Thinking of becoming a Trustee?
Find out more by reading through these Frequently Asked Questions …
Find out more by reading through these Frequently Asked Questions …
What does a trustee do?
In simple terms, trustees oversee the charity; they form the board and make decisions about the development, progress and impact of the charity. They are responsible for the success (or failure) of the charity.
What responsibilities would I have?
Trustees are responsible for ensuring the sound financial management of funds and the governance of the charitable structures. More information on the role of a trustee can be found at GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Charity trustee: what’s involved (CC3a) – or through https://www.gettingonboard.org. As an individual, you may also take on responsibility for a certain area of work – such as accounts or liaison with the business sector but this would be agreed with the board as needed.
Are there any restrictions on being a trustee?
There are some restrictions on who can and cannot be a trustee and these are outlined below:
– You must be over 16
– You must be appointed in line with the charity governing document
– You must not be disqualified (unless you have a waiver from the Charity Commission to do so); disqualification may be due to bankruptcy, unspent convictions or inclusion on the sex offenders register
More information on eligibility can be found at The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do (www.gov.uk).
Do I need to have been a trustee before?
No, experience of being a trustee is not a pre-requisite of joining the board and as a mentoring charity we are passionate about supporting individuals who are taking a first step into a new project. If you are new to being a trustee, a plan for training and support will be discussed with you so you can make the most of the experience and we are able to benefit from your fresh perspective.
What support would I receive as a new trustee?
As a charity that focusses on mentoring, you can expect to be supported by a trustee mentor for at least the first year of your time with the board. Ongoing support and training opportunities will be made available as needed and in discussion with your mentor.
Do I need to have certain skills or experiences to become a trustee?
We would ask that all trustees have a passion for supporting others and making a difference to the charity sector – these are vital elements of the ethos of Charity Mentors. While no specific skills or experiences are essential, we aim to have a board with a wide range of experience and as such are currently seeking individuals who have a background in finance, law and engagement with the business sector.
Would I be a trustee for life or is there a time limit on how long I am involved?
Trustees have a set period of tenure with the charity of 3 years. This can be extended at the end of the period for a further 3 years, but this extension is only permitted once.
How much time do I need to give?
Trustees are asked to attend meetings (held 4-6 times a year) and to ensure they have time between meetings to prepare and/or contribute to discussions. Each meeting lasts approximately 2 hours but this can vary depending on the agenda, it is not anticipated that meetings would last more the 3 hours. As with any charity, there are ongoing projects and areas of development, trustees are encouraged to get involved in these but can do so at their own level of capacity.
When and where are meetings held?
Meetings are generally held during the working day at a central Oxford location but this is subject to discussion and agreement with the whole board. The majority of meetings during the pandemic have been held on Zoom and the board are open to holding meetings at alternative times and locations as needed.
Are there other events I would be expected to attend?
Charity Mentors host a bi-annual event for mentors, mentees and the board which you would be encouraged to attend if possible. Other events or activities are infrequent and attendance is not mandatory.
Can I claim expenses for travel to and from meetings or events?
Yes, trustees are eligible for travel expenses and can claim these.
Do I get paid for being a trustee?
No, the trustee role is voluntary and there is no financial compensation for taking on the role.
What could being a trustee mean for my career?
Becoming a trustee can be beneficial to career development due to the experience gained by becoming a member of a board, contributing to the governance and development processes and taking on a more strategic position. It is particularly useful for those individuals seeking to take a step into senior management but without the opportunity to gain board experience in their current field. Being a trustee also widens awareness of other sectors and ways of working, this is especially true of Charity Mentors due to the breadth of organisations we support.
How flexible are the requirements of being a trustee – can I do this alongside other commitments like jobs, family etc.?
Being a trustee is very flexible and can usually fit around all other commitments. As a trustee you are making a commitment to Charity Mentors and there is an expectation that you will be prepared for and attend the general meetings (approx. 4-6 a year), but additional tasks can be undertaken as and when you are able.
If you would like to apply to be a trustee, please send your CV and a covering letter answering the following questions to email@example.com.
Why would you like to join the Charity Mentors Oxfordshire board?
What skills and experience do you bring to the board (please note experience as a trustee is not essential)?
I have 30 years’ experience as a senior leader in the NHS. My last role before retirement was Deputy Chief Knowledge Officer for Public Health England where I provided professional leadership and strategic oversight for a wide range of products and programmes, such as the local authority health profiles and the obesity intelligence network. Prior to this, I was managing director of NHS Solutions for Public Health, which I built into a £6mn NHS business unit with 80 staff, providing evidence-based resources for the NHS and local authorities.
I have a Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring from Oxford Brookes University. I was previously a board member of Cycling England, and am currently trustee of Charity Mentors Oxfordshire, chair of The Bikeability Trust, a national charity dedicated to delivering cycle training for children, and chair of Cyclox, Oxford’s local cycle campaign group.
