Published date: 08 November 2019

Closing date:31 January 2020

Background

Refugee Action Kingston (RAK) is a local charity that supports refugees and asylum seekers in Kingston and the surrounding area. The charity runs a range of activities from one-on-one advice, to counselling, advocacy and ESOL classes.

Activities are tailored to the individual needs of refugees and asylum seekers who vary in terms of their age, ethnicity and immigration status. The activities provide the opportunity for people to receive the practical information they need often at times of crisis, as well as holistically supporting them with employment training, language skills, counselling and integrating into the wider community.

The charity is funded by the Royal Borough of Kingston as well as trusts and foundations. It is supported by volunteers and is often the first port of call for local statutory services seeking guidance on issues regarding refugees and asylum seekers. As well as working with individuals, RAK raises awareness of the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the local area and promotes community cohesion.

Remuneration

This role is un-remunerated however essential travel and subsistence expenses are payable on completion of the organisation’s expenses form.

Minimum Time Commitment

Trustees are expected to attend an induction session at RAK prior to their first board meeting. Trustees are expected to attend all board meetings. Board meetings are held every 6 weeks during weekday evenings. One meeting each year (annual away day) is allotted to strategic planning and is a weekday daytime event from 10am to 5pm including lunch. The meetings last approximately two hours and are usually at RAK’s offices in Kingston. Trustees are invited to the annual review meeting of RAK, which takes place once a year. Papers are distributed one week in advance of meetings.

Who are the Charity Trustees

The Charities Act 1993 defines charity trustees as those responsible under the charity's governing document for controlling the administration and management of the charity. This is the case regardless of the terminology used to describe the role. For RAK the charity trustees are the Board. The Board comprises:

  • the chair
  • the treasurer
  • the secretary
  • up to five appointed trustees.

The Board appoints a vice chair from among the trustees.

The Role of the Board of Trustees

At its simplest, the role of the Trustee Board is to receive assets from donors, safeguard them and apply them to the charitable purposes of RAK. The Trustee Board must always act in the best interests of RAK, exercising the same standard of duty of care that a prudent person would apply if looking after the affairs of someone for whom they have responsibility. The Trustee Board must act as a group and not as individuals.

Duties of a Trustee Board Member

The duties of a trustee board member are to:

  • ensure that RAK complies with its governing document (its Articles of Association), charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • ensure that RAK pursues its objects as defined in its governing document
  • ensure RAK applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects. For example, it must not spend money on activities which are not included in the objects, however worthwhile they may be
  • contribute actively to the board of trustees by giving firm strategic direction to RAK, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • safeguard the good name and values of RAK
  • ensure the financial stability of RAK

In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve leading discussions, identifying key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, and evaluating or offering advice on other areas in which the trustee has particular expertise.

General Trustee Person specification

Each trustee must have:

  • a commitment to the mission of RAK
  • a willingness to meet the minimum time requirement
  • integrity
  • strategic vision
  • good, independent judgement
  • an ability to think creatively
  • a willingness to speak their mind
  • an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • an ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of RAK.

The board of trustees collectively needs skills and experience in the following areas:

  • financial management, income generation and enterprise
  • public policy and public affairs
  • national and local voluntary sector
  • national and local government and statutory bodies
  • digital strategy
  • human resource management
  • volunteering management and brokerage
  • funding/foundations
  • collaborative partnerships
  • social investment and impact

Fundraising Trustee Responsibilities

  • To bring leadership and drive as the fundraising expert within RAK together with strong networks in order that RAK can thrive through high quality strategies in fundraising, securing its future work
  • To advise and support on the right depth and breadth of fundraising
  • To assist in securing additional funding and the diversification of funding sources
  • To assist in setting the fundraising strategy of RAK and in setting and monitoring performance fundraising targets
  • To actively support specific fundraising activities with a particular focus on increasing unrestricted funding through public and corporate avenues
  • To act as ambassador for RAK, representing the charity at key meetings and facilitating networking opportunities with potential donors, corporations and other funding streams

Fundraising Trustee Specification

  • Substantial experience as a senior fundraiser with a strong understanding of charity fundraising at a strategic and operational level.
  • Ability to secure a sustainable and diverse funding base for the charity through strong established networks
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to engage, support and advice the board and staff at RAK both at a strategic and operational level.
  • Knowledge of new ways of fundraising especially through crowdfunding

Marketing and Communications Trustee Responsibilities 

  • To bring leadership and drive as the communications and marketing expert within RAK
  • In conjunction with management and the board, support the development and implementation of an integrated strategic marketing and communications strategy to advance brand identity of RAK
  • To broaden awareness of the charity’s values and priorities; and increase its visibility across a wider high- level audience including the media and key influencers in order to enable it to fulfil its mission and aims
  • Work with other trustees, management and staff to recognise internal and external communications and marketing opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
  • Serve as communications spokesperson on behalf of the trustees when required.

Marketing and Communications Trustee Specification

  • Demonstrate senior leadership and expertise in communications and marketing with a strong track record of growing the public profile of other organisations/charities
  • Substantial communications and marketing expertise at a strategic and operational level
  • Experience of the strategic use of social media as effective communication mechanisms to support services and activities
  • Application of marketing strategy to charitable/not for profit organisations