Dominic Myers has joined the Shared Lives South West Board of Trustees. Here we find out more about him, his background and why he decided to become a trustee with SLSW…
Why did you decide to become a trustee with SLSW?
I returned to the UK last year after living in the Middle East for nearly 30 years, primarily to assist my ageing parents. I wanted to learn more about the community in the South West that I had joined and start to search for a charity to join as a Trustee.
The amazing work of the carers who open their homes was really inspiring and so when I saw the opportunity to apply to join SLSW as a Trustee I conducted more research and submitted my application to join the trustees.
What skills/experience will you bring to the board?
I was previously CEO of a large family-owned company operating in Oman, UAE and Kuwait and in parallel was Chair of the Board of Governors at the British School Muscat. In these roles I acquired a wide appreciation of the requirements for effective governance that along with the commercial skills can assist with problem solving, strategic thinking and contribute to engaging conversations that can help move forward the successful work already well embedded at SLSW.
As Chair I helped move the school from a dysfunctional state of governance to over time becoming an international acclaimed multi award-winning outstanding school. Working internationally has given me a deep appreciation of the benefits of embracing and supporting diversity.
There is much for me to first learn about the work of SLSW, but I hope to able to contribute by bringing ideas and techniques that will help contribute to the growth and enhance the reputation of SLSW within Shared Lives+ and the local councils that provide the critical funding requirements.
What makes a good trustee?
A part of the answer is to say what trustees should not do. Trustees are not managers, they should not involve themselves in operational matters, which is easier to achieve if the charity has effective open leadership, provides clear and concise information, remains consistent to the delivery of the agreed operating plan and avoids the need for sudden changes of direction.
Trustees should be contributing and confirming the strategic plan, agreeing the measures and frequency of review, ensuring sufficient risk reviews are in place and that the financial situation of the charity is sufficiently stable to ensure the minimum risk of crisis moment occurs. They should have a clear understanding of the communication protocols, be sufficiently aware of core policies and ensure full regulatory compliance.
Trustees set the budgets in agreement with the leadership team, monitor performance and conduct detailed understanding of the Annual Accounts and Report. Trustees led by Chair act as a critical friend to challenge, assist and support the CEO.
Tell us some facts about your background if you don’t mind…
I attended Liverpool University and was President of the Guild of Students. A great time to be in Liverpool with the mighty reds winning three consecutive titles!
I worked for Procter & Gamble in Lancashire, Scotland and Harrogate in the late 80’s , before working for two years setting up the Sales and Business Dev function at Alton Towers.
I moved to Dubai in 1993, was General Manager in Kuwait for 2.5 yrs and then moved to Oman. The permanent blue sky was fabulous but the summer heat and humidity with living in a permanent AC environment became less enticing.
For my services to British Education in Oman I was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2022 New Year Honours.
Outside of your Trustee role what do you enjoy doing?
After moving to Devon last year, we have been managing a project upgrading the house which has kept us pretty busy but is nearly complete – for now at least! It has been a pleasure discovering the beaches and walks to keep our two energetic dogs fully exercised.
I’m learning more about the gardening requirements and as a big sports fan always happy to engage in discussions, a quiz and watching the big events.
I enjoy a workout in the gym and am currently seeking out other opportunities to work in and contribute to the community in and around Devon. We recently returned from a truly amazing holiday in Japan and during our time based in Oman really enjoyed travelling in Asia and Africa. My wife is a Filipino national with my three adult children currently working in Dubai, London and Sheffield.
Why do you think Shared Lives as a model works so well?
To me the Carers are the real hero’s, opening their homes to vulnerable adults, enabling those they care for to live so much richer lives than they would otherwise experience.
The stories that you share on social media and elsewhere are so inspiring and humbling. In my research of SLSW I was impressed by the quality of its leadership, the clarity of strategy and the provision of very clear indicators that allow the leadership to focus on the key priorities.
The foundations are solid, the Outstanding rating by the Care Quality Commission demonstrates this and there is a clear sense of purpose and values that binds the team allowing them to deliver such a fantastic service in a safe and caring way.