LDCVS is looking for new trustees to strengthen our board. Trustees are responsible for the governance and the strategy of the organisation as well as providing support and advice to the Chief Officer to keep LDCVS functioning well.
Our board currently has seven members, and we are looking for new trustees to join us to ensure we have the capacity and skills to oversee the next phase of our work.
In particular, we wish to recruit to the Honorary Treasurer role as the most recent postholder has completed his term.
We warmly welcome enquiries and applications if you are considering joining our team. We’re a membership-based charity, meaning that our members vote to elect trustees at our Annual General Meeting, but we can co-opt you to the board in the meantime.
There is no limitation on how long you may serve on the board, however board members cannot also serve as an officer for more than five years. At present, only the Chair and Treasurer have been created as officer roles.
You can find out more about becoming and being a trustee by opening the sections on this page. We’ve also included a short introduction to our work, but you can read much more by browsing other sections of our website. The pages listed under About Us will give an overview of our history, people and business plan, and the archive of our weekly Bulletin emails gives some context around our recent work and priorities.
You can apply using the form toward the bottom of the page, or if you’d like to start by having an informal conversation with our Chair and Chief Officer, please get in touch using our contact form and we’ll arrange a date and time.
Thank you for your interest in the role of trustee for Lancaster District CVS.
This is an exciting opportunity to help shape an organisation that is renowned for supporting charities and community groups across Lancaster District. We are recognised as an umbrella organisation with an outstanding reputation for supporting those that make a difference across our communities and for working in partnership with a range of partners including our local authorities, health, education and private sector colleagues. In recent years, our income and staff team has grown along with our programs of activities.
Being Chair of a diverse and dynamic board is a privilege and a pleasure. To get to see up-close the work of this dedicated and highly skilled team of professionals who enjoy the work they do with our member organisations and our community leaders is both fulfilling and rewarding.
Everyone brings a different perspective, which add so much richness and value to our strategic and focused discussions. We ask our Trustees to support the Charity in different ways, from listening to staff members, to attending events, to helping on sub-committees. As we move into a year where we review our business plan for the next three years, joining this committed and enthusiastic team will give you an opportunity to help shape the future of the charity.
If you share our values and vision and have the time and commitment to join us at this exciting time, we would love to hear from you.
Chair of Trustees
I am delighted that you are considering joining our great team in this important and rewarding role.
This page aims to give an insight into the work, values and culture of our organisation and as well as providing more information on the role of being a Trustee.
Building on our 50-year history, we are at an exciting point where the organisation is building strong strategic relationships with partners across the district, county and region. Over the coming year and beyond, we will be continuing to deliver projects that help build our members’ skills and knowledge, raising more money for the sector so that they can continue to deliver life changing programs, doing more work to help us communicate more effectively about our own and our members’ impact, and developing projects which bring our members together, with our partners to address the issues we know our communities are facing
Our trustees are encouraged to grow and develop. You receive an induction and opportunities to access training to support you in your role. You will join a friendly team where different experiences and perspectives are valued. You do not need to have any previous experience as a trustee, your keenness to learn and develop in the role is essential. For us, believing in our work is enough – we will support you with everything else.
Thank you once again for your interest in joining us, I hope you find this information pack helpful, and I look forward to possibly working together in the future.
Chief Executive Officer
Our organisation was established in 1972 in response to the economic and social challenges our communities faced at that time. A meeting at Lancaster Town Hall agreed to set up the Council of Community Service, an infrastructure organisation dedicated to supporting an increasing number of community groups. Since then, the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector has continuously expanded, creating positive impact in people’s lives and a much wider participation by communities at every level of political, economic and social life.
Today, as Lancaster District Community & Voluntary Solutions (LDCVS), we draw on those fifty years of experience to support community action through:
- Supporting volunteering
- Helping community organisations recruit and work with volunteers
- Working with people who want to volunteer, brokering suitable opportunities
- Being the local point of contact for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
- Supporting organisations
- Supporting new start-ups and existing groups to develop and improve their structure, governance and forward planning
- Helping them to find funding, primarily by supporting the development of funding strategies and application tactics, in addition to funding searches.
- Offering a growing selection of training courses, ranging from food hygiene certificates to mental health first aid.
