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Volunteering

Trustee with legal experience for Winchester Science Centre (WSC)

Location: Winchester, Hampshire

Date Posted: 17/04/2019

Closing Date: 16/07/2019

Job Description

Winchester Science Centre (WSC) is an independent educational charity dedicated to sparking curiosity and building science capital for all, governed by a Board of up to 12 trustees. We are currently seeking an enthusiastic and committed individual with a legal background to join the Board and help steer the charity through a pivotal and exciting period of change.

With two floors of hands-on interactive exhibits, the UK’s largest standalone planetarium and a wide-ranging events programme, the charity is a regional leader in science communication. We welcome over 185,000 visitors to the Science Centre annually, including over 40,000 school children, and engage with more than 30,000 people through school and community outreach activities. The centre has long been a proponent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) giving young people the opportunity to interact with these subjects in a creative and entertaining way. To that end the Centre is home to the STEM NOW team who run the South Central STEM Ambassador Hub on behalf of STEM Learning UK, coordinating more than 4,000 volunteers. Furthermore, as part of long-term strategic direction to engage with new and underserved audiences, our reach extends outside the Science Centre through an exciting events programme and successful partnerships with universities and industry.

The Centre enjoys a stunning rural location within the South Downs National Park, with excellent road links from London and across the South of England.

It is an exciting time for WSC as we begin a £1.1m transformation to create a more inclusive and accessible experience for our visitors. A grant of £500,000 from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is funding the first major milestone in the project – a full upgrade to the planetarium in June 2019, and the installation of a registered Changing Places facility a few months later. A second stage of the development, supported by Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council, will be the reimagining of the Science Centre’s upper exhibition floor in spring 2020.

At such a pivotal time for the charity, and to achieve such huge ambitions, we are looking for an enthusiastic and committed individual with a legal background to join our Board.

If you would like to join us on our vision to Spark Curiosity; would like to be involved in a dynamic, innovative charity and would be committed to our objectives and seeing the charity succeed, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Person specification

  • The ideal candidate for this role will have a legal background – experience of charity law is desirable but not essential.
  • In line with our ambitions to become a beacon for accessibility in STEM engagement, the ideal candidate will have a genuine interest in disability and diversity and be motivated to support all aspects of our work.
  • All trustees are expected to be able to make a contribution towards securing a sustainable funding base for the organisation so some experience, or an interest in fundraising is desirable.
  • An understanding of the voluntary sector and previous experience as a charity trustee are both desirable but not essential.
  • Enthusiasm towards engaging and inspirational STEM education is desirable, but a background in one of these areas is not essential.
  • As a trustee you will be part of an innovative organisation, therefore we will be looking for individuals with an ability to think creatively.
  • Ability to both constructively challenge and support the leadership team.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, with a strategic vision and a commitment to the organisation.

Trustee Responsibilities

  • WSC is governed by a Board of up to 12 trustees who hold collective responsibility for the charity’s strategic direction and governance. The position on the Board is voluntary with a minimum commitment of four meetings per year. Once elected, Trustees can serve a maximum of 3 terms of 3 years.
  • Currently, Board meetings take place once per quarter, usually in January, April, July and November from 9.30am-1pm. Additionally we hold an annual strategy day and staff/trustee conference.
  • We hope that trustees will participate in fundraising, promote our work and sit on at least one Committee relevant to their skillset (e.g. Audit, Remuneration, Fundraising etc.). Committees generally meet 2-4 times per year. Additional time for reviewing papers prior to each meeting should also be factored in.
  • The Board of Trustees comprises: the Chair, the Deputy Chair, and includes individuals from all walks of life including both business and academia, providing a range of perspectives. More information about current Trustees is available on our website
  • Potential Trustees may find it useful to look at the guidance on Trustees from the Charity Commission: “The Essential Trustee: What you need to know CC3”

How to apply

If you are interested in becoming a trustee, please send a CV and cover letter setting out your motivation for joining the Board of Trustees and what you would be able to bring to the role, to Laura Ollis (Head of HR and Executive Assistant to the CEO).

This vacancy will be managed on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is found.

If you would like to arrange an informal conversation with our Chair or Deputy Chair of Trustees, prior to submitting an application, please email Laura to arrange. Candidates will be interviewed by a panel of existing Trustees and will also have the opportunity to meet the CEO and some staff. There will be an induction session for the successful new Trustee.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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