Spotlight on Circle’s Trustees


Circle are very proud of… the quality, and range, of individuals we have on our Board of Trustees. Our current board contains individuals with knowledge of Education, Finance, Communications, Healthcare and Social Work.

They play a key role in supporting Circle’s work, using their vast range of skills and experience to provide oversight on key decisions, monitoring our financial situation and providing input into Circle’s strategy for the future.

In order to celebrate the range of talented individuals that currently sit on Circle’s Board we thought we would conduct a series of interviews so that you can get to know them, and us, a little better. See below for the fourth of these interviews, this time with Nickola Jones.

Hi Nickola, how long have you been a trustee with Circle?

About 6 years. 

And what made you want to become a trustee?

I have a master’s degree in Global Health and Public Policy and work in planning for the NHS, so I have an interest in what helps people to stay healthy. So, when I heard about Circle, I thought their work genuinely helped people to manage difficult situations in their lives (which usually results in being healthier), and I wanted to be a part of that.  

I was also part of a women’s leadership network at the time of joining and they encouraged us to join the board of a charity to expand our leadership experience and gain knowledge outside of our sector.  

Did you know much about Circle before you became involved as a trustee?

No, but interestingly I have heard a few people mention them at work since joining the board. 

And now that you know more about what we do what aspect of Circle’s work do you most value or respect?

I am always so impressed by every staff member at Circle, they are so committed to what they do and really take care of the families they work with. I think what really impresses me is the flexibility of staff, they go above and beyond to support the families they work with and are a friend to them at a time of need. 

Though I am sure your main aim is to share your knowledge and experience with Circle I wonder what, if anything, being a trustee adds to your own personal and professional development?

When I joined the Circle board, I was relatively early on in my career, so it has helped to build my confidence in meetings and my critical thinking skills.  

Is there anything specific that you have been able to add to Circle’s work? 

The thing I am most proud of is the Strategy we have recently developed. Strategic Planning is my job, so it felt great to support the organisation to build their strategy with the involvement of a wide range of staff. I 

have also taken part in Circle’s Annual DARED Challenge, once when I was pregnant. Its a fantastic event, great for physical and mental health, raising vital funds for Circle’s every day work with children and families. Find out more: DARED Challenge – Circle Scotland

Beyond Circle, what do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing charities in general?

Money and people. Money to sustain services and getting diversity in funding streams so the organisation is sustainable. And ensuring we have enough money to retain staff. I also think the post-pandemic world is and will be a challenge for everyone working in client facing services, everyone has been affected, including Circle’s staff, and there is a risk of burn out. 

For anyone considering becoming a trustee what would you say are the important attributes they should have?

I think there are lots of attributes that could benefit the board and I think diversity in opinion and perspective is a good thing. I personally think it is important to have compassion for other people and to be able to put yourself in the shoes of front-line workers. 

And finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about becoming a trustee what would it be?

If you are thinking about becoming a trustee but maybe feel a bit unsure about what you would bring to the table, get in touch with someone at Circle and they will connect you with a current trustee for a chat. 

Thanks Nickola for committing the time to support Circle’s work and for giving us such a great insight into what’s required AND what the benefits are.

Circle are always looking for… talented individuals with experience of the Third Sector, Fundraising or Social Work that would be interested in joining our team and making an impact for vulnerable families across Central Scotland. If you would be interested then please get in touch –

Want to see who else is on our board – Board of Directors – Circle Scotland

See the first interview with one of Circle’s Trustees, Cameron Wylie, here – Introducing… Circle’s Board of Trustees – Circle Scotland

And the second interview with Jane Scott here – Trustee Week – Jane Scott Interview – Circle Scotland

And a third interview, this time with Helen McCann here – Trustee Introduction – Helen McCann – Circle Scotland