Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre

Fund: Business Support in Scotland
Amount:  n/a
When: 2019
Region: Scotland
How the money was used:
  • Advice on governance and board development
  • Policy and procedure support

Toonspeak provides free high-quality drama and theatre activities for young people living in Glasgow. They work with professional artists to support young people to create their own performances and manage their own projects. 

Social Impact

All the work of Toonspeak is youth-led, and their Board of Directors includes provision to have 50% of places for young people.

How we helped

The SIB referral focused on the development of the board and some support for the new Chief Executive (CE) in her management of change in the organisation and in her relationship with the board. Prior to the recruitment of the new CE, the board had to manage some challenging organisational issues and get involved in the day to day running of the business and were coming out of the end of the process. The young people had found this aspect of being a director very hard and, as a result, 3 of the young directors had stopped attending board meetings: it was clear that specific support for new and existing young directors would be crucial going forward.

Work included a series of meetings with the CE, with the CE, Chair and other board members, and running a facilitated workshop with the full board. We also provided a range of policy and procedure support, supported the design of a board skills survey, and reviewed the Articles of Association.

What was the outcome?

The support and the Board workshop both focused on issues of good governance; developing a process for director recruitment, including a process for recruiting young directors led by an existing young director; early support for new young directors and time-bound terms for board membership. Guidance was also provided on the content of board meetings, including issue-based discussions, risk management; board communications and future board training.

The work progressed well, with board members engaging fully throughout the support process. As a result of the support, the Toonspeak board have developed a clearer understanding of their role, a series of actions to aid recruitment and support of all (but in particular young) directors and agreed approaches for the more effective operation of the board in future.

“Our advisor’s support has been so important for us and for me personally, I really appreciated being able to discuss ideas for Board Development and share the workload on the project.  Our advisor has excellent knowledge and is generous in sharing that which included finding external resources to support our work. I would thoroughly recommend organisations to take up the offer of SIB support”. Hazel Wotherspoon, Chief Executive, Toonspeak

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash


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