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Chair of Trustee Board

Job role:
Chair of Trustee Board
Advice Area:
Welfare Benefits
Citizens Advice Lewisham
South East
Job type:
Working hours:
Part time
Closing date:
01-07-2024 - 23:59
Job description:

We are currently seeking a Chair to join our dynamic charity board as our current chair is coming towards the end of their term.

We are a highly engaged board who is passionate about ensuring our charity makes a big difference to Lewisham residents, especially to the most vulnerable people. We work in a collegiate way, respecting the diverse viewpoints board members bring to the table and hold ourselves to high professional standards.

The Chair will work closely with the CEO, staff, volunteers and other Trustees to support Citizens Advice Lewisham in making a difference in the lives of people who live and work in the Borough.

General Trustee duties and responsibilities

Each individual member of the Trustee Board has a responsibility to contribute to the discharging of the board’s duties. They do this by:
● Governing the charity in the best interest of the clients and in line with the governing documents.
● Actively contributing to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance and ensuring effective oversight of the charity’s activities. This includes visiting Citizens Advice Lewisham to get to know the team and being aware of the service in action.
● Taking responsibility for their own learning and development.
● Monitoring whether the service complies with its governing document and how well the advice needs of the local community are being met.
● Supporting the development of Citizens Advice Lewisham through agreed projects and managing risk.
● Maintaining confidentiality about any sensitive or confidential information received.

Chair specific responsibilities

Plan the board meetings including the dates and the agenda, supported by the CEO.
● Facilitate the trustee board meetings by leading the meeting, ensuring that agenda items are discussed, enabling all members to contribute their views and take part and seeking clarification where necessary.
● Ensure that decisions and actions taken at board meetings are carried out.
● Ensure that the board decisions are made within the remit of the Citizens Advice membership agreement, governing documents and policies.
● Monitor attendance and commitment of all trustees.
● Provide or arrange for training or support for trustees if needed.
● With other trustees and the CEO, recruit a trustee board with a diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge with an aim to promote trusteeship to underrepresented groups that represent the local community.
● Ensure that all trustees receive an induction and the training needed for them to fulfil their role.
● Be proactive in recruiting successors to key positions such as Chair, Treasurer etc.
● Arrange or provide support and supervision for the CEO including an annual appraisal.
● Together with the Treasurer, ensure proper management and control of local Citizens Advice finances.
● Together with the CEO, represent the local Citizens Advice in relationships with funders or potential funders, local events and in the community.
● Work together with all trustees and ensure that the board is able to:
● Set policy and strategy direction, set targets and evaluate the performance of the local Citizens Advice.
● Monitor the financial position of the local Citizens Advice ensuring that it operates within its means and objectives, ensuring that there are clear lines of accountability for day to day financial management.
● Monitor whether the Citizens Advice service complies with its governing document and meets the required standards.
● Seek the views of all sections of the community and monitor how well the service meets the needs of the local community.
● Ensure that the service plans for the recruitment and turnover of staff and volunteers.
● Review its own work and how effectively it operates including action for improvement.
● Work on specific projects to further the strategic objectives of the local Citizens Advice.

General Trustee skills and qualities

● Ability to meet time commitment.
● Commitment to clients and ensuring the impact of Citizens Advice Lewisham in the local community.
● Ability to fulfil governance role, specifically to manage risks, ensure oversight and strategic development of the charity.
● Effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion.
● Willingness to gain knowledge of local needs and resources.

● Commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Lewisham CAB service, including those relating to equal opportunities, independence, and research and campaigns.
● Ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as Trustees and employers.
● Willingness and ability to learn and to develop.
● Ability to think creatively and strategically, and exercise good, independent judgement.
● Ability to build productive respectful relationships with other Trustees, staff and volunteers.
● Willingness to actively participate in discussions concerning needs of the charity’s beneficiaries, staff and the Trustee board.
● Willingness to act in the best interest of the charity.
● Sound, independent judgement and ability to think creatively.
● Working effectively as a team member and demonstrating a willingness to learn and develop.

Chair specific skills and qualities

● Preferable experience in trustee board governance.
● Excellent interpersonal skills.
● Good leadership skills.
● Ability to facilitate and lead meetings.
● An understanding of the responsibilities and liabilities as trustees.
● Ability to be non-judgmental and respecting views, values and cultures that are different to your own.
● Good numeracy skills to understand financial accounts with the support of the treasurer.
● An understanding of the type of work undertaken by a local Citizens Advice.

Time Commitment and availability to attend required meetings

a) As Chair
● Quarterly governance committee meetings (each 11⁄2 hours plus prep).
● On average half a day per week working with the organisation on chair matters.
b) As Trustee
● Quarterly evening Trustee Board meetings (each 21⁄2 hours plus prep).
● One annual Trustee Board awayday (weekend – 5 hours plus prep).
● Liaison with CEO and colleague Trustees by phone, e-mail or Skype (occasional).
● Day-time visits to our offices to understand our work and engage with staff/volunteers (occasional).
● Two annual stakeholder events (one evening event, one mid-week all-day event).
● Liaising with other trustees and CEO via email and phone in between meetings.
● Where required, leading independently on key projects.
● Any further day time visits and meetings that may arise during the year.

What’s in it for you?

● You will contribute to making a positive impact for people in Lewisham.
● You will meet people and build relationships with trustees, staff and other volunteers.
● You will build on your governance, leadership and strategy skills.


This is an unpaid voluntary role and reasonable expenses will be covered by advance agreement.


We seek candidate Trustees from all backgrounds so that our board represents the diversity of our community. We welcome applications from all candidates regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

As services are delivered in a small geographic area applicants should ideally live, work or study in, or near, Lewisham or have some local knowledge of the area.

How to apply

Application: Please send us a CV highlighting relevant skills and experience you will bring to the role along with a completed Application Form

Closing date: 1 July 2024

Interviews: TBC

Contact: If you would like to have a conversation with someone about this role, please get in touch with the Head of Business & Development who can set up a chat with the Chair or CEO.

Disclosure: Applicants must complete the Disclosure and EDI Form as part of their application.

To apply, email organisation.