Board members view

Get on Board...

Interested in joining the ECF Board but not sure what it might be like?

Claire Hider joined the Board in August 2013 and here she gives a personal account of the experience so far. Claire has worked as a communications specialist in the public and private sectors for almost 30 years, and responded when we advertised for Board members with a communications background. She now works as a qualified nutritional therapist and freelance writer and editor.

"Rewarding, fascinating and great fun... that's been my experience in the three years I've been a Board member with ECF. It probably helps that I'm interested in healthy food but actually of course we spend more time talking about the running of the charity than the actual food. Finance and funding are always top of the agenda – as are plans to expand the business, win new customers and deliver more training.

ECF is a small but enterprising and extremely creative charity, doing great things in local communities to encourage greater awareness, running courses about the difference healthy eating can make – and helping to empower people to make better choices. They deliver fresh fruit and veg to corporate customers, supporting them to help their employees make healthier choices. ECF staff support food co-ops across the city and offer training for individuals and community groups on food hygiene and nutritional issues. It's all about affordable healthy choices, and helping people to eat better on a budget.

The Board meets once a month at 6pm and our meetings usually last about an hour and a half. Since I joined I've also been involved in four 'sub-groups'. These are effectively short-term working groups, made up of Board members and ECF staff, each group focused on a particular task. In my first year, I helped organise ECF's awayday and I was also part of a group looking at communications (which is my own background). I was also involved in publishing ECF's first Strategic Plan in the autumn of 2015.

I usually tweet from our AGMs, helping ECF pick up some new followers – we're @EdinComFood if you're interested in giving us a follow. (We're on Facebook, too – 'like' Edinburgh Community Food.) Board members are very supportive of each other and we really do all work as a team. I'd never been a Board member before and wasn't quite sure what to expect but our very capable Chair and Deputy Chair keep us right and make sure we are clear about our responsibilities. You can choose how much you want to do between Board meetings but it really helps to get involved in sub-groups when they come up – to broaden your understanding of the organisation and get to know some of the ECF team a bit better as well.

If you're looking for a slightly different way to deploy some of your work or other skills – particularly in the areas of finance, monitoring and reporting – I couldn't recommend the experience highly enough. All it takes is a couple of hours a month and you could be helping us steer ECF through exciting times ahead.

Oh, and we get to eat fruit, too!"

Now we have your interest find out more about the roles here.