Angela is Chair of Endometriosis UK. She has previously been a trustee of a number of small charities including Art Against Knives and the Fawcett Society. She is currently interim CEO of the Small Charities Coalition.
What does your organisation do?
1 in 10 women in the UK have endometriosis and it can devastate lives – causing pain, fatigue, depression, fertility problems and damaging relationships and careers.
Endometriosis UK provides support, information and a community for women with endometriosis and their families. Our support groups (face to face and online) and helpline are run by trained volunteers. We’re also there to campaign for greater awareness and a better deal for women with endometriosis.
When and why did you become a Chair?
I was elected as Chair in January 2015 after about 9 months on the board. I was looking for a new challenge and one that I could fit alongside my studies and a young family. I also very quickly started to feel passionate about the cause – once I started talking to people at bus stops about diagnosis times for endometriosis, I knew I could bring energy and passion to the role, as well as my skills and experience gained over nearly twenty years in the voluntary sector.
What do you most enjoy about chairing?
It is a great privilege to work with such a talented and dedicated board on an issue that we all care passionately about. I also got a real buzz from working with the Chief Executive and board to shape our new strategy.
Do you have a key tip or lesson to share with your fellow Chairs?
Take the time to get to know your board and what motivates them. Put trust and respect at the heart of your relationship with your CEO (but not cosiness). Get a great Vice Chair, preferably someone very different from you in style and experience. And engage with social media (if you possibly can). Of course, there are careful lines to tread so talk to your CEO and organisation about how to make it work. But twitter helps me to connect with our members, understand what it is like to live with endometriosis (vital as I don’t have endometriosis myself), show my support for the organisation and to do some horizon-scanning to inform strategy. Endometriosis affects women of childbearing age and hence many are digital natives – we need to understand that world too.
If you’re a tweeting Chair get in touch with me @angelacstyle
Why did you join AoC?
Chairing is a tough job and I wanted to be the best Chair I could be. For me, that meant finding other Chairs and talking honestly and openly with them about the role. AoC has helped me to do that.
Find out more about why join AoC.