Aspens Charities: Help us lead the way

At Aspens, we’re growing our board of volunteer trustees and committee members to match our growing ambition. We care, support and empower children, young people and adults living with disabilities, complex needs and autism in south east England. We believe everyone deserves the chance to live life to its full potential. If you believe this too, read on!

We’re looking for volunteers to help us lead the way for those we’re there for, helping to make sure we’re the best organisation we can be. Join us as a trustee on our board, or perhaps start off by bringing your skills to one of our two committees instead.

If you’re interested in a volunteer role working directly with those we support, head over to our volunteer with us page for our latest vacancies.

What Aspens’ trustees do

Our trustees are all volunteers who give their time, skills and energy to make sure Aspens behaves as a charity should and succeeds for the benefit of those we empower.

Our board of trustees has overall responsibility for the legal, strategic and financial health of Aspens. It ensures Aspens has the right structures and ways of working to make decisions well. Our decisions are always shaped by the views and experiences of those we’re there for, along with the expertise of our staff who work with passion and pride.

Our board of trustees meet four to five times a year. Each trustee is also a member of at least one committee which meets a further four to five times a year. Trustees also participate in annual strategic planning days, and undertake a number of mandatory training sessions. Our trustees commit around 15 days a year to Aspens. 

Who can be an Aspens trustee?

Almost anyone! You must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • not be disqualified under the Charities Act
  • be a ‘fit and proper persons’ under the Finance Act
  • pass Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

We want our board of trustees to represent fully the society we’re a part of. You don’t have to be employed, or have had any work experience. We won’t ask for knowledge of charities, or the sector we’re in – that can be learnt. This might be your first trustee role, or it could be something you’ve done before.

We want to hear from you if:

  • you feel you can commit to our values and aims
  • you’re willing to take on the legal responsibilities of being a trustee
  • you have some time to give voluntarily
  • you have skills to contribute to leading Aspens

Whilst we welcome all skills and experiences, we’re particularly interested to hear about any social care and/or HR knowledge potential trustees or committee members may have gained along the way. It’s not essential though – so don’t let a lack of knowledge in these areas stop you from applying!

If you’re not looking for a trusteeship, but you’re passionate about sharing your skills and experiences voluntarily, there’s the option to join us as a committee member instead. Some of our trustees started as committee members. We have a Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, and a Governance Committee.

Aspens works across the south east of England, and our head office is in Pembury, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Whilst our board meetings are held at our head office, we don’t expect our trustees to necessarily be able to attend meetings in-person. Technology helps us connect. It’s your skills and commitment we’re interested in most – not your locality.

What we’ll give you

Being a trustee or committee member is as much about getting something for you as it is about you giving to the organisation. If you join our board of trustees or a committee expect:

  • supportive co-trustees and committee members
  • multidisciplinary team working
  • professional training and development
  • opportunities for mentorship and to learn from others
  • experience of being a non-executive director
  • greater understanding of your leadership style and qualities
  • the feeling you’re making a direct difference

Gill Marcus, Chair of Trustees

Gill spent most of her career as a lawyer in the corporate world working for National Lottery operator Camelot. From there, she went on to Cancer Research UK and later took her passion for the not-for-profit sector into a voluntary role. Having chaired the board during the creation of Aspens from its merger, Gill is now enjoying watching the charity grow and thrive.

gill marcus, chair of trustees

How to apply

If you’re ready to apply for a trusteeship or to join us as a committee member, download our application pack or email Sharon Sim, Head of Office for the Chief Executive at [email protected] and request an application pack to be posted out to you.

Closing date for applications: Monday 30 November 2020.  

If you’d like to chat to someone about what it’s like to be a trustee at Aspens before deciding what to do next - drop an email to Gill Marcus, Chair of Trustees at [email protected] with your availability and a few words about what you’d like to cover in the conversation. We’ll get a date in the diary!