Trustee (Legal / Company Secretary)

RST makes a dramatic difference to the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland, many of whom face destitution at times. We also influence public policy. Your skills and experience could make a dramatic difference to the Board.

What will you be doing?

We need a new Company Secretary on our friendly and supportive Board of Trustees, ideally a legal eagle. The Board plays a key role in supporting and guiding the work of RST, helping to set the strategy, guide and oversee the operations of the charity, our small and committed staff and our many volunteers. We work to help ensure RST is effective, focused and sustainable in times of increasing demand for our services.

The Board is made up of people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences who share our vision and who bring a range of skills essential to the successful governance of the charity, offering leadership, strategic direction, financial management and general oversight, along with a willingness to help as needed to promote the success of the Refugee Survival Trust.

RST has been going through a period of growth and development, and as our staff team has grown so has the need for professional HR guidance in staff recruitment, retention, development, performance management, compensation / benefits, change management and so on. We are also working to bring our governance infrastructure up to date, which includes a need to review and update HR-related policies in general.

The Board is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of RST, developing the organisation's aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines. RST Trustees can also take on roles related to the day-to-day running of the organisation. RST is an incorporated charity, and its Trustees are also Company Directors.
 
Trustees will:

  • Work together to provide leadership and strategic direction; 
  • Ensure that RST meets its charitable objectives as laid out in the articles of association; 
  • Ensure that RST is effectively run and meets all of its legal and regulatory requirements; 
  • Ensure that assets are safeguarded and used efficiently for those for whom we exist; 
  • Ensure that the organisation is accountable financially and in other ways; and 
  • Take on specific roles as required for the smooth operation of the Board of Trustees and the organisation. 

 
Commitment

A minimum commitment of two years is requested, and RST’s constitution means that Trustees serve a maximum term of around 5 years.

What are we looking for?

We're seeking a suitably experienced professional with relevant expertise (ideally a legal background) to join our Board and take over the Company Secretary role. We are keen to recruit someone with previous experience of charity or corporate governance.
 
Essential competencies:

  • Knowledge of legal compliance responsibilities of companies limited by guarantee and registered charities 
  • Willingness to take Minutes (or arrange this) 
  • Ability to oversee formal requirements with OSCR / Companies House 
  • Calling formal meetings, working with others to prepare formal meeting papers etc  
  • Knowledge and experience of voluntary sector issues 
  • Empathy with refugee and asylum issues 
  • Willing and able to promote the success of RST 
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work as part of the Board to further the organisation’s aims 
  • Competent computer user and able to communicate regularly by email 
  • Able to exercise independent judgement and take reasonable care, skill and diligence in their role on the Board 
  • Willing and able to fulfil the legal duties of a Company director as set out in the Companies Act 2006, and the legal duties of a Charity Trustee 

 
Desirable

RST depends on Trustees having a wide range of skills, and each Board member should have strengths in at least one of the following areas. We do not expect Trustees to be skilled in all of these areas:

  • In depth knowledge of refugee and asylum issues 
  • Organisational development / strategy 
  • Managing large projects 
  • The complexities of partnership working 
  • Knowledge of housing policy and related law 
  • Successful fundraising (from multiple channels) 
  • Lobbying, campaigning or advocacy skills 
  • Ability and time to represent RST in meetings with stakeholders 
  • Knowledge of equalities and human rights issues 
  • PR, communication or events skills 
  • Research and analysis 
  • IT management 
  • Project development / management experience 


What difference will you make?

Without our Trustees, we wouldn't be able to continue the fantastic work RST started in 1997.

We are in an exciting period, with a recent dramatic increase in demand for our services, particularly to counter destitution. We've recently been awarded significant funding to take on a CEO and better structure the organisation. We're in the midst of the second three-year phase of the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service. We've introduced new programmes that help asylum seekers and refugees make connections with their new communities in Glasgow and gain office skills.

We want to renew our focus in future on research and advocating for policy improvement.

We want to make our services more widely available across Scotland.
However, the economic situation means that funding is always tight and we need to make sure that RST is working in the best possible way to achieve our aims. This means that the Board needs to be suitably skilled and engaged as we work through the processes of restructuring, strategically reviewing our work and mapping strategy for the years ahead.

Your skills and experience as part of a motivated, friendly team, could be central to this process of strategic governance.

What's in it for the volunteer?

You'll be able to make a huge difference to RST, gaining the satisfaction of helping RST make a dramatic and key difference to the lives of those we work for, whilst enjoying the opportunity to develop your skills, experience and network.

Travel and other reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.


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