Trustees Week: Hope For Life Katanga

Laura Richards – Audit Manager, Godfrey Wilson

I have volunteered with Hope For Life Katanga (HfL) for over 7 years, first as a finance volunteer and then joining the Board as Treasurer in 2016. HfL works to improve the lives of families living in the Katanga community in Kampala, Uganda. The charity supports the whole family to become self-sufficient, providing education, vocational training, emergency support and healthcare.

My role as Treasurer involves overseeing the finances and record-keeping – making sure donations raised in the UK go to where they are needed. I have been involved in lots of projects, including migrating the finance system to cloud-based software. This has improved access to information for fellow trustees and the staff team in Uganda.

Over the last year I have had the pleasure of training one of our Ugandan staff to use this system. This gives the local team much more control and oversight of their available funds and a better understanding of what reporting we need to do here in the UK.

It has been hugely rewarding to upskill our staff to do more. It is incredible how sharing your knowledge can empower others – even just an hour of your time can make such a difference! Being a trustee has also been really useful for my role as Audit Manager. I have a much better understanding of the strategic and operational context of running a charity, and this definitely enhanced the service I provide to my clients.

I would, and do, recommend others to take on a volunteering or trustee role, your skills are so valuable!

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