Chair of Trustees (initially co-chair with a view to being Chair after induction period)

Role description:

To hold a pivotal role in guiding the board and the governance of the organisation of Home-Start South East Dorset

Principal responsibilities

Strategic leadership

• Provide leadership to the charity and its Board, ensuring the Charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries
• Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Charity
• Ensuring compliance with the Home-Start Agreement and Quality Assurance system.
• Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, and manage and mitigate the risks
• Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the charity, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability


• Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the Charity
• Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees
• Encourage positive change and where appropriate address and resolve any conflicts within the Board
• Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively, and which also reflects the wider population
• Work within any agreed policies adopted by the charity

External Relations: 

• Act as an ambassador for the cause and the charity
• Maintain close relationships with key stakeholders and with key influences
• Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate
• Represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events
• Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders

Efficiency and effectiveness:

• Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process
• Plan the annual cycle of trustee and sub-committee meetings & set the agenda for board meetings
• Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership
• Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees
• Work closely with the Senior staff member to give direction to Board policymaking and to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of trustees
• Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.

Relationship with the Senior staff member and the wider management team:

• Establish and build a strong, effective and a constructive working relationship with the Senior staff member ensuring s/he is held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives
• Support the Senior staff member whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles
• Ensure regular contact with the Senior staff member and develop and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges
• Ensure regular supervision and an annual appraisal and remuneration review are conducted for the Senior staff member in consultation with other Trustees

Personal Qualities:

• Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the charity, its strategic objectives and cause
• Personal gravitas and ability to influence
• Exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities
• Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively
• Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the charity
• Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment
• Ability to commit time to conduct the role well

Knowledge and skills:

• Ability to operate at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation
• An understanding of charity governance and working with or as part of a Board of Trustees
• Ability to deliver presentations and managing stakeholders
• Ability to chair meetings and events
• Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together
• A broad understanding of charity finance issues
• A good understanding of charity governance issues
• Ability to make good use of technology to drive effectiveness

Person Specification:

• Commitment to Home-Start
• Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort (minimum 14 hours in every month)
• Willingness to commit time to learn role and the expectations that this involves
• Strategic vision
• Good, independent judgement
• Ability to think creatively
• Balancing tact and diplomacy with willingness to challenge and constructively criticise
• Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
• Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
• Understanding of the importance of Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
• Leadership skills
• Experience of committee work
• Good communication and interpersonal skills
• Impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences

For more information and to apply visit our website