Oxford, Oxfordshire
Job description


Chair of the Board of Trustees

(VOLUNTARY ROLE / reasonable out of pocket expenses are payable within agreed budget)



Thank you for your interest in becoming Chair of the Board of Elmore Community Services and taking the time to find out more about our Charity.


(1) About Elmore:


This year Elmore Community Services celebrates our 30th anniversary. Elmore exists because, if we didn’t, the people who depend on our services would have few other places to go in Oxfordshire. Since 1989 we have been working with vulnerable people experiencing several overlapping challenges at the same time, including mental ill health, homelessness, rough sleeping, slavery, abuse, exploitation, and alcohol and drug addictions.


The people we support were not a recognised client group when Elmore was born in 1989. Ours is a model of recovery which we have helped to move into the mainstream of service delivery. We spot the gaps in existing services and innovate services to ensure that no-one is forced to fall through the cracks in provision. We are firmly committed to and passionate about ensuring that our policies and practices are co-produced with service users, and at present, we do so through our longstanding Elmore Members’ Association.


This recruitment pack has been considered by a meeting of Elmore Members’ Association and the views of service users have shaped what you read. It is Elmore’s intention that a service user will be on the recruitment panel which interviews candidates and questions suggested by service users will be put to them. Several Elmore service users shaped and were involved in our recent Chief Executive recruitment.


With such needs, clients do not fit easily into services and can be hard to engage. The ‘Elmore way’ is subtle, it’s person-centred and flexible, and it brings out the skill and expert judgement of our experienced workers. Ours is an outreach service. Initial approaches may be rejected, but the Elmore worker will persevere. Different tactics will be tried out to engage the client. At the heart of this process is the relationship of the worker with the client, so the build-up of trust which delivers positive outcomes in the longer-term means work can go at a slower pace.


Elmore occupies a disproportionately large position in the significant network of agencies across Oxfordshire because our work crosses so many professional boundaries. Agencies refer to the team on a variety of matters such as getting information about a client, about network resources, or to get advice on aspects of case management. Other aspects of network involvement include helping to maintain the feeling and continuity of the network, contributing to a directory of services, attending meetings to exchange information and problem solve, supporting new workers from partner agencies, presenting to people who are interested in the work of the team, actively promoting new initiatives to bridge emerging gaps, and developing local strategies and operational plans. Elmore draws on our relationships and linkages to support clients, especially through our membership of the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership.


Last year Elmore supported a total of 385 clients. At the cutting edge of our work is our NHS-funded mental health and complex needs team, our work to help residents to maintain their tenancies, our support to a Primary Care and Wellbeing Project, our support to adult victims of childhood sexual exploitation, and our modern-day slavery research.


Elmore is a registered Charity and a charitable company. We currently have an annual income of just over £760,000 and employ 30 people.


Additional information about Elmore’s current services and the voices of our service users over our thirty-year history are in our 30th anniversary Review enclosed in this pack.


(2) Time commitment:


6 Board meetings per year. The Chair is expected to prepare for and participate in bi-monthly Board meetings which take place on the third Thursday of a month from 6.00-8.00pm in the Cowley area of Oxford (where Elmore is based) and half-day strategy meetings up to twice a year.


The scheduled 2020 dates for Board meetings are 16 January, 19 March, 21 May, 16 July, 17 September, and 19 November. The Vice-Chair acts for the Chair when the Chair is otherwise engaged and undertakes assignments at the request of the Chair.


Trustees also serve on ad hoc working groups and formally agreed subcommittees and may choose to support staff in initiatives or areas in which they have specialist skills, knowledge or experience. In addition to chairing the main Board meetings, the Chair has the right but will not be expected to attend sub-committees, which meet quarterly and report to Board.


The Chair is expected to have regular scheduled meetings with the Chief Executive and, by prior agreement, represent the Charity at events and meetings with key stakeholders.


The Chair is also supported to have professional development opportunities and training, and the current Chair, Trustees, and management team will support with a full induction during your first months in the role.


The Chair’s role has required, on average, 10-14 hours per month. Some availability during the Elmore office-hours (9am-5pm) would be helpful, but flexibility will be provided for.


The Charity’s Chair will serve a three-year term.


(3) Reporting to:


Board of Trustees (Executive Committee).


(4) Who are we looking for?


We are looking to recruit a Chair of Trustees to join our Board as our current chair is coming towards the end of her term. We are seeking a Chair who is committed to improving the lives of people with multiple and complex needs and shares our belief in the importance of service user involvement. With an experienced team in place and a strong Board behind it, the organisation is seeking to appoint a Chair to move the Charity into its next phase.


You will have leadership skills, be familiar with working in dynamic environments, and be capable of creating, communicating, and holding Elmore to a long-term vision. You should have some familiarity with the governance issues of charities and the financial aspects of managing a Charity, and Elmore can provide for your level of knowledge to be raised. You will have some knowledge of the challenges of providing services to vulnerable people and be able to represent and promote the Charity at a senior level.


Elmore is committed to equal opportunities and non-discriminatory practices. We welcome applications from people who identify as having direct, personal experience of using mental health services and who can use this experience in the role. Elmore seeks to support people with caring responsibilities through flexible working arrangements.  


