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About this role - trustee

We’re looking for trustees to be co-opted to our Board, initially for one year, to make sure we have the breadth and balance of skills, experience and diversity every Board needs to effectively govern an organisation.

Cymraeg | English

As a trustee, you’ll play a critical role in setting our strategic direction, supporting and challenging the Executive Group, and setting and upholding our values and culture. The Board agrees our annual plan, budget and performance targets on an annual basis. It monitors our performance, and is responsible for managing risk and our compliance with regulatory and statutory requirements.

Most of our Trustees have a personal connection to MS, either because they’re living with MS themselves or because someone they care about is.

If you’re appointed, we’ll expect you to share our values and have – or be prepared to develop – an understanding of MS. And you’ll need to be sure you can commit the time and energy it’ll take to be an active and effective member of our Board. The role of trustee is voluntary, and is unpaid.

Skills and experience 

While the majority of trustees are elected, our Board also has the flexibility to co-opt trustees, for initial one-year terms, to fill specific skills gaps that have not been met through elections.

This year, we’re looking to co-opt up to two trustees for one-year terms with the following skills and experience:

  • Marketing and PR 

  • Fundraising, including digital fundraising

Our Board is proud to lead by example, and put lived experience of MS at the heart of everything we do. We actively encourage applications from people with a personal connection to MS.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Everyone’s MS is different. And we all have different lived experiences depending on where we live, our gender, sexuality or our heritage. There is no one size fits all.

We know that diverse Boards are more likely to engage in constructive challenge and make better decisions as a result. But we also know there are groups of people within our MS community who are under supported and underrepresented in our work. We’d particularly like to hear from you if your lived experience could make sure our strategic direction, values and culture are informed by what matters to:

  • younger people with MS 

  • LGBTQ+ people 

  • people with Black, Asian or minority ethnic heritage 

  • people with advanced MS and the people who care for them

Learning and development

If you’re an aspiring trustee, being co-opted to our Board for a year is a great way to explore whether being a trustee is for you. It’s also a good opportunity for people with prior Board-level experience to get involved without committing to a longer, elected term.

Either way, we’ll provide a comprehensive induction programme and make sure you have ongoing support from a trustee mentor/buddy. You’ll attend our annual Strategy Away Day, and have regular check-ins to identify any other development opportunities you could benefit from.

If you’re appointed, you’ll need to be available to attend an online induction day on Friday 3 December 2021.

Expected time commitment

This vacancy is initially for a one-year co-option, running from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022, with the possibility to be reappointed up to a maximum total term of six years.

Apart from completing your induction and taking part in ongoing learning and development, being a trustee involves: 

  • attending four in-person Board meetings during the year (these are daytime meetings during the week)

  • attending expert committee meetings - you may be asked to join one of the committees of the Board that also meet four times during the year (shorter, usually online, daytime meetings during the week)

  • depending on your skills, knowledge and availability, you may also be invited to participate in optional working groups (usually online)

  • preparing to attend Board, committee and working group meetings by reading the papers provided

  • attending other events to represent us and hear from our MS community

Board meetings are held in London and the majority of our committee and working group meetings take place online. Our new London office space has been designed with accessibility, inclusivity and flexible working in mind.

We welcome applications from throughout the UK and we don’t want finances to be a barrier to anyone thinking of applying to join our Board. We’ll book your travel and accommodation to attend meetings, and reimburse other out-of-pocket expenses.

Read our expenses policy on our volunteer website

Important information 

Some people are automatically disqualified by law from being a trustee. For example, anyone who is an undischarged bankrupt, or who has been convicted of an offence involving deception or dishonesty, unless that conviction is spent. If appointed you will be required to sign a Trustee Declaration of Eligibility and Responsibility Form.

The role of trustee is also subject to a disclosure check. As part of your application, you are required to consent to apply for a disclosure check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or its equivalent. If you have any questions, please contact our Governance Manager on 020 8438 0839 or by email at [email protected] in confidence.

Trustee recruitment timeline  

  • 28 June 2021 – Application deadline 
  • 19-20 July 2021 – Candidate interviews (online) 
  • 23 September 2021 – Appointment by the Board 
  • 3 December 2021 – Induction day (online) 
  • 6 December 2021 – Observe Board meeting  
  • 1 January 2022 – Start in role