Boardroom Apprentice is back for the third year running! This is a chance for people from all walks of life to get involved with their community by sitting on a board. Boardroom Apprentice offers people the chance at 12 months hands on experience sitting on a board for a VCSE sector organisation, as well as training and support throughout the apprenticeship.
The National Lottery Community Fund is proud to be one of this year’s host boards. Last year we hosted Boardroom Apprentice Emma Corry, a brilliant, energetic woman who brought a fresh perspective to our board. We chatted with Emma about her experience.
“I applied for the Boardroom Apprentice as I was interested in becoming a board member but felt I didn’t have enough experience,” said Emma. “The programme gave me a great opportunity to gain practical experience and a much better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of board members.
“From the beginning I was clear that I’d made the right decision to apply. I felt lucky to be one of those selected in 2018 and to be an apprentice with The National Lottery Community Fund.”
Emma was supported throughout her time as a Boardroom Apprentice by both the other members of The National Lottery Community Fund and the programme itself.
She said, “All the members of my host board have been very welcoming and supportive of the Boardroom Apprentice programme. One of the committee members was my ‘Boardroom Buddy’ which has been a great support, particularly to help prepare for meetings. And the training has been great, particularly in helping to develop my skills in analysing financial accounts.
Boardroom Apprentice is open for people of all ages (16+), all backgrounds, and all abilities. “I’ve been surprised by the range of opportunities there are on public sector boards,” said Emma. “They’re encouraging and supporting a diverse range of people to apply for board positions. The programme has been a challenge but it has all been worth it and I’ve found every session and meeting valuable.
“I really recommend that anyone interested in becoming a board member should apply for Boardroom Apprentice. It’s an amazing opportunity to gain a real insight into what it really means to be on a board and gives you the experience and confidence to apply for board positions.”
Sandra McNamee, NI Committee member for The National Lottery Community Fund said: “We’re delighted to be involved in Boardroom Apprentice again and welcome the progress the programme is making in relation to increasing and celebrating diversity at a governance level across Northern Ireland.
“Emma has already become a valued member of our committee. It’s always wonderful to have a fresh perspective and someone with a curious mind and genuine interest, to help us deliver our strategic vision of putting people in the lead to help communities thrive.”
Emma has attended business meetings, decision making meetings and is also involved in planning events, including attendance at UK Committee planning days. Sandra added: “Emma has contributed significantly our decision making. By going to staff meetings and visiting projects, Emma’s learnt more about the how funding raised by National Lottery players is helping to create stronger, more active, vibrant communities.”
“Emma’s commitment to the role shows itself in the time she invests getting ready for meetings. She always comes well prepared, and contributes confidently and articulately. She’s always willing to share her opinions. Emma is using the time to learn as much as she possibly can, and we as a Committee are learning so much from Emma. She has become a very valued member of the team. We look forward to the next few months and building upon the great work we have already achieved together.”