Museum Trustee

Posted by East Grinstead Museum

Museum Trustee

Home-based East Grinstead, West Sussex Check commute

Voluntary role

Voluntary

Trustee19

Job Description

Introduction

East Grinstead Museum was founded in 1976. It its transformation from a Charitable Trust to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The Museum is independent, being managed by a board of eight voluntary trustees, and is totally dependent on grants, sponsorship and donations for its income. An exciting new opportunity has arisen for the board to recruit a new trustee to help take the Museum forward into its next phase of development.

The Museum

The Museum is housed in a purpose-built building, just off the High Street, which opened in September 2006. The building costs were covered by an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and community fundraising initiatives. The Museum is open 5 days a week, including weekends and Bank Holidays, and admission is free. The Museum's permanent displays focus on the history of the town and its surrounding villages. Artefacts and memorabilia are interspersed with interactive touch screens and film. Part of the gallery is used for temporary exhibitions, that cover local subjects. These are frequently mounted in conjunction with local community groups. In 2016, the Museum was awarded a further Heritage Lottery Fund grant to develop permanent displays in the Museum to tell the story of the pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe and his patients known as the Guinea Pig Club, who were based at The Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. The Museum offers a programme of activities during school holidays, aimed at children between the ages of five to eleven. The Museum often receives visits by groups and schools arranged to suit their needs. Outreach talks are regularly given to local community organisations. and a further programme of talks.  A part-time Museum Manager and a part-time Collections Officer are employed, with all other roles being undertaken by volunteers.

Purpose

The trustees have ultimate responsibility for the Museum and are collectively responsible for its governance. The role of trustees is to ensure that the Museum has a clear vision and strategic direction, is sustainable and complies with the law.

Key Responsibilities of this Trustee role

The role of a trustee for the Museum is varied, exciting and hugely rewarding. Key responsibilities for this trustee role are:

  • Contribute to the work of the Board, including setting the strategic direction, overseeing operating performance and ensuring compliance with national and local Museum standards and policies in support of the Museum’s charitable aims.
  • Ensure that the Trust complies with charity law, and with the requirements of the Charity Commission as regulator.
  • Ensure that the Trust does not breach any of the requirements or rules set out in its constitution and that it remains true to the charitable purpose and objects set out.
  • Comply with the requirements of other legislation and other regulators such as the Equality Act, Health & Safety, employment law and data protection as data controller.
  • Act with integrity, and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of Trust funds or assets.
  • Ensure that the Trust is and will remain solvent.
  • Use Trust funds and assets reasonably, and only in furtherance of the Trust’s charitable objects.
  • Take special care when investing the funds of the charity, or borrowing funds.
  • Use reasonable care and skill in their work as Trustees, using their personal skills and experience as needed to ensure that the charity is well-run and efficient.
  • Consider soliciting external professional advice on all matters where there maybe material risk to the charity, or where the Trustees may possibly be in breach of their duties.
  • Identify risks and put in place mitigation measures.
  • Ensure clear vision and strategic direction through the Business Plan.
  • Set aims, objectives and plans to implement the strategy.
  • Assist with settinging and agreeing all policies.
  • Receive reports from the paid staff and monitor and review performance against agreed objectives.
  • Approve the annual budget, monitor performance against the annual budget and ensure financial sustainability.
  • Ensure that the Museum meets and retains the standards set out in the Museum Accreditation Scheme.
  • Appoint paid staff.
  • Safeguard the good name of the Museum, acting as an enthusiastic and well-informed ambassador.
  • Campaign, lobby and generally advocate on behalf of the Museum, so as to enhance its profile.
  • Use any specific skills, knowledge and professional expertise to help Trustees reach sound decisions.

Commitment

  • Trustees serve for a fixed term of four years.
  • The trustee board meets six times a year. Trustees are also expected to take on specific tasks and activities.
  • Trustees are expected to undertake training and to develop relevant skills and knowledge as required.
  • Trustees need to commit the necessary time to be effective.
  • Trustees must adhere to the Museums Association Code of Ethics and all the Museum’s policies.
  • Trustees are expected to act reasonably and prudently in the best interests of the Museum, never in pursuit of personal interests or the interests of another organisation and to meet the legal obligations common to all charity trustees (ie comply with charity law, duty of prudence and duty of care).
  • Trustees are expected to adhere to Nolan's Principles of Public Life.

Person specification

It is essential that trustees should have/be:

  • The ability to think strategically and creatively, demonstrate objectivity, good judgement and analytical ability.
  • A willingness to learn.
  • Good communication, team-working and interpersonal skills.
  • Tactful, diplomatic and able to build relationships.
  • Fair, impartial and open to new ideas.
  • Experience of trusteeship/committee member of a charity or other voluntary organisation.

Suitable applicants will be invited for an informal discussion at the Museum with two existing trustees and the Museum Manager

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