- Providing good value payroll and independent examination services
- Supporting the sector
- Developing and nurturing network and partnership groups such as the Children & Young People Multi-Agency Partnership, the VCFSE Leadership Forum, and the Community Learning Network.
- Focusing on the voices and needs of children and young people through the Lancaster District Young People Foundation
- Giving visibility to VCFSE organisations and their activities through coordination of the Lancaster District Directory and provision of social prescribing services.
- Grant administration through the Bay Foundation
- Working with local and national government, and through individual and private sector philanthropy to help grants reach the grassroots organisations which can really make a difference
- Supporting fundraising endeavours around issues of local concern
We are a registered charity, and a company limited by guarantee. Our board members are charity trustees and company directors in an organisation which reports to both the Charity Commission and Companies House as our regulators.
This structure means that the liability of our board members is limited. Our Memorandum of Association states that in the event the charity is dissolved, current and recent directors may be required to contribute a sum not exceeding £10 towards the payment of debts and liabilities.
LDCVS is fully committed to diversity and equality of opportunity in everything that we do. At LDCVS our building is fully accessible for wheelchair users. We are also committed to making other reasonable adjustments to our employment practices and premises, wherever possible, to ensure disabled people are not disadvantaged. We welcome applications from everyone irrespective of gender, age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race or religion and belief.
Find out more about this commitment in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
The journey to becoming a trustee and director has several stages, including attending a board meeting as an observer to introduce yourself before you make a final decision, a vote by existing trustees, and registration with two regulators.
We hope the flowchart below is useful in explaining the process and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
This is a great opportunity for members of the community and representatives of charities to help steer the direction of LDCVS. You will act as an ambassador for LDCVS and provide guidance to the Chief Officer in various decision-making processes as well as developing and overseeing the overall strategy of the organisation.
We are looking for representatives of new organisations, social enterprises, faith groups and small community groups as well as people from some of the larger, longer established charities.
If you have an interest in the local voluntary sector and would like to make significant difference to the third sector support in the Lancaster District, we would very much like to hear from you. Prior experience on boards is not necessary.
Role Title: Trustee of the Management Committee Lancaster District CVS.
Direct Report: None, but works closely with the Chair, Chief Officer and other members of the Board of Trustees. As a charity and company dedicated to the VCFSE sector, our Board, staff and volunteers are responsible in different ways to our communities and our regulators.
Background: Knowledge of the third sector and strategic leadership.
A general background in strategy, governance, finance, HR, fundraising, marketing or any professional discipline would be useful.
- To work as part of the Board to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation.
- Work to ensure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document, charity law, company law and other relevant legislation/regulations. To find out more about these responsibilities, we recommend reading our Memorandum and Articles of Association and the Charity Commission publication The Essential Trustee.
- Work in partnership with the Chair, the Chief Officer and support the employees, to help them achieve the aims of the organisation; and to optimise the relationship between the board of Trustees and the staff.
- Use knowledge and experience to contribute to the board of trustees in stimulating excellent, well-rounded and carefully considered strategic decision-making.
Main Responsibilities of Trustees – in relation to the Board
- Formulating strategic plans and regular reviews of long-term strategic aims of the charity.
- Developing organisational policies, defining goals, targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
- Attending the annual cycle of board meetings, contributing to decisions taken at meetings and ensuring they are implemented.
- Read papers circulated to keep abreast of the organisations’ position and clear grasp of the charity’s financial position.
- Work with other Board members to fulfil their responsibilities and engage in training/coaching/information to enhance overall contribution to the board.
- Engage in team working among Board members and participate in identifying and recruiting new trustees as required.
- Create a strong, profitable and fulfilling working relationship between trustees, the Chief Officer and staff through review and self-reflective evaluation of contributions and effectiveness of the board.
In relation to the community and code of conduct
- Represent the organisation as a spokesperson at appropriate events, meetings or functions.
- Protect and manage the property of the organisation.
- Play a role in the Board’s efforts to foster relations with potential clients and potential funders/donors.
- Act as an adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required.
- Undertake review of external complaints as defined by the organisation’s complaints procedure.
- Ensuring adherence and compliance around key policies to e.g. Equality of Opportunity, Health & Safety and in all decisions and discussions of the Board and its sub-committees.
