This is a piece that one of OCAY’s Trustees; Chelesea Martin wrote for the OCAY April Newsletter. Chelsea speaks about her role as a Trustee and why she wanted to join OCAY:

I joined OCAY as a trustee in September 2018 and the time has flown by!  Since then, I have moved job, broken my wrist and had a metal implant fitted, had a lot of physio, got married, and adapted to working from home during the pandemic!  When I first got involved with OCAY, I was working as a private client solicitor in York city centre, just down the road from OCAY’s offices, but now I am working in Leeds, which is where I live.  I wanted to join OCAY as I thought there was a real overlap with my work as a private client solicitor, a lot of my clients are older people and I am passionate about issues that affect them, and the need for people to participate fully in decisions that affect them and have their voices heard and respected.  

Ever since I left school, I have been involved with volunteering through one way or another, I have run CV advice clinics in secondary schools and mentored students who were interested in a career in law.  During my degree, I also volunteered with my university’s Student Human Rights Programme.  This is my first experience of being involved with a charity that supports older people, but my role as a trustee of OCAY compliments my day to day work and I think it has bought me closer to the issues that some of my clients might be facing.  It has also helped me to understand the operational and governance issues that charitable organisations face, the charity sector is so important to our modern society as a whole, and I believe that local charities like OCAY are essential to the communities in which they are based.  Over the course of this year, I have been really impressed by how Ruth, Dan and Kayleigh and all of our wonderful volunteers have adapted to the challenges raised by the pandemic and how OCAY has continued to deliver advocacy services and support to our clients.”