The Charity Commission states that Trustees have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, a charity’s management and administration. The three key legal responsibilities are to:

  • Act in your charity’s best interests
  • Manage your charity’s resources responsibly
  • Act with reasonable care and skill

Jessie May values the knowledge, skills and experience of the Trustees and the ways in which, individually and collectively, Trustees contribute to the effective governance, support and promotion of the charity.

Maintaining a diverse and relevant Board of Trustees

We recognise the importance of a diverse Board of Trustees and so hold a Trustee knowledge and skills matrix, setting out the range of expertise that Jessie May believes will best serve the charity. This is refreshed annually and, as Trustee vacancies occur, recruitment is based on those areas where there are gaps.

Recruitment Process

Application is via CV. Candidates who meet the criteria will be invited to meet with the CEO and Chair and, where possible, with Jessie May staff. Subject to a satisfactory discussion, applicants will be invited to meet the Board of Trustees and all feedback will be collated to inform the appointment decision.

Successful candidates will attend the next available Board meeting as an observer and take up full responsibilities at the subsequent meeting.


What Trustees can expect from Jessie May

  • A thorough induction, with support from a mentor Trustee
  • The opportunity to identify training needs relevant to the role – both initially and as part of an ongoing process
  • Access to all relevant Jessie May documents, as well as to sector publications that underpin the effective delivery of Trustee duties and responsibilities
  • Access to online Trustee training and accredited Safeguarding training
  • An annual discussion with the Chair where successes, concerns and issues are identified, leading to an anonymised Board Training Needs Analysis
  • An annual Board Awayday, the content of which is based on identified need and Jessie May priorities

What is expected of Jessie May Trustees

  • Trustees will be appointed for a three year term of office which may be renewed upto three times. No Trustee will serve longer than nine years, unless the Board believes that the knowledge, skills and experience of the individual Trustee are so valuable to Jessie May that an exception may be made, and the individual Trustee is willing
  • Trustees are expected to attend Board meetings quarterly; attendance will be monitored by the Chair who will discuss any individual issues should a Trustee struggle with consistent attendance
  • Trustees are expected to undertake training relevant to the role, including safeguarding and the legal duties of a Trustee
  • Trustees are encouraged to become members of a sub-committee and / or working groups, based on their area of expertise, or their wish for personal development. The sub-committees also meet quarterly to dovetail with Board meetings
  • Trustees are encouraged to attend the Families’ Christmas Party, the annual Tree of Light Service and other family social events. Their presence is also welcome at staff training events
  • The time commitment varies throughout the year but is estimated at 5 hours per month


  • New trustees will have face to face meetings with the CEO and Chair to go through the key duties and responsibilities of a trustee, as well as the history, development and aspirations of Jessie May
  • New trustees will be allocated a ‘buddy’ who can support and guide them in their role as a trustee in the first few months
  • New trustees should visit the Jessie May office to meet with staff and thereafter at least once per year
  • New trustees should accompany a Jessie May nurse on a family visit to gain an insight into their work, and how this benefits the children and families

Specific Trustee Roles

Jessie May has identified a number of areas of specialist expertise to be represented on the Board of Trustees. These roles carry some additional expectations which are set out below:

Fundraising, Communications and Marketing Expertise

In addition to the general duties and responsibilities set out above, Trustees with fundraising, communications and marketing expertise have the opportunity to:

  • Become Chair of the Fundraising and Communications sub-Committee, in order to support, oversee and scrutinise the implementation of the Jessie May Fundraising and Communications Plan
  • Provide advice about specific fundraising approaches and techniques, liaising closely with the Director of Funding Development
  • Take part in the recruitment process for fundraising and communications / marketing, to include shortlisting and interviewing
  • Take part on short life working groups on specific issues e.g. refresh of branding, marketing messages, social media strategy
  • Identify areas of personal interest where more in-depth contribution of expertise could be offere­d

Applications are particularly welcome from candidates who are able to offer:

  • Experience at a senior level in the charity sector, in fundraising, communications and / or business development
  • A good understanding of how the principles and practices of business development can be adapted to support charitable activities, particularly through business planning, partnerships, marketing and diversification
  • An understanding of the challenges facing small to medium UK charities in making links with donors, businesses and companies
  • An entrepreneurial approach, with the ability to spot new trends and approaches to customer-focused business that could be adopted by charities
  • Good judgement to make evidence-based decisions and be mindful of the cost/income ratio and time to establish new income streams
  • Excellent networking, influencing and communication skills

Further Information:


Contact for discussion and CV submission: Linda Parker, Chair of Trustees

We very much look forward to hearing from you.