Meet our trustees: Susan Ali Shah
We wanted to get to know one of our Trustees a bit better so we called Susan Ali Shah and asked her some questions. Susan has been a Trustee for Ategi since September 2021, find out more about her below...
How would you describe what a trustee is and their relationship to a charity?
I would say that the trustee takes responsibility with other trustees for steering that charity and enabling it to meet its goals and where it might veer off course to bring it back on course.
What made you want to be a trustee for Ategi?
So, I've always worked in the public sector or charitable sector and I'm at the stage in my career where I'm able to work part-time So what I wanted to do was to give back in another way. Originally, when I found the vacancy at Ategi, strangely, I seemed to think it was in Birmingham where I lived. I started looking into it and by the time I met people and actually realised it wasn't in Birmingham, I was already hooked.
What hooked you about Ategi?
I think partly because it's a small charity, but straight away I could see the efforts that were being put in to help the recipients of the services. Although it's an area that I wasn't particularly familiar with, it was something that I engaged with quite quickly. This is because I wanted to be a trustee in an organisation that was very close to the end user, so able to help people without having lots of red tape.
What expertise do you bring to Ategi?
I'm a qualified accountant and I've worked in all sorts of finance roles, up to finance director, in different organisations - that's what I bring to the table.
What do you think it is that makes a trustee role special?
Trustees really want to steer the organisation to ensure it meets its charitable aims. So, in relation to finances, which is what I'm more involved in, I want to know where the controls are, what money is being spent, if we're near the budget or not, What things are changing? What costs are going up? What costs are going down? etc. Good quality information helps Ategi to make better decisions.
What do you enjoy about being a trustee?
The bit that I enjoy the most is learning about the service side, because actually that was quite new to me and the more I see in terms of what people do and how people are helped, especially when you see the bits in the newsletters about people we support and the people that are supporting them and that's just fantastic. It makes you feel like you're part of it and part of the Ategi family and that we’re really trying to help people get the best out of their lives.
What do you get up to in your spare time?
Normally in the UK, when I have any spare time, I'm probably cooking or gardening. I do like to travel a bit, so I spend time going over to Istanbul, often if I’m not at home in Birmingham, I’m in Istanbul.
It makes you feel like you're part of it and part of the Ategi family and that we’re really trying to help people get the best out of their lives.
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