Step Together Volunteering Ltd (Step Together) is looking for a Chair to lead the board of Trustees. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a national charity which is leading the field in the use of volunteering to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the UK.
The role of the Chair is to provide leadership and direction to the board of Trustees. The Chair’s aim is to enable the Step Together Board to fulfill its responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation.
The Chair will ensure that Step Together complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations and to make sure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
The Chair’s role is also to work in partnership with the Director, supporting and challenging him in helping to achieve the aims of the organisation; and to optimise the relationship between the board of Trustees and the staff.
In addition to the general responsibilities of a Trustee, the Chair has a number of tasks specific to their role.
1. Main Responsibilities of the Chair
· providing leadership for the board of Trustees in its role of setting the strategy and policy of the organisation
· planning the annual cycle of board meetings and setting the agendas
· chairing and facilitating the board meetings
· giving direction to board policy making
· monitoring that decisions taken at board meetings are implemented
· representing the organisation at appropriate events, meetings or functions
· acting as a spokesperson for the organisation where appropriate
· keeping in regular contact with the Director, liaising him to keep an overview of the organisation’s affairs and to provide challenge and support as appropriate
· reviewing and appraising the performance of the Director
· acting as final stage adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required
2. Qualities of a Chair
· commitment to Step Together’s aims and objectives
· leadership ability
· integrity, strategic vision and good, independent judgement
· a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to as Chair and Trustee
· ability to take decisions for the good of the organisation
· good communication skills, tact and diplomacy
· willingness to speak one’s mind and listen to the views of others
· an ability to work effectively as a member of a team
· understanding of the legal responsibilities and liabilities of a Trustee
· prior experience of committee/Trustee work
· knowledge of the sectors in which Step Together works, and a wider involvement with the voluntary sector
3. General Responsibilities of a Trustee
In addition to the responsibilities already outlined, the Chair as a Trustee has the following general responsibilities:
· act as an ambassador for Step Together whenever the opportunity arises;
· take all opportunities to enthuse potential funders of Step Together, leaving the detailed follow-up work to the Step Together Director and fundraising staff;
· support the development of Step Together’s strategic direction, goals and business plans;
· ensure the financial stability of the organisation and the proper investment of the organisation’s funds
· regularly review the organisational risk register;
· ensure the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuing its objectives
· safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
· declare any conflict of interest while carrying out the duties of a Trustee
· attend meetings and read papers in advance of meetings
· attend sub-committee meetings as appropriate
· participate in other tasks as they arise from time to time, such as interviewing new staff, helping with fundraising
· keep informed about the activities of the organisation and wider issues which affect its work
In addition to the duties of all Trustees, each Trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board of Trustees reach sound decisions. This will involve scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, and providing advice and guidance requested by the board on new initiatives or other issues relevant to the area of the organisation’s work in which the Trustee has special expertise.
4. Time Consideration
· The Board meets at least four times a year. Although Step Together’s head office is in Bristol, most Trustee meetings take place in central London.
· The Chair is also a member of the Board Nominations Committee which meets as necessary, usually alongside a full Board meeting
· It is important that the Chair is able to visit the Step Together office in Bristol and be available to the Director on a regular basis.
· In addition to Board Meetings, other contact – usually email or phone – will be necessary.
· The time commitment for the Chair is expected to be two days per month, on average
Our expectations of Trustees
We will select and assess potential Trustees based on skills and attributes, and willingness and ability to:
· Attend meetings, training sessions and other events as required and to devote sufficient time to board work;
· Consider and understand documents, tables and statistics;
· Challenge and ask questions;
· Bring insight and perspective through relevant experience, including in the specific skill areas sought;
· Listen to and respect the contribution of others, be flexible and support collective decisions;
· Show a deep commitment and determination to improve the lives of disadvantaged people;
· Uphold the vision, values and objectives of Step Together;
· Maintain confidentiality, and act professionally, with integrity and in the best interests of Step Together;
· Adhere to the principles and practice of equality and diversity;
· Commit to spend at least one day per year with Step Together staff; and
· Have an interest in volunteering and Step Together’s work and
· Be motivated to make a difference.
Step Together is constituted as a company limited by guarantee. Step Together has Trustee liability insurance which limits any liability of Trustees to the sum of £1 only.
About Step Together Volunteering Ltd
Step Together helps those people most in need of support to transform their lives through community volunteering.Working through a team of outreach workers we provide tailored one-to-one support to help individuals into volunteering placements that match their needs and interests, and help them develop the personal and practical skills required to build a more positive future.
Who we support
We work across England and Scotland, with a focus on helping those most in need of support. This includes:
· Young people: leaving care; recovering from drug and alcohol misuse; young carers; at risk of homelessness and/or offending; or have experienced domestic violence and abuse.
· Adults who face significant challenges as a result of: critical injury and mental trauma; leaving the criminal justice system; drug and alcohol misuse; long-term unemployed; mental ill-health; homelessness; isolation and disengagement with society.
Clients are referred from a wide range of partner agencies, including local councils, prisons and probation services, local community groups and support groups, and larger charities such as the St Giles Trust, Help for Heroes, and Action for Children.
What we do
We provide intensive one-to-one coaching to help individuals develop the self-belief, personal skills and attitudes to take control and move forwards with their lives.
We motivate and inspire individuals to volunteer in their communities, helping them to feel valued as contributing members of society and to build new social networks.
We find tailored volunteering placements to match the individual’s needs, interests and ambitions.
How it works
The intermediate changes which our clients report back to us can be summarized as follows:
· Personal Skills Improved self awareness, emotional intelligence and resilience, and ability to communicate effectively with other.
· Life Skills Improved ability to take ownership of decisions and practical steps to access services to enhance lives
· Attitudes More positive attitude, more confidence and greater sense of responsibility as a member of community
· Employability Improved ability to move into paid employment
Why it works
· Key success factors of our innovative model of support include: Personalised, client-led support
· Helping to address barriers
· Recognising value and potential
· Providing positive and purposeful activity