We wanted to say a big thank you to one of our outstanding trustees: George Eastman. George, trustee since September 2017 & current treasurer, sat down with our volunteer social media and content writer, Kaj Jensen, to answer a few questions about being involved on the board for MindOut.
Q: Have you volunteered or worked with other not-for-profit organisations in the past?
I had run half marathons in support of other causes like PETA, and been involved in Samoan Islands hurricane relief fundraising. I also rolled out a diversity and inclusion programme at my last job. However, MindOut is the first organisation that I’ve served on the board of trustees with. I found out about MindOut during a fundraising campaign and appreciated that they were not a big trendy organisation, but one that was directly involved in the community. There’s often a misconception that bucket-shaking and handing out badges is the only way to get involved. That kind of volunteering is certainly important, but not what I personally was interested in.
Q: Is it important to have a mental health organisation run by and for LGBTQ+ people?
When things are done by and for members of a local community, there is a lived experience of issues that they are trying to address. There is more of an affinity between service providers and users that way. Any organisation who’s providing service to a niche group needs that component. For example, my peer mentor at work is also a gay man, and it helps that we both aren’t going to be chatting about football or camping with the wife and kids. Being able to connect on shared experiences makes things easier and more effective.
Q: If you had an unlimited budget, is there a project or programme you would like MindOut to be able to do?
We’ve got some great programmes providing bespoke counselling, advocacy and support, suicide prevention groups and the like. What we could really do with is a large chunk of funding that would allow us to have a 5 or 10 year plan. I also think services like couples counselling and more proactive services would be really helpful. It would be nice to have some more space too, if it’s unlimited funding.
If you would like to get involved, MindOut is currently looking for trustees to join our board. For more information, click here.