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Role

Treasurer Trustee

  • Location

    London

  • Sector:

    Education, Environment, Mental health, Professional

  • Contact:

    Kay Richardson

  • Contact email:

    kay@thegardenclassroom.org.uk

  • Role ref:

    TRETRU001

  • Published:

    16 days ago

  • Expiry date:

    13-12-2020

  • Client:

    The Garden Classroom

Islington based charity The Garden Classroom are looking for a dynamic treasurer trustee to help us manage the growth of our charity as we seek to connect more people to the natural world.

 

Trustee Role Description - Treasurer

Role Title: Treasurer at The Garden Classroom

Accountable to : Board of trustees

Term of Office:  Three Years

 

About Us

The Garden Classroom (TGC ) began in 2008 as a grass roots organisation in Islington, London, the borough with the lowest amount of open access green space per head than anywhere else in England. Our charity was founded to address the mental and physical consequences of a lack of nature connection and the resulting effects on urban children’s health and wellbeing.

The detrimental health and wellbeing effects of this lack of connection which have been scientifically and repeatedly proven contribute to a list of issues and problems from stress to obesity, behavioural issues, personal development problems, life satisfaction and happiness, relationships, interest, care and concern for the environment .

 

Our work is vital as it directly addresses inequality, we know that children from more deprived backgrounds are less likely to access local green spaces. Going outside has been shown to have a positive effect on a huge number of health conditions and issues, from diabetes to depression. TGC’s relevant service of delivering nature activities in local parks demonstrates that you don't need to travel far to heal your body and mind. We teach the curriculum outdoors using nature as a creative source of inspiration and stimulation. We have an excellent reputation nationally for the quality, and scope of innovative work we deliver.

 

Like many small charities we have been hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic. Our trustees stepped in to share our crowdfunder with their networks, advise us on how we could improve our social media reach and bring in their different viewpoints and skills to help support and drive the charity forwards during crisis management, navigating us well and supporting us to make the right decisions for our team and our future. We are at a period of substantial growth and need trustees help us manage this well.

 

The Board and How We Work Together

Never has it been more vital for charities to have a strong and engaged board of trustees to collaboratively work through ever changing circumstances and provide good governance, looking at our business plans to support the way ahead. We all need to be agile and focused on maximising what we have and how best to move forwards.

 

At TGC we’re a strong and powerful unit who really enjoy spending time together and working to make a positive difference. Our board meetings are engaging, dynamic and bring in a wealth of experience and knowledge that will strengthen the third sector at this critical time and help build relationships and trust in society to solve public health problems. Our trustees find their work with us enormously rewarding.

 

All trustees are expected to make active and dynamic contributions to the board, the organisation and to supporting our members. Trustees have wide-ranging skills, knowledge and experience appropriate to governance and strategy. Our current board consists of nine elected members (who  are professionals). Our board chair has over 29 years of experience in health, social care and children’s services. During the coronavirus crisis he’s been essential to ensuring the charity explores every support network but also to support us through making incredibly difficult decisions. To further demonstrate our range of trustee skills we also have a lawyer from State Street who supports us by looking over our contracts and legalities, a trustee from Royal Horticultural Society, the Head of Communications at one of London’s top architecture firms, a therapist and charity leader and an NHS healthcare consultant. We regularly create sub committees to analyse and focus on issues to help support the charity. Our patrons are Joe Swift from BBC Gardeners World and urban wildlife campaigner Bob Gilbert.

Our current treasurer is a chartered management accountant from Expedia who has brought his expertise to transform the way we manage our cashflow and update our entire financial management systems which we’ve really embraced, resulting in us changing our software to SAGE and retraining the team and updating and improving the way we report at board meetings. Our treasurer has been recently relocated to America so we are now urgently looking for a new treasurer trustee who can help support our charity and would welcome anyone who feels their values and skills are aligned and is interested in joining us to get in touch.

Our trustees share with us regularly news articles, science journals and web links they have come across to reiterate and support our work. It is so enriching to have engaged trustees who constantly reference and support in the right moment.

