ERIC’s Chair of Trustees, Lorna Montgomery, shares what it's like being a trustee of a small charity.

I’ve been involved with ERIC since 2003. It was no great surprise to me when my son wet the bed as I had until I was 15. Even though I had experience with bedwetting, I still needed to ring the ERIC helpline one day when I'd had enough of the smell, the washing and changing of bedclothes. I got crucial tips from the helpline team which made me feel able to deal with the situation. I was also told something my doctor hadn’t mentioned – that I could self-refer to the enuresis clinic at the hospital.

Lorna Montgomery, ERIC Trustee

ERIC trustee Lorna Montgomery

I was asked to consider being a trustee in 2009. I knew I wanted to be involved in a cause close to me, but it was only then that I thought seriously about what it meant to have such responsibility.

I believe the key to taking on this responsibility is having trust in the staff. One of the things that has always impressed me at ERIC is the commitment and dedication of the staff, and their professional approach as well as the positive atmosphere they create in the office. I know they all care about the children and families ERIC supports and enjoy their work.

Being a small organisation means that as a trustee you are at the heart of the work and in regular contact with the team. This means it’s easy for you to know what’s going on and to not feel detached. It also helps you get to know the staff on a personal level, which helps foster trust.

One of the problems faced by small charities is how to maintain contact with the people we’ve helped. Once families have received support, they often just want to leave ERIC and put wee and poo well behind them because of the embarrassing nature of it all. But times have changed since I first became involved and I’ve noticed a shift in attitudes.

ERIC now talks about ‘wee and poo’ rather than ‘enuresis’ and ‘incontinence’, which helps to make the issues better understood and to break down the social stigma associated with bowel and bladder conditions. I hope this means more people will stay in touch with ERIC and help the charity by raising awareness and funds.

I feel proud to be a trustee of this special organisation as it gives me the chance to help make a difference to many children and families. As a small charity, I think they punch well above their weight.

Please get in touch if you're considering becoming a trustee of a small charity, we would love to hear from you!