About the organisation
Forest Farm Peace Garden is a unique mental health and environment project. Our garden in Hainault is an oasis of beauty and tranquillity offering an inspiring and welcoming space for people to connect with nature and meet other people. We run an ecotherapy programme, involving activities in nature, to support people with mental health recovery. We also run workshops, events and volunteering for the wider community. Activities in our garden include gardening and food growing, caring for our large fruit orchard, growing medicinal plants, caring for wildlife, woodwork and arts and crafts.
About the role
We are currently recruiting for trustees with a specific vacancy for a Treasurer. As well as fulfillng the general responsibilties of a charity trustee, you will also be responsible for:
- Working with the Director, and as necessary in liaison with the book-keeper and the Independent Examiner, to ensure the production of key financial documentation including the annual budget, the annual statutory accounts and bi-monthly management accounts.
- Ensuring that the accounts are disclosed in the form required by funders and the relevant statutory bodies, including the Charity Commission.
- Ensuring that the accounts are scrutinised in the manner required (independent examination or audit) and any recommendations are implemented.
- Ensuring that the financial resources of the organisation meet its present and future needs, including that the charity has an appropriate reserves policy, and contributing to the fundraising strategy of FFPG.
- Acting as a bank signatory for FFPG and authorising online payments.
- Ensuring that equipment and assets are adequately maintained and insured.
- Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place.
- Keeping the board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities
- Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate investment policy and that there is no conflict between any investment held and the aims and objects of the charity.
- Liaising with staff and volunteers about financial matters.
- Making a formal presentation of the accounts at the annual general meeting and drawing attention to important points in a coherent and easily understandable way
- Advising on the financial implications of the organisation’s strategic plans.
- Sitting on appraisal, recruitment and disciplinary panels as required
Our ideal candidate
As well as the skills and experience outlined below, we want to ensure that our Board better reflects the local community where our work is situated, so we particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minoritised ethnic communities, people with disabilities, and people with lived experience of mental health conditions.
The skills, experience and qualities that are expected from trustees:
1. A commitment to the organisation
2. A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to fulfil the trustee role
3. Strategic vision
4. Good, independent judgement
5. An ability to think creatively
6. A willingness to speak your mind
7. An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
8. An ability to work effectively as a member of a team and participate constructively in collective decision-making. 9. A commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
10. A commitment to equal opportunities and inclusion.
Above all, you’ll need to be able to give the time, commitment and energy to the role that we need as a growing charity. We have a small staff team, and trustees need to be actively involved and work closely with the management and staff team, whilst respecting the boundaries of their governance role.
In addition to the general responsibilities for all trustees as set out above, the Treasurer also needs additional skills and experience:
1. Work experience in the field of finance, ideally a financial qualification.
2. An understanding of budgets and of management and statutory accounts.
3. A knowledge of charity-specific financial matters such as restricted funding – or the ability and willingness to learn about such matters.
4. The ability to explain financial matters to people who don’t have specialist financial knowledge.
5. The skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences
6. Being prepared to make unpopular recommendations to the board
What’s in it for you
Our Trustees tell us that they love making a real difference through applying their skills and networks to support and develop our work.
You’ll have the opportunity to contribute to a growing charity at a time of change and consolidation.
You don’t need to have previous experience as a trustee to apply. We have a trustee induction process, and we will provide access to training and a trustee buddy to support you.
You will have the opportunity to apply your skills and experience, as well as develop new skills and knowledge of the charity sector through participating in the work of our Board and Committees. Our Board meets bi-monthly, with Committee meetings scheduled additionally. Board meetings are currently held virtually although we do plan to return to scheduling some of these face-to-face.
Trustee positions are unpaid, but we don’t expect trustees to be out of pocket for carrying out their role, so reasonable expenses can be claimed back.
Apply for the role
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Please provide a cover note if it is requested in the role description. Applications which are personalised, setting out your motivations for volunteering for the organisation and relevant skills/experience, are far more likely to be successful.