Job Title: Trustee
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Surrey
Salary: voluntary; reasonable travel expenses may be reimbursed
Reference: Trustee2020
Contact Name: Fiona McAnena
Contact Email:
Job Published: December 18, 2020 18:02

Job Description

Whiteley Homes Trust, founded in 1907, owns and manages Whiteley Village in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, a unique community of around 500 older people of limited financial means. The village was established at the bequest of William Whiteley, the founder of Whiteley’s department store in London, with £1 million to provide for the purchase of land and the erection thereon, “of buildings to be used and occupied by aged poor persons of either sex as Homes in their old age”. It provides a range of housing including 252 Grade-II listed almshouses, in a 225 acre site. A variety of care is offered to support residents as their needs change, including nursing, residential and care at home services.

As three trustees are departing in 2021, we have identified four desirable areas of knowledge and experience as follows. All are equally valued. A candidate may have experience of one or more than one area.

1. Legal: A qualified lawyer with a commercial orientation to assist in providing direction on legal aspects of the Trust’s key strategic issues, which are primarily around long term property development, financial issues and governance. This is not intended to replace paid legal advice which will continue to be obtained as necessary.

2. Finance: A qualified accountant who can demonstrate the ability to, and experience of, operating at a board level. He/she will join the Finance and Audit committee.

3. Property development: A person with deep experience of property development and the range of financial structures, sources of funds, partnerships, etc, which may enable this, preferably in the context of social housing and green belt and wider planning constraints.

4. Local government and housing: A person with direct experience of local government processes and decision-making, particularly in relation to housing. It is expected that this trustee would support the Trust’s work to engage with the relevant local authorities, which are currently Elmbridge Borough Council and Surrey County Council.

These new roles are to complement the expertise of the current trustee group specifically in relation to the issues around the long-term development of the village. This has financial, planning/property, and social/ community aspects. The 225-acre site has great potential but is currently designated as green belt. The Trust is exploring ways to expand its current footprint in partnership with our key stakeholders so as to increase its impact as a charity. It is also seeking to reduce long term debt and increase income. This will require the Trust to revisit the relationship between housing and care provision within the village, so as to be true to the Will of the founder, and to ensure financial sustainability.

Trustees are expected to contribute at four Board meetings per annum, and on a committee as appropriate. There is also a Board Strategy Day (29 June 2021) and annual board dinner.

Full details are at