COT is a charity providing care for adults with a learning disability, based in Woodchurch, just outside Ashford in Kent. It provides a mixture of residential care (including some for those with physical disabilities as well), supported living and life skills training opportunities. In addition, it runs a visitor attraction which has over 100,000 visitors a year and provides not only additional income, but a safe place for service users to work and for the visitors to be introduced to people with a learning disability. The turnover is around £6m pa.
The Board at COT have identified the need, over the next two years, to recruit trustees with additional skills and experience to strengthen the board generally and to replace the skills sets of current members due to retire. The particular skill sets we need are: finance, a person who can take over as the lead finance trustee, chair the finance committee and provide strong financial and commercial advice to the other trustees; Company Secretary, to oversee the regulatory requirements of the Charity (including the AGM) and to advise the board specifically on governance issues; tourism experience, to recognise that we have never really considered our tourist attraction in its own right and would like to give it a greater emphasis; and of course, care of adults with learning disabilities, ideally through someone who has been a local authority commissioner or similar, but other relevant experience would be welcome. In each case, wider engagement is strongly encouraged and an empathy with the aims of the Charity is essential.
Time commitment will be to six board meetings per year and a strategic awayday and between four and six committee meetings. Most meetings are on Fridays. Trustees will also undertake visits to different services that we provide to increase their knowledge and understanding of the Trust and also to ensure that staff, service users and their families understand who we are. Invitations to various other events will be received, attendance reflecting the time trustees have available. A commitment of around 15 days per year would be normal.
About Canterbury Oast Trust
Canterbury Oast Trust (COT) is a charity supporting people with learning disabilities in Kent and East Sussex.
We offer a high quality person centred approach through accommodation, support and training options. We run a number of enterprises that support our work including the Rare Breeds Centre near Ashford.