Meet the Kairos trustees

Kairos Community Trust co-founder Fr John Kitchen with trustee Gerald Barry
Kairos Community Trust co-founder Fr John Kitchen with trustee Gerald Barry

The Annual General Meeting takes place next Tuesday (25 Nov, 6.30pm) and we look forward to welcoming our trustees to Linden Grove once again and to hearing their reports. However, have you ever wondered what they do the rest of the year? Here, two trustees explain their work and reflect on what it means to them.

Sarah Potter: The Kairos Trustees Committee has grown and changed organically from the early days when charitable status was granted, something that necessitated the formation of an independent body responsible for overseeing the running and management of the organisation.

There are currently eight trustees. Generally, each trustee will have experience they can bring to their role to help make up a rounded committee; decisions are taken on a quorum of at least four members. Meetings are held bi-monthly, with the occasional exceptional meeting to discuss critical matters, and at every other meeting house managers are invited to report on their particular programmes. Meetings are usually chaired by Hanora Morrin, the current chairman, and director Mossie Lyons delivers a detailed report with minutes taken by Dorothy Woodward-Pynn.

Discussions can vary from adherence to government policy, such as the implementation of a staff handbook, to specific internal decisions such as disciplinary measures. Policies are discussed in advance, information circulated and voted on at subsequent meetings. Budgets are drawn up and discussed, house purchases proposed and discussed and the committee makes informed decisions based on current financial projections.

Each trustee brings their individual skills and we are fortunate to have members from, among others, the legal, medical, judicial and construction sectors. The committee has always worked well together (assisted by Mossie and Dorothy) – not always entirely unanimously! – and, therefore, engages in a healthy and productive process.

Gerald Barry: Sometime in the early 1990s, I met Father John Kitchen and he asked me to join the trustees of what was then Kilburn Night Shelter. That fledgling charity has grown from strength to strength and is now, of course, called Kairos Community Trust. Its evolution has been phenomenal and Kairos is close to celebrating a 25-year anniversary – a wonderful achievement.

I often reflect on all the talent that makes Kairos and makes it such a force for good, and how it is really a massive think tank. As such, Kairos can only survive through its people and (apologies for management-speak) “stake holders”. This involves everyone from volunteers, residents, counsellors, care managers, support staff, cashiers, accountants, the director and the trustees. In short, Kairos is only as good and as successful as its constituent parts. We all have a part to play.