As well as our home visiting volunteers we need another kind of volunteer in order to function – trustees
Trustees are local men and women who help guide the scheme and contribute to its leadership and direction so that staff can manage the day-to-day operations and home visiting volunteers can get on with the job of supporting families.
Our trustees come from all walks of life, bringing their experience, skills and knowledge of the communities of West Somerset to the oversight role. Some of the kinds of skills needed are business, personnel management, finance and fundraising, IT and Quality Assurance. But you don’t need special qualifications to be a trustee – common sense, flexibility, time, an ability to work as part of a team, a willingness to learn, understanding of the pressures facing parents today and a genuine interest in supporting parents in our community are just as important to us.
Each Home-Start scheme is an independent charity and company limited by guarantee and each has its own board of trustees (who are also the company directors) which is responsible for the governance of the charity.
The trustees carry out a wide range of duties and are responsible for ensuring the charity’s effectiveness, strategic planning and sound management of funds. The board works closely with staff and advisors to find the funding needed, develop our services in response to local need, monitor, report on and evaluate how well the charity is doing, and file returns to regulatory bodies.
Being a trustee can be hard work and you will need to be able to respond to demand, but it is also rewarding, giving many opportunities for personal development and the chance to give something back to your local community. Without volunteer trustees Home-Start West Somerset could not exist and families and children would not get the support they need.
What is the time commitment involved?
Home-Start trustees should expect to spend up to 8 hours per month on their duties. It’s an important role, carrying legal and financial responsibilities, which will require time and commitment. A trustee who takes on added commitment – perhaps as a treasurer or chair – will have to give more time to the role. But Home-Start trustees are supported all the way. You will go through an induction process, be invited to national and local training courses and events and have access to an intranet full of information and guidance from Home-Start UK on all aspects of running a local Home-Start.
What is the structure of the board?
We currently have 11 trustees who meet as a full board every two months. They are divided in three panels which also meet bi-monthly in between the full trustee board meetings. The panels have different responsibilities:
- Finance and Strategic Planning (FSP)
- Safeguarding and Quality Assurance (SQA)
- Community Networking and Fundraising (CNF)
- Vice-chair of Board and Chair of SQA panel: Judy Carslake
- Treasurer: John Allen
- Chair of FSP panel: John Allen
- Chair of CNF panel: Jo Watts
- Trustee: Ann Bernard
- Trustee: Ann Rivett
- Trustee: James Waller
- Trustee: Elaine Keen
- Trustee: Karen Bass
- Trustee: Catherine Rayner
- Trustee: Dave Westcott
As well as trustees we also have a group of advisors to the trustees. The advisors bring a particular area of knowledge or represent another organisation, and attend board and panel meetings, but as they are not trustees they do not have the voting rights or governance responsibilities of trustees.
- Hannah Allnutt (Safeguarding Advisor and NHS rep)
- Pat McGlyn (Health & Safety Advisor)
We also have a small but valued team of volunteer helpers who we can call upon to assist with specific events or projects but who are not required to attend meetings.
What do you get out of it?
Trustees volunteer because they want to play an active role in the community of West Somerset and improve the lives of parents and children. What they get back is the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped make a real difference.
In many cases, being a trustee can enhance an individual’s skills and knowledge, build confidence and provide many opportunities for personal development for future employment, provide a focus for an active retirement or a sense that their spare time has been put to good use.
How can you get involved?
Just phone the Home-Start office and an arrangement will be made to meet up with you to discuss the role of trustee.
If you decide to go ahead you will be invited to complete an application form including the names of two referees. Your application will be put to the board who will vote on it.
Trustee meetings schedule
All the below meetings will be at 4.15pm.
- 6th February 2020
- 2nd April 2020
- 4th June 2020
- 16th July 2020
- Trustees – get your downloads!