Chair to the Board of Trustees

London

Hammersmith and Fulham Mencap

An experienced Chair to join the Board of Trustees at an exciting point in the charity’s development. Our mission is to empower people with learning disabilities and autism to get their voice heard and be included in their local community.

Closing date for applications

Who we are

HF Mencap is an independent local charity supporting children and adults with learning disabilities and their carers and families.
Hammersmith and Fulham Mencap was started in 1964 by a group of parents and carers who got together to fight for the rights of their adult children with learning disabilities to have access to day service provision. The parents/carers offered each other support and met informally in their own homes.
Over the years we have grown into a multi-project service provider to support people with learning disabilities and their families. We are celebrating our 54th year and hope that those parents and carers would be proud of our local presence and reputation continuing to campaign locally for the rights of children and adults with learning disabilities.

Commitment

Up to three days a month, including:

  • Attendance at a minimum of four board meetings a year
  • Occasional participation at internal working groups
  • Occasional attendance at external meetings and events

Period: Three-year term with the opportunity to be re-elected for a further term of three years.

Terms: Voluntary role, necessary out of pocket expenses reimbursed.

Location: London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Mix of remote and local working.

Our Vision

We seek to promote the wellbeing and development of children and adults with learning disabilities and autism in all areas of their lives as well as supporting their families and carers.

 What are we looking for?

An experienced Chair to join the Board of Trustees at an exciting point in the charity’s development. Having continued to provide services successfully in the face of COVID, it has just moved to new premises. The current Chair is stepping down to allow replacement in line with our Articles of Association. We are looking for somebody with the energy and experience to oversee the Charity’s governance and work closely with the Chief Executive to ensure that HF Mencap has a clear vision, mission, and strategic direction to carry it safely through the next phase of development, which will include building up our reserves and diversification of current service provisions.

Experience of working in the third sector and being a trustee would be an advantage but not essential, whereas significant experience of leadership and chairing is. Personal connection to people with learning disabilities either by means of a family relationship or work is ideal, as the role requires the ability to connect and communicate with people with a range of learning disabilities and/or autism.

What difference will you make?

The social pressures of COVID have put the needs of those with learning disability further down the agenda nationally. You will be helping to keep their voice heard and enabling a local charity to take an even more active role in supporting them.

What’s in it for the volunteer?

This role provides an important opportunity to help address the inequality faced by so many people living with learning disability.

HF Mencap is a charity with a passion for its purpose, which creates a strong sense of community amongst its clients and the staff who support them. There is an opportunity to appoint further trustees in the short-term to optimise the range of skills and knowledge across the Board and ensure that the voices of those living with learning disability and looking after them continue to be heard loudly.

Role Purpose

The purpose of the Chair is to provide leadership and direction to the Board of Trustees and to lead the oversight of the charity’s management.

Key Responsibilities

  • Enables the Board to fulfil its responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of HF Mencap.
  • Works collaboratively with the other Trustees and the Chief Executive to ensure that the organisation complies with its legal duties and pursues its objectives as defined in its governing documents.
  • Ensures that the charity has a clearly defined vision and mission, with strategic objectives developed and resources used to enable maximum impact for its beneficiaries.
  • Focuses the effort of the Trustees and the Chief Executive in achieving the strategy.
  • Ensures renewal of the Board membership in line with governance, providing a suitable combination of skills, experience, and knowledge appropriate for the charity.
  • Makes certain that the Board determines the nature and extent of the risks that it is willing to tolerate in the implementation of its strategy.
  • Works closely with the Chief Executive to give direction to Board activities and to ensure that the meetings are well-planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of the Trustees.
  • Acts as the line manager of the Chief Executive on behalf of the Board. Supports and, where appropriate, constructively challenges or gives direction to the Chief Executive to help them in the operational management of the organisation. Optimises the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the staff.
  • Facilitates change, addressing any potential conflict with stakeholders.
  • Acts as an ambassador for the charity promoting its ideas and strategies and collaborates closely with the Chief Executive to build strategic alliances and networks.
  • Acts as a spokesperson for the organisation, when appropriate representing the charity at external meetings and events.
  • Leads an appraisal of the performance and effectiveness of the Board and the Trustees at least once a year. Ensures that a process is in place to develop the knowledge and capability of Trustees.
  • Manages the evaluation by the Board, at least once a year, of the performance and effectiveness of the Chief Executive and conducts an annual remuneration review. Ensures the Chief Executive has the opportunity for professional development and the appropriate professional support as required.

Person Specification

Personal Qualities

  • Strong leadership capability with the ability to work collaboratively and give appropriate direction where necessary.
  • Personal connection to people with learning disabilities either by means of a family relationship or work is ideal.
  • Must have the ability to effectively connect and communicate with people with a range of learning disabilities and/or autism.
  • Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the charity.
  • Ability to lead meetings in an open and inclusive way so that the views and feedback of people with learning disabilities and/or autism shape the support the group provides.
  • Demonstrates a strong and visible passion and commitment to the charity, its strategic objectives and cause.
  • Exhibits strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities and is comfortable in an ambassadorial role.
  • Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including travel and attending events out of office hours.

Experience

  • Operation at a senior strategic leadership level.
  • Experience of working in the third sector and being a trustee would be an advantage but not essential, whereas significant experience of leadership and chairing is.
  • Significant experience of chairing meetings and events.
  • Successful record of achievement throughout their career.
  • Charity governance and working with or as part of a Board of Trustees.
  • External representation.

Knowledge and skills

  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the learning disabilities sector and current issues affecting it.
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together.
  • Financial management expertise and a broad understanding of charity finance issues
  • Good understanding of charity governance issues.
  • An understanding of the strategic, legislative, and political contexts that affect and influence HF Mencap’s work.

A few more details

We encourage people living with disability to apply. Please let us know if you live with any disability and/or if you require any special provision should you be called for an interview.

Before you apply

Please provide a comprehensive CV with your full name and contact details (including an e-mail address) together with a supporting statement setting out why you are for applying for this role and how you meet the criteria set out in the Person Specification in the attached role description.

Please also supply the names and contact details of two references (who will only be contacted if you reach final interview stage).

Please note that you will require DBS clearance to fulfil this role.

If you are interested in an informal discussion prior to applying, please email: [email protected] to arrange a call with the current Chair or one of the Trustees.

All applicants will go through HF Mencap’s recruitment procedure and the successful candidate will be proposed for election by members at the Annual General Meeting for an initial 3-year Term.

Closing date for applications

Our commitment to diversity & inclusion

Trustees Unlimited believes that diverse boards strengthen society. We will strive to remove the barriers that prevent people from applying to become trustees and help our clients to recruit and support people with a wide range of skills and lived experience.

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