Board of Trustees

Trustee volunteers guide and govern our charity so that staff and home-visiting volunteers can get on with the job of supporting families.

Our trustees are:

Louise Kerr – Chair

Neil Spurrier – Vice Chair

Steven Lowry – Treasurer

Sophia Ali – Family Representative

Jan Callow – Volunteer Representative

Felicity Clarkson – Voluntary Sector Professional

Anna Griffin – Fundraising

Jenny Oppenheimer – Voluntary Sector Professional

Lisa Peacock – Barrister (Family Law)

Gerard Ring – Safeguarding Adviser

What are Trustees?

As with every local Home-Start scheme across the country, we are an independent charity and the Trustees have an important role to play in governance. Trustees are not responsible for the day-to-day running of a scheme – they ensure that the charity is effective by providing guidance and strategic direction, by providing financial advice and funding support, and by ensuring that the statutory policies and protocols are in place.

Being a Trustee is a responsible position but very rewarding. It gives opportunities for personal development and the chance to give something back to your local community. Without volunteer Trustees, the Richmond upon Thames scheme could not operate and both families and children would not get the support they need.

What does a Board of Trustees do?

It is responsible for setting the charity’s vision and strategic objectives, for ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, for reviewing and assessing the performance and quality of the charity and for ensuring that it operates within the Home-Start Agreement.

The Board is also responsible for the charity’s property, financial management and security, for all governance matters, for the promotion of Home-Start and for the recruitment and ongoing management of staff. The Board’s role is to ensure that the resources in the charity are used effectively to further the objectives of Home-Start in accordance with the expectations of fund-providers.

What kind of people are Home-Start Trustees?

Our Trustees come from all walks of life, bringing their experience and individual skills to our charity. Typically they live locally or have a strong affiliation with the Richmond upon Thames borough. The skills that are in demand are business planning, fundraising, publicity, business and personnel management, finance, IT and communications.

However you don’t need specific qualifications to be a Trustee. Common sense, an ability to operate effectively as a member of a Board, team-working, an understanding of the pressures facing parents today and a genuine interest in supporting parents in our community are just as important.

How much of my time would it take?

Home-Start Trustees typically spend 8 to 10 hours a month on their duties. There are 6-8 meetings a year, and occasionally interim meetings when things are particularly busy. Trustees have an important role, which carries legal and financial responsibilities that can require time and commitment.

There are also a number of specific roles on the Board or Trustees including Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Company Secretary. Some of these may require additional commitments.

Are there other ways I can help offer advice to Home-Start?

The Charity also relies on advisers in specific areas, including Child Protection, personnel and fundraising. Sometimes these advisers are asked to join the Board meetings to discuss specific issues and to offer their specialist advice.

If you would like to find out more, contact us.