Who we are:
The National Autistic Society is here to transform lives, change attitudes and create a society that works for autistic people.
We transform lives by providing support, information and practical advice for the 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as their three million family members and carers. Since 1962, autistic people have turned to us at key moments or challenging times in their lives, be it getting a diagnosis, going to school or finding work.
We change attitudes by improving public understanding of autism and the difficulties many autistic people face. We also work closely with businesses, local authorities and government to help them provide more autism-friendly spaces, deliver better services and improve laws.
Why we need you
The charity has over 100 branches and groups, all run by volunteers, who provide local support to people on the autism spectrum. Every branch is different and so are the activities they provide – they may run parent support groups, adult social groups, children’s activities, conferences or focus on providing information or campaigning. However, no matter how big or small, all branches are hugely valued by the people in their local area.
The branch chair role is vital to the running of the branch as they act as a leader and a coordinator for the branch. Without these roles, we would not have as many branches as we do.
What you will be doing
- Lead (and chair) committee meetings. This also involves setting out what needs to be discussed at meetings, ensuring that each issue is covered and that other people have a chance to speak.
- Represent the branch at external meetings including at the local Autism Partnership Board
- Liaise closely with the committee volunteers of the adult coffee club
- Raise the profile of the NAS within your branch and local community
- Ensure your branch complies with NAS policies including risk assessment, data protection and safeguarding
- Monitor branch income and expenditure in partnership with the treasurer
- Countersign and authorise all cheque payments
- Co-ordinate and promote local campaigns and bring others on board to help you
- Support fundraising in your branch
- Act as a key contact for the NAS, keeping the Branch Development Officer up to date on branch activities
Skills experience and qualities needed
Confident in working with and communicating with other committee members, and individuals and organisations outside of the Branch. This communication will need to be face to face, by telephone and/or email.
- Confident and comfortable speaking publicly
- Able to motivate people and help people work together
- Able to tackle difficult issues and problems and situations and involve other people where necessary
- Supportive of the NAS
- Ability to listen and involve others in the group and not to dominate
- Ability to fulfil financial requirements of the role
- Designated Branch Development Officer to answer any queries and support you with the day to day running of the branch.
- Written guidance on a range of branch activities
- Various training courses relevant to running a branch
- Insurance cover for all branch activities
- Expenses covered for attendance at any event organised by the branch support team.
What you could get out of it
- Improve support to people on the autism spectrum and their families in your local area
- Access free training and learn new skills
- Meet new people
We seek applications from anyone interested in the role, but particularly welcome applications from those with a diagnosis of autism or Asperger syndrome