Become A Trustee/Director

 

BECOME A SASBAH TRUSTEE

It’s easy and rewarding to become a Trustee. Here are a few frequently asked questions.

1. Who is a trustee and what is a trustee board?

  • A trustee is a member of a group of people – the SASBAH Board of Trustees – who have ultimate responsibility for the charity.
  • Trustees take overall legal responsibility for the charity's work
  • Trustees must act in the best interests of the charity
  • Trustees will delegate most day to day tasks to staff and volunteers
  • Trustees are themselves volunteers. However expenses properly incurred in carrying out Trustee duties are reimbursed.
  • Trustees are not permanent when they join, although SASBAH has some trustees who have an unlimited term of office, but most need to stand for re-election every few years.

2. What are my responsibilities as a trustee?

The following are the main responsibilities of our Trustees:

  • To take the big decisions about the future direction of the Charity
  • To ensure everything is legal and safe
  • To support SASBAH’s Chief Executive Officer
  • To ensure the work of SASBAH is carried out effectively and efficiently according to the objects (aims) of the charity
  • To ensure that Trustees are up to date and skilled to do their job

3. How much time will it take?

SASBAH Trustees meet every two months, for about two hours. In addition, Trustees are members of one or more sub-Committees (eg Social, Finance, Personnel, etc), which meet once every two or three months.

It is expected that each Trustee will also wish to be involved in a few activities so that s/he gets to fully understand the work of the charity.

4. What skills and other attributes do I need?

Trustees must be over 18 years old, and not convicted of dishonesty or bankrupt. SASBAH looks to recruit people with a wide range of interests, abilities and experience. A significant proportion of Trustees are themselves service users who have spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. This is important so that the Trustee Board fully understands the needs of those with the conditions, especially what support services are necessary and appropriate.

In addition, Trustees should have one or more of the following:

  • One or more of the ‘hard’ skills (legal, financial, management, etc experience) to help understand and contribute to some of the more complex decisions needed.
  • Experience in some of the ‘soft’ skills (team-working, problem solving, ability to ask the right questions, and general personal skills which encourage good relationships).
  • Different experiences in life, which are important to ensure the Trustee Board is responsive to the widest interests of the community, and to diversity issues.
  • Strong support for the values which SASBAH holds – including
    • Being sensitive and responsive
    • Promoting choice and excellence
    • Championing diversity and respect
    • Working openly and transparently
    • Team-work and Partnership

6. What are the benefits of being a trustee?

  • You are at the centre of the action, helping to decide things which matter
  • You help support your community – ensure the services SASBAH provides meet the needs of the people they are serving
  • You can put your skills and experience to good use, to benefit your community or to provide better services for people who need them
  • You can learn new skills and gain new confidence in a whole range of areas – from finance to management to team-working and decision-making – which may be different from your previous experience.

7. Will I get training?

Yes. All Trustees receive a full induction to the charity, its services, its people, and the way the organisation works. This will be suited to the new Trustee’s experience and knowledge.

8. And finally … How do I get involved?

SASBAH is open at all times to enquiries for those wishing to become a Trustee, or who would like further information. Please contact the Chief Executive Officer in the first instance at the SASBAH office on 01825 873045, or email rom@sasbah.org.uk.

There are also opportunities for people to join the Board of Directors of Saspire Ltd, the social enterprise which is a wholly owned subsidiary of SASBAH. If you have particular experience, either in business or through involvement with social enterprises, we would love to hear from you. Please contact the SASBAH CEO in the first instance for more information.

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