Volunteering

Chair – Third Age Project

Location: London

Date Posted: 02/09/2020

Closing Date: 21/09/2020

Job description

All our charitable activities focus on our target groups, namely isolated older people who live in and around our area of benefit, who are on low income and who experience significant barriers in accessing mainstream and other services and facilities.

Who we are

 

Third Age Project was established over two decades ago in January 1997 to serve the needs of 1 in 4 of the local population who are over 60 years of age. Over the last two decades it has become an important and popular facility within the London Borough of Camden and widely recognised as a successful multicultural community resource centre.

TAP’s mission is to turn on its head the prevalent view that the Third Age is a burden on society and promote the view old people are valuable and important assets to be placed at the very heart of a community. In doing so we transform older people’s lives, nurture creative aspiration, co-produce low cost services and build community, reversing the declining quality of life and well-being of the elderly.

Our purpose
Our charity’s purposes as set out in the objects contained in the company’s memorandum of association are:

* To benefit the public by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities for education, recreation and other leisure-time occupations in the interests of social welfare;

* To relieve older people in need aged 50 years and over in particular those living in the West Euston area.

The aims of our charity are to improve the quality of life and well being of older people, particularly those in high need that experience barriers to accessing mainstream or other older people’s services and facilities. These barriers include social and economic isolation, having English as a second language, cultural background, lack of formal education, a physical or mental disability and/or one or more long-term health conditions e.g. heart disease.

Our work
We provide a wide range of social, cultural, educational, healthy living and basic life skill courses, as well as befriending and support services, with the aims of improving quality of life, general health and well being, and to equip older people with the confidence and knowledge to exercise greater choice and influence over decisions that affect their lives. These services are undertaken to further our charitable purposes for the public benefit.

Where we operate
Over 50% of Camden’s Lower Super Output Areas are in the worst 20% across the country for older people’s income deprivation and 20% are in the worst 5%. Poor health, immobility and living in a deprived area are additional issues often faced by the socially isolated. Indeed, there is an 11 year difference in life expectancy between men living in the most deprived areas in Camden and those living in the most affluent areas – the 3rd highest disparity in London. Through consultation, participation, and research we have learned that older people in Camden who are socially isolated are:

• often living alone (10,000 pensioners in Camden do so, including 6,400 on the first floor or above and around 800 on the 5th floor or higher);
• frequently single, divorced or never married, or have caring responsibilities;
• often on a low income;
• vulnerable to social isolation at transitions in their life such as bereavement and retirement.

Those from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and/or who identify as LGBT are particularly vulnerable to being socially isolated. Camden’s BME population (33.8%) is significantly higher than the English average (14.1%) and has poorer health outcomes than the wider community, and greater difficulty in accessing health, social care and other services. Given the high levels of mental health needs (3rd highest in London), over 3,000 older people are likely to be experiencing depression or anxiety.

The role
The Chair will hold the Board to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity. The Chair will also support, and, where appropriate, challenge the General Manager and ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire Staff team of the charity to achieve agreed objectives. The Chair will work with the General Manager and Trustee Board to set the strategic direction and framework for the organisation. He or she will act as an ambassador and the public face of the charity in partnership with the General Manager.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic leadership
• Provide leadership to the charity and its Board, ensuring that the Charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries
• Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Charity
• Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives, and provides a clear strategic direction for the Charity
• Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, and manage and mitigate the risks
• Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the charity, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability

Governance
• Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the Charity
• Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees
• Encourage positive change and where appropriate Address and resolve any conflicts within the Board
• Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively, and which also reflects the wider population
• Work within any agreed policies adopted by the charity

External Relations
• Act as an ambassador for the cause and the charity
• Maintain close relationships with key partners and with key stakeholders
• Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate
• Represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events
• Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders

Efficiency and effectiveness
• Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision making process
• Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership
• Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees
• Work closely with the General Manager to give direction to Board policy-making and to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of trustees
• Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented

Relationship with the management team
• Establish and build a strong, effective and a constructive working relationship with the General Manager, ensuring he is held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives
• Support the General Manager, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles
• Ensure regular contact with the General Manager and develop and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges
• Liaise with the General Manager to maintain an overview of the Charity’s affairs, providing support as necessary
• Hold regular one to ones with the General Manager in addition to an annual appraisal

The above list is indicative only and not exhaustive. The Chair will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role.

Experience and Skills required

Personal Qualities
• Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the charity, its strategic objectives and cause
• Personal gravitas to lead the organisation
• Exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities and be comfortable in an ambassadorial role
• Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively
• Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the charity
• Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment
• Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including travel and attending events out of office hours (Board meetings are every two months with a half day strategy day once per year)

Experience
• Experience of operating at a strategic leadership level within an organisation
• Successful track record of achievement through their career
• Experience of charity governance and working with or as part of a Board of Trustees
• Experience of external representation, delivering presentations and managing stakeholders
• Experience of chairing meetings and events

Knowledge and skills
• Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together
• Good understanding of charity governance and finance issues

How to apply

If you are interested in applying and have the skills and experience to support and help further develop our organisation, please apply via the link with:

• A supporting statement illustrating your fit for this role against the criteria and experience sought, and crucially, your motivation for applying for the role;

• A current comprehensive CV, including details of two referees (who will not of course be contacted without your prior knowledge and consent).

Closing date for applications is Monday 21st September.

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