Volunteer as a Trustee
A charity is required to have a board of trustees to allow the organisation to run, help make big decisions and plan for the future. At PGH this is no different, with the Trustees playing an important part in the make up of The Percival Guildhouse.
COULD YOU GIVE US YOUR SUPPORT AS A PERCIVAL GUILDHOUSE TRUSTEE?
We need YOU to ensure the survival of this unique charity that we all love!
What is a Trustee?
A Trustee is a member of the governing body of a charity, which is responsible for controlling its management and administration. At the PGH we also call them the Executive Committee (EC). As a team, they share collective responsibility for the charity.
Currently there are nine trustees, and the EC meets seven times a year, usually on a Thursday afternoon. No previous experience of acting as a trustee is necessary, however an interest in The Percival Guildhouse and its role in adult education is important. The strength of the EC lies in trustees being drawn from a wide range of backgrounds – anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to express an interest.
What do Trustees do?
The main duties of a PGH trustee include:
- the overall governance of the Guildhouse
- the setting and overseeing of its strategic direction
- its financial stability
- accountability to its members and to the Charity Commission
- the conduct and culture of the organisation.
Trustees have no operational role – it is the staff who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Guildhouse
What skills do we need?
After recently completing a review of current PGH trustees’ skills we are especially (but by no means exclusively) looking for applicants with experience or knowledge in the following areas:
- Human resources
- Information Technology
- Marketing and publicity
- Building maintenance
- Financial Management
What Specific Activities would I be involved in?
Primarily, trustees make sure that the income of The Percival Guildhouse is sufficient to cover its running costs. These include:
- The salaries of all staff, including tutors and office staff, caretakers, catering staff and cleaners.
- Improvements to, and routine maintenance of, the Guildhouse building.
- The usual utility costs, insurance, advertising, etc.
To achieve this, the trustees need to ensure that student fees are set at appropriate levels and, when needed, apply for grants from other charitable foundations or from government sources. Trustees also give enthusiastic support to fundraising: from plant sales, raffles and other activities organised by the Centre Manager and the Office Staff.
The Treasurer, one of our three elected Officers, is responsible for the Guildhouse Accounts which are presented for approval to trustees in the EC, as well as to the Guildhouse membership yearly at the Annual General Meeting.
In addition to PGH finances, trustees also safeguard the welfare and safety of both staff and students, ensuring that appropriate policies and procedures are in place covering areas such as Health & Safety and conditions of employment.
Maintaining the fabric of the building in good condition and noting when decoration or furnishings need refurbishing are also matters which concern all trustees. There is a standing ‘Premises sub-committee’ the members of which take on special responsibility for one or more areas about which they are knowledgeable or may have some special interest.
How much time would this role take?
The COVID-19 epidemic has been an exceptional period for everyone, and you will not be surprised to learn that the EC was meeting almost on a weekly basis at times in order to navigate the crisis. However, under normal circumstances, the EC generally meets every one to two months. Meetings usually take from 1½ – 2 hours. These meetings may be preceded by investigations, consultations and other work done by individual trustees behind the scenes.
The trustees can also be involved in carrying out decisions taken by the EC or assisting staff in seeing a project through to completion, working either individually or as a small task-focused sub-committee. They may also work alongside staff on, for example, publicising and preparing for the Christmas Fair.
Finally, it is worth emphasising that trustees are volunteers. Their only reward for the work they do for The Percival Guildhouse is knowing that they are helping an institution they love and value.
How do I become a Trustee?
Please click here to complete a short recruitment questionnaire. The Chairman will contact you in due course to arrange a short meeting/interview, also involving the Centre Manager, where you can get to know each other.
You will have the opportunity to talk about your association with the Guildhouse, your past experience and the skills you might bring to the role. You will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding the organisation of the Guildhouse, the role of the staff and trustees, etc.
If you remain interested in becoming a trustee, and subject to the outcome of the meeting with the Chairman, you may then be invited to an EC meeting after which the trustees present will vote to agree your co-option to the Board.
We look forward to working with you!