- Attend and be a member of other committees or working groups when appropriate.
- In order to perform the above role, the Trustees should ensure reasonable engagement with all staff to engender strong relations and support networks between Board and staff.
- Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
- Commitment to the charity’s objects, aims and values and willingness to devote time to carry out responsibilities.
- Strategic and forward looking vision in relation to the charity’s objects and aims.
- Good, independent judgement, political impartiality and the ability to think creatively in the context of the organisation and external environment.
- Good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to respect the confidences of colleagues.
- Balancing tact and diplomacy with willingness to challenge and constructively criticise.
- Prior experience of committee/trustee work.
- Knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation.
- A wider involvement with the voluntary sector.
- Experience of meetings, committee work, some experience of charity finance, charity fundraising.
- At present the board meets once every quarter, and trustees may be needed for subcommittee meetings also held once every quarter.
- It is important that the Trustee can visit the organisation’s office(s) to engage with staff at least twice a year to learn about the operational demands on staff and show support from the Board.
- In addition to Board Meetings, other contact – usually electronic or by telephone – will be necessary.
LDCVS exists to support, connect and champion the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector in Lancaster District.
The work of LDCVS is guided by a set of shared values.
Independence: We are an independent voice for the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise sector, championing its vital role in Lancaster District
Collaboration: We believe in partnership, in the sharing of knowledge, expertise and resources, and the importance of building trust across geographical, organisational, cultural and sectoral boundaries
Social Justice: We value the diversity of the sector and work to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
Empowerment: We seek to enable communities, organisations and networks to become strong, independent and self-sustaining.
Learning: We believe that all of us can grow, learn and develop throughout our lives but often need help to do so.
Participation: We champion the principle of voluntary action, believing strongly in the benefits it brings to individuals and communities in our District.
Quality: We put quality at the heart of all our activities.
To support the sector: incubating, developing and sustaining voluntary and community organisations and enabling them, in turn, to support the communities that they care about.
Achievement of this aim is dependent on ensuring that funding for the sector is both accessible and directed to where it is most needed. We will help funders to develop their knowledge of our local communities and their needs, and of how best to target resources to address those. We will provide support to VCFSE organisations in turn: telling them what funding is available and aiding their success in applying for it.
The VCFSE sector is dependent on the contribution of its volunteers. We will make local citizens aware both of specific volunteering opportunities and of the wider benefits of participation. We will support VCFSE organisations to attract, develop, support and retain those volunteers.
We will continue to be centrally involved in promoting the professionalism of the sector, through training and capacity building – for both paid staff and volunteers, including trustees – across all areas, including new developments such as social prescribing.
To connect the sector: forging links between individuals, communities and groups, and between the sector as a whole and other partners.
As a district, we can only be successful in tackling entrenched problems, such as poverty, if we understand, and are able to work together to address, underlying inequalities. The VCFSE sector has a vital role to play. To achieve this aim, we will continue to create and contribute to forums for the exploration and discussion of the complex challenges we face, ensuring that all voices – not just the loudest – can be heard. We will continue to facilitate the Voluntary Sector Leadership Forum and expand our involvement with Community Action Networks and with new developments in population health. We will also help to develop skills – amongst VCFSE sector staff and volunteers – in collaborative working and peer mentoring.
To champion the sector: ensuring that both its achievements and its challenges are recognised
Championing the VCFSE sector means more than just publicising its achievements and its work. It means harnessing our sector’s collective power and pushing for the best environment for its survival. As a VCFSE infrastructure body, we will continue to develop through research, and promote, an understanding of the unique contribution that the sector makes to promoting community wellbeing and public health. We will work with our members to build stronger relationships with decision makers – ensuring that, in the formulation of all public policy, the VCFSE is recognised as a strategic partner. We aim to strengthen the sector’s ability to effect change in the District; working with other infrastructure bodies (local, regional and national) to ensure that both its achievements and its challenges are recognised.
To sustain ourselves as an organisation, and stay open to new learning.
Achievement of all our aims is dependent on our development of a sustainable funding model for our own organisation. We will ensure the wellbeing of our own staff and volunteers through managing all aspects of our operations effectively and by rigorously maintaining an inclusive, fair and open-minded culture in our workplace.