about 1 month ago
THE ABBEYFIELD (BERKHAMSTED AND HEMEL HEMPSTEAD) SOCIETY LIMITED
Abbeyfield is one of the largest voluntary sector UK-wide providers of housing and care for older people, committed to alleviating loneliness while maintaining independence. Volunteers at all levels are vital in helping us provide support, care and friendship for around 8,000 residents.
Abbeyfield’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for older people. We offer care, support and services which reflect this; we believe that we all deserve to enjoy our later years and get the most out of life – whatever our individual circumstances.
Duties and Responsibilities of an Abbeyfield Company Secretary
Company Secretaries of Abbeyfield member societies are responsible for the smooth and efficient running of meetings of the trustee board, providing assistance and support to the society’s Chair. Being responsible for keeping the ‘conscience’ of the charity, they are responsible to the board of trustees collectively, giving impartial advice and acting in the best interests of the charity.
Reporting to: Board of Trustees (Executive Committee)
- To liaise with the Chair to plan, arrange and produce agendas and supporting papers for trustee meetings and for drafting the subsequent minutes.
- To ensure that company law, charity law, and regulatory requirements of reporting and public accountability are complied with.
- To ensure that all meetings comply with the requirements of the governing document.
- Advise and guide the board of any legal and regulatory implications of the charity’s strategic plan.
- To act as the custodian of the governing document and to act as the holder of statutory registers and books, and other legal and important documents such as insurance policies.
- To support the trustees in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, organising trustee induction and ongoing training.
- To ensure that trustee decisions are implemented in accordance with the charity’s governing document or other internal operational procedures.
The statutory duties of a trustee are:
- To ensure the organisation complies with its governing document - sometimes known as a trust deed, constitution, or articles of association.
- To ensure that the organisation pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document.
- To ensure the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives - the charity must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objectives, no matter how 'charitable' and 'worthwhile' those activities are.
- To contribute actively to the Board of Trustees' role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
- To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation.
- To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation.
- To ensure the financial stability of the organisation.
- To protect and manage the property of the organisation and to ensure the proper investment of the organisation's funds.
- If the organisation employs staff, to appoint the Chief Executive Officer and monitor his or her performance.
In addition with other trustees to hold the charity “in trust” for current and future beneficiaries by:
- Ensuring that the charity has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and is focused on achieving these.
- Being responsible for the performance of the charity and for its “corporate” behaviour; ensuring that the charity complies with all legal and regulatory requirements.
- Acting as guardians of the charity’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application.
- Ensuring that the charity’s governance is of the highest possible standard.
As well as the various statutory duties, any trustee should make full use of any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the board make good decisions.
The above list of duties is indicative only and not exhaustive. The Trustee will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role.
Abbeyfield will require:
- A commitment to the aims and objectives of the Society and to promoting it in the interests of residents.
- A willingness to give some time and effort.
- Strategic vision.
- Good, independent judgement.
- An understanding of legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
- An ability to work effectively as a team, contributing an independent perspective.
- Possess integrity, objectivity, accountability, honesty and leadership.
- Eligibility. Some people are legally disqualified by law from acting as a Company Secretary including anyone who has an unspent conviction for an offence involving deception or dishonesty; anyone who is an undischarged bankrupt; anyone who has been removed from the trusteeship of a charity by the courts or Charity Commission for misconduct or mismanagement; anyone who is disqualified from being a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
- Attendance on the Abbeyfield Society induction programme.
Terms of Appointment
Company Secretary appointments will be reviewed annually, and newly inducted Company Secretaries should expect to serve for no more that 2 terms of 3 years.
Company Secretaries are required to attend scheduled meetings and some ad hoc meetings. Time commitment is to be agreed with fellow trustees and is likely to be commensurate with the maturity of the Society’s business planning process.
Abbeyfield is committed to supporting its Company Secretaries and provides a thorough induction to the organisation and role. You will be expected to attend some training events relevant to the role, as necessary.
Whilst the role is unpaid, reasonable expenses are payable in line with Abbeyfield’s standard expenses policy.