Becoming a Trustee

Opportunities to become a trustee This is an exciting time to join us as we are changing from 1 April 2014. The two organisations that are known as ‘Crossroads Care Havering’ and ‘Crossroads Care Redbridge, Epping and Harlow’ are merging and taking the opportunity to change their name to Carers Trust Epping Forest, Harlow, Havering and Redbridge. The new Board has many challenging plans to support being the biggest Carers Trust scheme in London and are recruiting for a number of trustee roles to support the good work we do in the local community. People become trustees of Carers Trust schemes for many different reasons. For some it is an opportunity to use their skills or experience in a new way, for others it is the opportunity to be involved in something different from work or home. Some people find it is good development – many trustees find working as part of a team helping the local community hugely energising and satisfying. As a trustee you could help improve people’s lives, transform attitudes and make a significant contribution to the effectiveness of our work. We have a committed and dynamic Board from a variety of professional backgrounds but we need more for the challenges ahead.

Governance is not about doing but about ensuring that things are done. At Carers Trust this means setting strategy and policy, taking decisions and monitoring work, not doing it yourself. The “doing” of work at Carers Trust is delegated to the paid staff team and may be supported by volunteers. Underpinning this is the requirement to ensure the charity is compliant with its legal and financial responsibilities. The duties of a trustee are to:-

  • Ensure the organisation pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document and applies its resources exclusively in pursuit of these objectives.
  • Ensure the organisation complies with its governing document, organisation law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • Contribute actively to the Board of trustees’ role in giving firm direction to the organisation.
  • Safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
  • Ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation
  • Ensure the financial stability of the organisation, including financial controls, the management of assets, insurance against reasonable liabilities
  • Appoint and support the most senior member of staff and monitor their performance
  • Declare any conflict of interest while carrying out the duties of a trustee
  • Be collectively responsible for the actions of the organisation and other trustees

The typical commitment we ask for from each trustee

  • Attend an induction day when you join the board
  • Attend scheduled board meetings (typically every 4-5 weeks lasting about two hours)
  • Participate as a member of and contribute to one or more sub-committees (specialising for example in finance, human resources, marketing, etc)
  •  Attend the organisation’s Annual General Meeting
  • Use your particular skills, experience or expertise to support and direct the organisation’s work
  • Attend appropriate training sessions and an annual planning/away day
  • Represent the organisation at local events or occasions where appropriate

All of the above can look a little daunting but people from all walks of life have much to bring to a trustee board – common sense being a key – and the strength of a board is in its diversity. You do not need to have any particular background or qualifications to be considered for a trustee role. If you are committed to the aims of Carers Trust and willing to devote time and effort to our organisation then we would like to hear from you further.

Treasurer to oversee financial matters and controls, plus others with skills in:

  • Social care
  • IT
  • Law
  • Marketing, direct and PR
  • Fundraising

People become trustees for a range of different reasons. For some it is simply an interest outside the home, for others it is a development opportunity or a change to “give something back” to society. Your reasons for being interested in this opportunity will be unique, as you are – but here are some potential benefits that may be of interest to you:-

  • You can contribute to providing and improving services to carers
  • A chance to meet new people in a different environment
  • You can apply your existing skills and abilities in a different environment
  • There will be opportunities to learn new things, develop your skills and undertaking training in subjects relevant to the trustee role
  • Or, if you already have a broad range of skills, this could be an opportunity to learn about a different sector/different type of organisation
  • You can share your unique knowledge, expertise and perspective with your colleague trustees and with staff
  • Simple satisfaction arising from the knowledge that the role you are performing is important to carers and to people with care needs

We encourage you to research about our reputation and services we deliver from a range of contacts within our area of business. If you are interested in joining us, please telephone and ask for an application pack to be sent to you so that we can arrange for you to meet some of our Trustees and our CEO.