(5) Role Description:


(5.1) Strategic Leadership

  • Provide leadership to the Charity and its Board, ensuring that the Charity can have maximum impact for service users
  • Ensure that Trustees fulfil their legal 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 can 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


(5.2) Governance

  • Ensure 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 where appropriate. Address any conflicts in the Board
  • Take responsibility for appraisal of the performance of the Trustees on an annual basis
  • Ensure the Board of Trustees incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience to govern and lead the Charity, which reflects the wider population
  • Work within any agreed policies adopted by the Charity


(5.3) External Relations

  • Act as an ambassador for the Charity at external functions, meetings and events
  • Raise awareness of the Charity across all of Oxfordshire, so that Elmore is better known


(5.4) 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
  • Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented


(5.5) Relationship with the Chief Executive and the wider management team

  • Establish and build a strong, effective and constructive working relationship with the Chief Executive, ensuring s/he is held to account for achieving agreed objectives
  • Work closely with the Chief Executive to give direction to Board policymaking and to ensure meetings are planned, purposeful, and reflect the responsibilities of trustees
  • Liaise with the Chief Executive to maintain an overview of the Charity’s affairs, providing support as necessary, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the roles
  • Conduct an annual appraisal and remuneration review for the Chief Executive in consultation with other Trustees
  • Ensure that the Chief Executive has the opportunity for professional development and has appropriate external professional support


(6) Person Specification


(6.1) Personal Qualities

  • Demonstrate a strong and visible commitment to the Charity. Enthusiasm for co-producing policy and practice with service users.
  • Exhibit strong inter-personal skills and can develop effective working relationships with the Trustees, CEO, and staff
  • Comfortable in an ambassadorial role for the organisation and cultivating relationships with stakeholders and partner organisations at senior management levels
  • Ability to lead the other members of the board to move the organisation’s work plan forward, fostering and promoting a collaborative team environment
  • Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively


(6.2) Experience

  • Experience of operating at a senior leadership level
  • Proven chairperson skills, and leads in a clear and inclusive way
  • 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 representation and management of stakeholders


(6.3) Knowledge and skills

  • Knowledge and understanding of the sector and its issues and a willingness to learn
  • Broad understanding of Elmore’s client group
  • Strong leadership and communication skills, ability to bring people together
  • Willingness to engage in professional development opportunities and training
  • Understanding of governance including legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship
  • Financial management expertise and a broad understanding of Charity finance issues


  • Able to commit the required time to the role
  • Be within reasonable travelling distance and with access to transport to reach Elmore Community Services offices on regular basis


(7) Current Trustees and Chief Executive:


Lyn Waddington, Trustee and current Chair of the Board


Lyn is experienced at implementing innovative IT solutions and managing change in complex organisations. Lyn is a founding member of Edge Housing which provides housing and aid to homeless men in Oxford. Lyn works as a Senior IT manager at the University of Oxford.


Aziz Halime, Trustee and current Vice-Chair of the Board


Aziz has 15 years of experience working with the civil service as a specialist in education programmes for disadvantaged people, offenders and non-offenders with drug misuse, mental health problems and homelessness. He has developed extensive skills in designing, piloting, evaluating and developing comprehensive training and educational programmes in a variety of community set-ups. He is a qualified teacher and coach. Aziz works for Thames Valley Probation (CRC) and as a Senior Associate for Edexcel Pearson examination board.


Jack Wainwright, Trustee and current Treasurer of the Board


Jack is a mental health programme manager for the three Worcestershire CCGs, having previously been a mental health commissioner in London. He has held operational, project management and business development roles for voluntary sector organisations, working with people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.


Dr Deon Louw, Trustee


Deon is the Emergency Department lead for mental health at Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. As a full-time consultant in Emergency Medicine, Deon discovered an interest in acute mental health care, where he recognised that one particularly vulnerable group required clinicians to think beyond the reactive approach typical to emergency medicine: patients regularly attending the Emergency Department. Deon has helped to develop the current Oxfordshire ED Frequent Attender Programme.


Dr Steve Pearce, Trustee


Steve is a Consultant Psychiatrist and the Programme Director of the Complex Needs Service, part of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.


Anna Sanders, Trustee

Anna is an Organisational Development Consultant and Executive Coach with experience in change management, quality improvement, performance management and workforce planning.  Anna has senior management experience in the adult and further education sector, and has worked with a number of voluntary sector organisations.  She currently works as an OD Consultant for the University of Oxford and as a Director for Jon Rees Associates Ltd.


Pauline Scully, Trustee


Pauline was an Oxfordshire NHS leader until mid-2019 and worked in the NHS for over 40 years before her retirement. A registered mental health nurse since 1988, Pauline worked in several roles within the NHS, including Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Service Director for Children and Young People, and Service Director for Adult Mental Health Services, all at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.


Tom Hayes, Chief Executive


Tom has worked for a range of charities including Restore, Scope, and Oxfam GB, as well as serving as an NHS and School Governor. Tom is a city councillor in Oxford and has been at Elmore since July 2019.




If you would like to be part of Elmore, please complete our application form and email it, with your most recent CV detailing employment, volunteering, and charity governance experiences as well as educational, training, and vocational qualifications and a Supporting Statement to Elmore’s Administration Manager Marie Sparke.


All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence and shared with the Board as part of the selection process.


If you would like an informal and confidential chat about the role, please feel free to contact Marie to arrange for you to speak with Chief Executive Tom Hayes and/or current Chair of Trustees Lyn Waddington.


Closing Date: 18 February 2020 at noon. CVs and late applications will not be considered.


Interviews will be held: the afternoon of 28 February 2020.




Chair of Board of Trustees application


Please state why you are applying and what you feel you will bring to the role of Chair, as described in the role description and person specification (600 words limit):





Posted on: 09 December 2019
Closed date: 08 March 2020
Tags: Social Care/Development, Trustees

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