Becoming a Trustee

Do you have skills or experience that Parkside would benefit from?

Do you want to make a difference?

History of Parkside

Parkside is a registered charity based in Aldershot that provides support services for children and adults with learning disabilities living in the local area, covering both Hampshire and Surrey. It was founded in 1963 by a group of parents who realised that the support for families who had children with special needs was limited. The premises next to the park on Guildford Road were built and the first playgroup was started (affectionately known as the Peter Pan Club). Since then, Parkside has strived to fulfil the need for more services and has gone from strength to strength.

Charity Trustees

Trustees are essential to the well-being and effectiveness of the voluntary and community sector. Trustees have the ultimate legal responsibility for keeping their organisation focused on its purpose and directing the strategy (working with staff where they exist). They also have financial oversight, are responsible for resources, and are expected to ensure the organisation stays within the law

At Parkside we are keen that our voluntary board of Trustees bring with them a variety of skills and expertise that will enable Parkside to develop in a professional and sustainable way, ensuring all stakeholders are offered where possible the services and opportunities they require.

Parkside Trustee responsibilities:

Parkside's Constitution allows it to have up to 12 trustees; each serve for a term of 3 years and may serve for up to 3 terms. Trustees are either elected at the Annual General Meeting or invited to join the Board by the other trustees if there is a vacancy in-year. The trustees formally meet as a Board every 6 weeks, plus at other times to conduct specific business, usually as an informal sub-group. Three trustees sit on the Management Group, which also meets at 6 weekly intervals.

Guidance on the role of Trustees is provided by the Charity Commission. Below is an extract from their publication The Essential Trustee: What you need to know.

Trustees and their responsibilities

Charity trustees are the people who serve on the governing body of a charity. They may be known as trustees, directors, board members, governors or committee members. The principles and main duties are the same in all cases.

  • Trustees have and must accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of a charity, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.

Compliance – Trustees must:

  • Ensure that the charity complies with charity law, and with the requirements of the Charity Commission as regulator; in particular ensure that the charity prepares reports on what it has achieved and Annual Returns and accounts as required by law.
  • Ensure that the charity does not breach any of the requirements or rules set out in its governing document and that it remains true to the charitable purpose and objects set out there.
  • Comply with the requirements of other legislation and other regulators (if any) which govern the activities of the charity.
  • Act with integrity, and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets.

Duty of prudence – Trustees must:

  • Ensure that the charity is and will remain solvent.
  • Use charitable funds and assets reasonably, and only in furtherance of the charity's objects.
  • Avoid undertaking activities that might place the charity's endowment, funds, assets or reputation at undue risk.
  • Take special care when investing the funds of the charity, or borrowing funds for the charity to use.

Duty of care – Trustees must:

  • Use reasonable care and skill in their work as trustees, using their personal skills and experience as needed to ensure that the charity is well-run and efficient.
  • Consider getting external professional advice on all matters where there may be material risk to the charity, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.
  • Parkside has adopted the good practice of nominating trustees to take on specific offices for the management of Board business. These “officers” are: Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Buildings Manager. Trustees volunteer for these roles.

Becoming a Parkside Trustee

If you are interested in becoming a trustee of Parkside please complete the Trustee Application Form. If you would like first to find out more about Parkside or the role of a trustee, then please contact Chris Harris email: Becoming a trustee does require a commitment of time and energy, but it is rewarding to be able to apply your skills and knowledge to the development of services to Parkside's many vulnerable clients.

Your input will make a difference!