Trustee - Finance
The trustee board of The Whiteley Homes Trust has been recruited to provide specific skills and experience. A new trustee is now sought, as successor to a long-serving trustee whose term will end in June 2023.
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 on appointment and will take over as chair in June 2023, when the current chair leaves the board.
Other areas of expertise which are desirable but not essential
Knowledge of community engagement. The Trust takes a collaborative approach with villagers and this will become more important as decisions about the long-term development of the village are made.
Relevant experience of fundraising. Fundraising is expected to be an executive role in due course but more trustee knowledge may be helpful. As we are a charity trustees would be expected to promote fundraising activities as part of their role.
Whiteley Village in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, is a historic almshouse community for older people of limited financial means. There are over 400 residents who are mainly, but not all retired. 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”.
The village is owned and managed by The Whiteley Homes Trust, one of the oldest charities in Surrey, which was founded in 1907. Believed to be the first purpose-built retirement village in the UK, building began on the 225-acre site in 1914 and the first resident Eliza Palmer, moved into her cottage on 10 October 1917. Designed in the arts and crafts style around an octagon, Whiteley Village is a conservation area with over 260 Grade II-listed almshouse cottages and other buildings, many beautiful green spaces, a lake and extensive woodland. The first Trustees originally planned for twice the number of almshouses on the estate, but the charity ran out of money. It is part of our future ambition to fulfil their original vision.
Most residents at Whiteley Village live independently, but a variety of care is offered to support beneficiaries as their needs change, including nursing, residential and care at home services. For those who need more support, the Village offers Huntley House - Surrey’s first extra care facility, with 51 apartments. Residential care is provided at Ingram House for 27 (mainly self-funding) residents, and nursing care at The Eliza Palmer Hub, for 30 (mainly self-funding) residents. Opened in 2019, this modern facility contains the stunning Lantern Café and is also the Trust’s administrative centre. The Hub replaced the facilities at Whiteley House, our former nursing home and the village’s original hospital, which we plan to repurpose.
Community is very important to everyone living and working at Whiteley Village, and there are numerous clubs and activities most of which are organised and run by residents themselves, supported by the Trust. The village also features various sporting facilities, a shop and Post Office, a Church, Clubhouse and bar and a Village Hall. Our charity is working towards a model of co-production, where appropriate, to encourage and enable greater involvement by our beneficiaries in the development and delivery of their services and other activities. Part of the estate is also let to outside sports clubs and pre-school nurseries, providing valuable income for our charity.
More information about the work of our charity and its history, can be found on our website at www.thewhiteleyhomestrust.org.uk
The position is voluntary, that is, unpaid, although reasonable travel expenses may be reimbursed.
The successful candidate will be expected to meet standard board competencies as follows:
- Ability to think and act strategically
- Ability to build relationships with a wide range of stakeholders
- Good understanding of the social and economic contexts in which Whiteley Homes Trust works
- Understands the risks in housing, community and care settings
- Grounded in commercial reality and able to balance short and long term financial issues with the charitable objects of the Trust.
- Understanding of and ability to promote effective governance practices
- Understanding of the value of diversity, and the benefits it brings to the organisation
- The ability to judge the balance of respecting history and ensuring the organisation is ambitious for the future
- Committed to, and with an affinity for the culture, ethos and values of Whiteley Homes Trust
The appointments are for an initial term of three years with the option to renew for a second term by mutual agreement. A Trustee role for a charity has the same responsibilities as being a Non-Executive Director for a company, providing oversight of the organisation’s performance, ethics, finances and risks. It is the Trustee’s role to ensure the Charity complies with charity law, that it is well run and in good financial shape. It should be delivering its charitable objectives to the best of its ability.
The Board maintains a broad overview of the Trust’s strategic challenges and adopts strategies to drive the organisation forward to achieve long- term goals. The strategies to be delivered by the Executive under the leadership of our Chief Executive, Rachel Hill.
- Act as guardians of Whiteley Homes Trust's vision, principles and our charitable objects.
- Are active members of the Board in exercising its responsibilities and functions and serve on Committees or groups as appointed by the Board.
- Use their specific knowledge or experience to help the Board reach sound decisions.
- Contribute at four Board meetings per annum, and on a committee as appropriate.
- Contribute at a Board Strategy Day and annual board dinner
- Take personal responsibility for developing a particular understanding of a key aspect of the Trust’s activities.
- The current committee structure is as follows: Finance and Audit Committee; Housing Property and Asset Committee; Care and Community Committee; Nominations and Remuneration Committee; Clinical Governance Committee.
- Trustees are encouraged to attend events in the Village throughout the year, subject to Covid restrictions.
Whiteley Homes Trust is committed to equal opportunities for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and marriage and civil partnerships.
Please send a letter of application with an up to date CV. Please confirm that there are no reasons why you may not hold the post of a company director. Please include name and contact details for three referees. (Referees will not be contacted until after the interview, and you will be informed in advance of any contact.)
This role requires an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check
The closing date for applications is 12 August 2022.
Candidates will be invited to a panel interview during w/c 5 September 2022. (An alternative date may be offered at the panel’s discretion.)
Following references, the successful candidate will join the board as soon as the appointment is approved by the board.