Secretary to the Board (voluntary)

Job Title: Secretary to the Board (voluntary)
Location: North Yorkshire
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Secretary2020
Contact Name: Alex Lindley
Contact Email:
Job Published: October 07, 2020 15:05

Job Description

Could you help to shape the future of our breath-taking open-air museum? We are looking for a Secretary to join our friendly and dedicated board of trustees, to help us oversee the management of the museum and develop our plans for the future, so that we can continue to be a thriving venue for visitors and the local community for the next fifty years and beyond...

About us

Ryedale Folk Museum is an open-air museum with twenty historic buildings and a varied programme of events and exhibitions, through which our visitors can explore the history and daily lives of North Yorkshire people from the Iron Age to the 20th Century. Located in the picturesque village of Hutton le Hole in the North York Moors National Park, the museum was established in 1964, although its first origins began in the 1930s. 

Now, our vision is to discover, explore and communicate Ryedale’s sense of place and the stories of its people. Our purpose is to provide learning opportunities and other public benefits through the collection and conservation of Ryedale’s cultural heritage.  Our objectives are to:

  • Operate as an energetic and effective cultural business;
  • Provide visitors with valuable experiences, and
  • Exploit the buildings, objects and archives that make up our collections.

The day to day running of the museum is undertaken by a core team of seven staff (five full time equivalents, supported by sixty volunteers.

You can find copies of our annual report at  We are listed as Ryedale Folk Museum and our registered charity number is 1145218. We are also a company limited by guarantee (company number 07889200).

Why join us?

Having been established for over 50 years, we now want to look to the future for Ryedale Folk Museum, to ensure that we can continue to be a thriving venue for our visitors and community for the next 50 years and beyond.Supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, we have recently secured funding to support us developing our vision and plans for the future, so as a trustee, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the strategic direction of the museum to help us achieve this. We are a friendly board and are keen for people with a wide range of skills and experience to be involved in our work, so we hope that by joining us, you will also have the chance to use your particular expertise to make a real difference to the museum.

If you are interested in becoming our Secretary to the board, you can find out more about the role below.

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter detailing your relevant experience and why you are interested in the role to   Please make it clear in your letter which role you are applying for (e.g. Treasurer, Secretary or trustee).

For further information or to discuss the role, contact Alex Lindley on 07960 070944. 

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 15 November.  We will invite successful applicants for a tour of the museum and an informal interview.  Informal interviews will be held using video-conferencing, such as Zoom or Teams, in line with current government guidelines on covid-safe working practices.  Please let us know in your application if there are any reasons you would find it difficult to access or use video-conferencing to speak with us, so we can discuss alternative arrangements.


Secretary role description

This position is not remunerated but trustees can claim reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred fulfilling the duties of the role.

The museum is in Hutton-le-Hole, North Yorkshire, YO62 6UA.Meetings usually take place at the museum or nearby, although it may sometimes be possible to arrange attendance via video-conference.

Time commitment:

Trustees are expected to attend meetings every 2-3 months and an annual away day.  They are also expected to undertake some work in between meetings to fulfil their responsibilities.

Some Trustees also sit on sub-committees (e.g. Finance or Fundraising group).  

Trustees are usually appointed for a term of three years with the option of reappointment for a further term.

Role summary

Trustees have the ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of Ryedale Folk Museum, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run and delivers the charitable outcomes for which it has been set up.   The role of the Secretary is to ensure that the business of the board is properly administered, including meeting arrangements, minutes and recordkeeping, as well as ensuring reports to regulatory bodies are made as required.

Ryedale Folk Museum is registered as a charity and a limited company. Every trustee is also a director of the company and has legal responsibilities and potential liabilities in each capacity.

Secretary responsibilities:

The main responsibilities of the Secretary are to:

  • Ensure board meetings and the AGM are properly administered and run according to the requirements of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, including:
    • Planning meeting dates, booking rooms, sending out notifications, minutes and other papers;
    • Drawing up meeting agendas with the Chair and Museum Director as appropriate;
    • Minuting all meetings, accurately recording decisions, resolutions and actions in the minutes.
  • File the relevant forms for new (and retiring) trustees and directors at Companies House and in line with the Charity Commission’s requirements.
  • Ensure accurate and up-to-date membership records are maintained in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Companies House and the Charity Commission’s requirements.
  • Ensure new trustees are appointed in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Deal with any correspondence on behalf of the board, as appropriate.
  • Ensure timely and accurate annual returns are made to regulatory bodies, including Companies House and the Charity Commission.

General trustee responsibilities

The main responsibilities of trustees are to:

  • Contribute to the museum’s strategy and business plan, giving firm strategic direction for the museum by setting objectives and evaluating performance against targets.
  • Ensure the financial stability and sustainability of the museum.
  • Ensure the museum is managed effectively and efficiently, including oversight of:
    • Care for the museum’s collection;
    • Site, property and buildings management;
    • Financial management, investment of funds and budgets;
    • Museum policies and compliance (e.g. Health and Safety, Safeguarding, HR).
  • Ensure that the museum complies with relevant legislation and regulations, in particular ensuring that the museum prepares and submits its reports, annual returns and accounts as required by law.
  • Ensure that the museum complies with the requirements and rules set out in its Memorandum and Articles of Association and ensure that the museum applies its resources exclusively to pursuing its objectives.
  • Keep informed about the activities of the museum and wider issues which affect its work.
  • Act with integrity, to avoid conflicts of interest or misuse of the museum’s funds or assets.
  • Use specific skills, knowledge and experience to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions, including taking the lead in any trustee activities where the trustee has particular expertise.
  • Attend and take an active part in trustee meetings and decision making.
  • Sit on any committees or panels as required (e.g. Finance committee; Fundraising committee; recruitment, grievance or disciplinary panels).
  • Be visible and regularly come to the museum, both attending events (e.g. art-gallery openings, fundraisers) to engage with our visitors and getting to know staff and volunteers to promote good working relationships.

Person Specification

  • Good organisational skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of company and charity legislation and regulations
  • Experience of working with Companies Act, charity constitution procedures and practices