Trustees and Governance

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Trustees (who are also called Directors) are responsible for the good governance of Jigsaw4u. Currently, there are 8 Trustees/ Directors at Jigsaw4u who attend Board Meetings every 2 months and meet at other times in sub groups as required. The Trustee Board – in partnership with the Director of Operations- sets the long term vision for Jigsaw4u and protects the reputation and values of the charity.   In order to achieve this, the Board has proper policies and procedures in place, which are regularly reviewed. It works well as a team and has good relationships with staff within the organisation.

The Board regularly meets with representatives of the operational teams –at the Board meeting -or by attending team meetings – as well as receiving full updates from the Director of Operations. This ensures that trustees are fully aware of operational pressures and are not taking decisions in a vacuum.

Trustees have a wide range of experiences and professional skills, which are outlined below together with photos of current Board members.  In summary, these include: financial skills, social work, management, marketing, fundraising, business development, human resources and administration in the public (local and central government), private sector and the voluntary sector.

In the ‘Essential Trustee’ (CC3) The Charity Commission sets out six key duties for charity trustees:

  • Ensure your charity is carrying out its purpose for the public benefit
  • Comply with your charity’s governing document and the law
  • Act in the interests of their charity and its beneficiaries
  • Manage your charity’s resources responsibly
  • Act with reasonable care and skill
  • Ensure your charity is accountable


Induction for trustees

Newly appointed trustees are provided with a trustees’ pack, the Charity Commission guide ‘the Essential Trustee’ and a copy of the Memorandum and Articles and the latest minutes of the Board of Trustees, financial report, annual report and strategic and operational plans.

Trustees attend activities in the Jigsaw4u centre, and attend staff meetings. They are linked to another trustee to provide mentoring as needed. They are encouraged to attend training provided for Trustees by the local SCVS, MVSC or delivered by Kingston Smith. The Director of Operations circulates information about any training opportunities available for Trustees to attend as well as relevant information received from NCVO or local Voluntary Services Council. It is a requirement of all Trustees that they undertake child protection within the first 6 months of appointment and thereafter every 2 years.

Who is eligible to be a trustee?

You must not act as a trustee if you:

  • Are under 16 years’ old
  • Are disqualified under the Charites Act
  • Have an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception (such as fraud)
  • Are bankrupt or have entered into a formal arrangement with a creditor
  • Have been removed as a company director or charity trustee because of wrongdoing
  • Have been barred by the DBS or have a conviction related to offences against children and young people
  • Have a serious conflict of interests with the aims and objectives of the charity

It is important that any trustee should be interested in the charity’s work and be willing to give the time to help run it.

The 3 key priorities for Jigsaw4u trustees are:

  • Safeguarding children and young people
  • Ensuring financial sustainability for the charity
  • Acting with high ethical standards – for themselves and staff

Trustees regularly review Jigsaw4u’s Governance – at least annually – to ensure that all trustees fully understand their roles and responsibilities and that the necessary procedures and policies are up to date.

Trustees, in partnership with the Director of Operations and in consultation with staff – agree the long term Strategic Business Plan, setting the aims and objectives for the following 3 years. Jigsaw4u trustees ensure there are good internal financial and management controls and systems for identifying and managing risk.

Operational plans, budgets and targets for financial reserves are set each year and regularly monitored and reviewed at Board Meetings.

Jigsaw4u aims for a skilled and diverse Board in line with organisational need. Opportunities are provided for training and professional development – particularly in relation to trustees’ responsibilities and safeguarding.

It is expected that Jigsaw4u trustees will always behave with integrity, will help safeguard and promote Jigsaw4u’s reputation and ensure high ethical standards. Trustees are reminded of the need to declare any potential conflict of interests at the beginning of each meeting – and will withdraw from the discussion of any items that might prove a conflict.

Jigsaw4u trustees ensure that they and the charity are open and accountable; consulting with staff about any significant changes to services or policies; listening and responding to the views of all stakeholders; handling any complaints constructively and impartially; and considering Jigsaw4u’s responsibility to the wider community.

Recruiting trustees

Before recruiting new trustees, the Board will consider what skills trustees currently have on the Board and whether any particular gaps need to be filled.

These vacancies will be advertised externally on various trustee websites, local Voluntary Services Councils and Jigsaw4u’s own website. Trustees must be at least 16 years old.

Prospective applicants can meet a trustee informally to discuss what is involved in the role. They are then required to complete an application form, giving details of their experience, why they wish to become a trustee, 2 referees and any potential conflict of interest. They will also be required to complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Check)

Once the application form is received, 2 trustees will interview the applicant. They will provide the applicant with a copy of Jigsaw4u’s Constitution, most recent Annual Report and Budget; the Essential Trustee Guide from the Charity Commission and the most recent minutes of a Board meeting. If all parties wish to go ahead, the applicant will be invited to a Board Meeting as an observer.

Following the meeting the Board members will be asked if they approve the application – if they do, the applicant will be informed and appointed – subject to satisfactory references and DBS check.

The Jigsaw4u office will then inform the Charity Commission and Companies House of the appointment.   Details of new trustee appointments will be reported at the AGM, but the AGM does not have the responsibility to appoint trustees – this remains the responsibility of existing trustees/ directors.