About the organisation
It Takes a City was founded in 2018 as a community response to rising levels of rough sleeping in Cambridge. The founders organised a major Summit in Cambridge attended by 150 senior influences from local authorities, academia, businesses, charities, faith groups and those with lived experience. Action Groups with wide membership were formed as a result to develop new solutions to end rough sleeping through better use of data, better public information, new housing options, focusing support around the person not the provider, access to employment, and provision of one-to-one mentoring.
Initially working simply to coordinate these Action Groups, the work grew in scope and scale and the present charitable company was formed in December 2019 with the following Objects:
a) promote for the public benefit the relief of those in need due to their experience of or risk of homelessness in Cambridge and the surrounding areas, in particular but not exclusively by:
a. providing information on how and where to access services, supporting engagement with service providers, enabling service providers to better meet need, raising awareness and promoting volunteering; and
b. advancing any other ancillary charitable purpose in such way as the trustees in their absolute discretion think fit.
Projects developed by Action Groups were taken up by various partners with the charity helping to raise funds and make connections. The charity took on the project around public information, and set up a new organisation, a Community Land Trust, to develop housing schemes using high-tech modular homes on otherwise unused land.
The charity played a key role in the response of Cambridge City Council to the impact of COVID-19 on homelessness in fulfilling the government’s “Everyone In” pledge for rough sleepers. Working in close partnership with the Council, the charity secured emergency accommodation in en-suite bedrooms, provided on-site support and all daily meals, and provide a resettlement programme to help guests find a suitable housing solution that did not involve a return to the streets. Over 300 rough sleepers were helped in this way, from March 2020 to June 2021, with 120 rough sleepers accommodated and supported at the peak of the pandemic.
The charity worked with the Council to set up further winter provision for rough sleepers using en-suite rooms and 24/7 support, continuing the approach established during the pandemic, ending the traditional winter practice of only offering communal floors in cold weather with very little support. Recently, the charity received a grant from DLUHC of £150,000 to help develop the winter provision into a permanent solution for Cambridge.
The charity continues to work through Action Groups to develop further ways to end homelessness, acts to advocate and stimulate change, fosters and promotes the collaborative work of others through its media channels and provides year-round support to former rough sleepers struggling with their accommodation.
About the role
We are looking for a Treasurer to join the Board of Trustees. Their main role will be to supervise the monthly financial cycle, prepare budgets, forecasts and reports for Board Meetings and annual strategic reviews, take responsibility for the charity's financial controls policies and liaise with external auditors. Day to day financial management and book-keeping is currently delegated to a Charity Manager and a local accounting firm.
This is an on-going role.
Board meetings take place every six weeks, currently at 5.30pm on a Thursday and using Teams. We have the offer of a Board Room we can use but this has not proved convenient so far due to the pandemic and some Trustees working remotely.
There are currently no Board sub-committees, but one concerned with fund-raising is likely to be formed soon.
Our ideal candidate
We are looking for an experienced Treasurer. The new Treasurer will join the Board of Trustees of the charity and take on overall responsibilty for the organisation's budget, forecasting, financial policies and reporting.
The ideal candidate must be familiar with charity accounting and book-keeping, incuding the allocation of costs and income to restricted funds and projects, and assisting with the preparation of annual or periodic reporting to donors, funders and commissioners.They will be excited at the prospect of playing a key role in a fast growing organisation that is making a real difference locally, that is challenging old ways of working and is prepared to step out and take on new projects. They must feel comfortable working / meeting on-line, using on-line banking, accounting, payments, payroll etc.
It would be helpful for the candidate to have experience of working in Cambridge, and/or with some understanding of how social change happens in a local area, and /or with experience of working to end rough sleeping. Experience of using SharePoint, and Xero would be a help.
The charity currently uses the Virtual Finance Office service provided by PEM, a well established local accounting firm, for book-keeping, and employs a part-time Charity Manager to support the day to day administration of the charity's projects and finances. The Treasurer will not need to be hands-on in this respect, but must be able to give appropriate advice as to the best way to manage day to day finances as the charity grows.
What’s in it for you
The government recently announced a new strategy to end rough sleeping, with funding to 2025 intended to establish the systems, processes, approaches and capacity to end rough sleeping. It Takes a City has been working in the grain of the government's strategy, and encouraging local participation, since inception, and is a recipient of funding from the new strategy. This is an exciting moment, where by working together we can make and sustain a real difference. It Takes a City works at the forefront of these changes, and the Treasurer plays a key role to manage risk in a fast changing setting. The Treasurer will get an inside view of how social change works, how to collaborate across a community, and seeing public, private, third and faith sectors working together.
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