a difference to peoples’ lives at a grass roots level is very inspiring. Lawyers have many skills that they may take for granted that are of a great help to a small charity in providing additional support in areas which may be outside business as usual for the charity’s team. I would encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a Trustee to give it a go!

What is the Taylor Root UK Trustee Network? 

The Taylor Root UK Trustee Network is a pro-bono initiative we created to help our networks and communities. We are in a privileged position of speaking to legal professionals who want to develop themselves personally and professionally, so we knew the appetite to become a Trustee was high.  

The UK has a thriving third sector/non-profit division, so the need for legal professionals to join organisations in a Trustee capacity was even higher. Born out of this was the Taylor Root UK Trustee Network. We connect likeminded legal professionals who want to become Trustees with organisations looking to hire people-focused individuals to their business. 

How can candidates and clients get involved? 

If you are interested in a Trustee role or are looking to hire a Trustee position, please get in touch with Sarah to find out more.  

We want to reiterate that this is not a paid service and will be a referral programme, so please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

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