I have been a Trustee for the charity, HENRY (Health Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young) for the last 10 years and have worked closely with the Board and the CEO and made a strong contribution to the successful development of this charity which now receives regular positive press for its initiatives in reducing obesity in young children. I have been a member of the finance committee, where my role was to question and probe and not feel in any way wary of asking “the stupid question”. I am also a member of the Academic Advisory committee, guiding the charity when they have had research to be published. I understand the need to be willing to speak up, to be constructive in feedback but not to overstep the line in terms of where the role of the Trustee ends.
Having completed a PhD in Chemistry, I decided to pursue a career in scientific and medical publishing. I spent many years working for Elsevier Ltd and progressed through several roles; each time when I felt the need for a new challenge I was promoted and given the opportunity to take on responsibility for a larger portfolio of journals in a range of scientific and medical areas, and manage more publishing staff. In my most senior role as a Publishing Director, I spent my time travelling internationally, interacting with my extensive network of Subject Matter Experts in order to develop the business, managing the many journals brands which the organisation published and ensured that we maintained a strong reputation as a high-quality publisher. Sourcing new business opportunities and managing and delivering workshops and organising board meetings was one of the ways this was achieved. The portfolio of journals under my responsibility was worth more than US $60 million and so strategic leadership, business development and commercial acumen and business development were core competencies of my role.
I left Elsevier just before the pandemic took hold but was delighted to secure a consultant position in an organisation which has given me a new range of skills and also much more insight into the not for profit sector. The European Society for Medical Oncology is the leading organisation in Europe for medical oncologists and I was able to make an immediate difference by using my skills in strategic business development to review areas where changes needed to be made. I was made Head of a new Department in February 2021 and my focus now is on driving forward the development of the digital education resources of the organisation which are becoming more important as we continue with the ongoing uncertainty of what the future will hold.
Like many young Cornish people, I left Cornwall at 18 to go “up country” to train. I was a student nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital and went on to qualify as a health visitor. I worked in tough parts of London, Cambridge and Oxford and saw the problems created by the changing nature of family life and its impact on parenting. In 1992 a friend and I introduced the Nurturing Programme to the UK – one of the first parenting programmes. I created a charity, Family Links, and was CEO for 20 years, retiring 5 years ago. The charity became a training organisation to disseminate the programme nationwide. It is still going strong with the Nurturing Programme reaching hundreds of new parents and children every year. The Parenting Puzzle book which I co-wrote is a guide for any parent and is full of the strategies that helped me as a parent.
I became a mentor 5 years ago . Having started and developed a charity it is a delight to tap into my own experiences of success and difficulties to support other CEOs develop strategies to enhance their own work and effectiveness. It’s lonely at the top and having a confidential, listening, objective mentor is invaluable when leading an organisation.
I love being part of a trustee team that oversees the governance and development of Charity Mentors worthwhile and life enhancing philosophy and work. I am so impressed by the quality and commitment of our pro bono mentors and enjoy helping the charity to flourish.
I am the Head of Charity and Involvement for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust/ Oxford Health Charity and have worked within the NHS since 2017. Prior to this, I was the Citizens in Policing Manager for Thames Valley Police. I have been involved with the voluntary or charity sector since leaving University in 2000 and have been inspired by the innovation, passion and commitment the sector consistently displays.
I am relatively new to being a Trustee, having joined the Charity Mentors Board in early 2020. I am excited to be more involved with the charity following a really positive experience being mentored in my role with Oxford Health Charity.
Mentoring boosted my confidence and allowed me to access my potential – by becoming a trustee I can make sure others also get that opportunity, what could be better than that?
I was formerly a partner in an international accountancy firm. Currently I am a school governor, trustee of various charities and hold a number of directorships.
I gained a LLB from the University of Exeter and qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
I have been a trustee of Charity Mentors since December 2017 and am specifically responsible for finance. I got involved with Charity Mentors because I saw mentoring as a key part of the solution to help make charities more successful in achieving their goals. I particularly enjoy working with the other trustees in finding solutions to the strategic issues facing Charity Mentors.
I was CEO of the Austrian based international plastics and petrochemical company Borealis AG, until my retirement in December 2007. Prior to that I was CEO of British Nuclear Fuels PLC and also worked at Exxon Chemical for 26 years in the UK, Belgium and the USA. Today I am Chair of The Berin Centre, Berinsfield, Vice Chair of The Friends of Dorchester Abbey and trustee of Charity Mentors.
I joined Charity Mentors Oxfordshire as one of the initial group of mentors in early 2013. In my first few projects, I was delighted to find that my skills and experiences gained in the international business world were valued by the leaders of Oxfordshire based charities. The projects represented a great eye-opener to me of the challenges facing many across our beautiful county and this in turn opened up my third career as a chair and trustee of a number of local charities.
As a trustee I really enjoy the opportunity to deploy my international business skills and experience coupled with my knowledge of Oxfordshire’s voluntary sector to hopefully make a difference to those who are facing real challenges in their lives.