 

What Next?

You have the power to make a key difference at grass roots level and give back to the wider community, sharing your skills, networks and expertise to transform the charity sector, impacting locally and nationally and make a difference. If our charity is aligned with your core beliefs and interests then being part of a values-led leadership team is rewarding and enriching. Next, meet our CEO and Chair of Trustees and arrange to sit in on a board meeting and see if the people involved are people you click with.

Scope and Purpose

The overall role of the treasurer is to maintain an overview of the charity's affairs, ensure financial viability, and ensure that proper financial records and procedures are maintained.

 

General Responsibilities for Trustees

●     Are responsible for the governance of TGC.

●     Are appointed for 3 years, but may be re-elected for a second term.

●     Are expected to attend the board meetings five times a year and commit to our away day.

●     Are responsible and accountable for the efficient running of the charity

●     Set high-level strategy and approve major expenditures.

●     Work to ensure the charity’s financial well-being and financial stability.

●     Ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.

●     Contribute actively to the board of trustees' role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation.

●     Safeguard the good name and values of the charity.

●     Ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation.

●     Help with donor introductions and cultivation

●     Help broker further funding

●     Can add significant value to the organisation.

●     Ensure the financial stability of the organisation.

●     Protect and manage the property of the charity.

●     Support the CEO, Finance Manager and senior managers, and monitor their performance.

All trustees must understand and accept the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship and adhere to TGC’s values, culture and ethos: To achieve a high quality everything we do, be passionate about nature, to be trustworthy , reliable, loyal to TGC, to have a positive collaborative attitude and troubleshoot, to be kind and generous, hard working, intuitive and empathetic.

In addition to compliance with statutory duties, every trustee should use their specific skills, knowledge, or experience to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions.

This will involve:

●     Scrutinising board papers.

●     Focusing on key issues of importance to the charity.

●     Providing support to the CEO and Finance Manager to help produce cashflows.

Additional duties of the Treasurer

●     Commit to meeting 7 times a year (meetings tend to be bi-monthly on Tuesday evening 5-7pm).

●     Share their skills, insight and networks to help sustain and support the charity.

●     Overseeing, approving and presenting budgets, accounts and other financial statements.

●     Being assured that the financial resources of the charity meet its present and future needs.

●     Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate reserves policy.

●     The preparation and presentation of the financial statements to the board.

●     Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place.

●     Liaising with the Finance Manager on a regular basis.

●     Responsible for ensuring that the charity complies with all relevant legislation.

●     Ensuring that equipment and assets are adequately insured.

●     Ensure that the accounts are prepared in the form required by the relevant statutory bodies.

●     Knowledge of SAGE preferable

●     Ensure that the accounts are audited in accordance with the regulations and that any recommendations are acted on.

●     Make a formal presentation of the accounts at the charity’s away day.

●     Help us manage our growth well, this is a key moment for the charity as our services are in demand and we are gaining a national profile for our dynamic and innovative work.

Person specification

●     Passion for nature connection and love of the natural environment

●     Financial experience.

●     An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties,responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.

●     Strategic vision.

●     Good independent judgment.

●     Very high level of credibility within the community.

●     Strong leadership skills.

●     Commitment to the charity.

●     Willingness to speak their mind.

●     Ability to think creatively.

●     Open and transparent approach.

●     Ability to work effectively as a member of a team.

●     Embrace TGC’s values ethos and culture TGC’s values: To achieve a high quality everything we do, be passionate about nature, to be trustworthy , reliable, loyal to TGC, to have a positive collaborative attitude and troubleshoot, to be kind and generous, hard working, intuitive and empathetic.

●     Willingness to lead on the generation of ideas and their development, with support from staff.

●     Some experience of charity finance, or a broad understanding.

●     Skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences.

●     Willingness to be available to staff at short notice and on an ad-hoc basis.

●     Passionate about sustainability.

Contact kay@thegardenclassroom.org.uk to find out more.