Do you have skills to be a trustee?

When people think of Citizens Advice and volunteering their first thought is probably of our advisers.

By Citizens Advice Northumberland
Monday, 11th March 2019, 12:42 pm
Could you be a trustee?
Could you be a trustee?

This is a huge and incredibly important part of what we do, but it may not be for everyone. Providing our service requires other kinds of volunteers too.

Our charity, like any business, needs to be well-run, forward-thinking, compliant and run on a sound financial basis. This is where our trustee board comes in.

As directors of the board volunteers have responsibility for ensuring the charity is run in line with its purpose and to the high standard expected by Citizens Advice nationally and the Charities Commission.

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This can cover anything from being in the right premises at the right price, business planning, fund-raising, finance and recruitment to training and ensuring services are accessible throughout the county.

Our current board members are from diverse business backgrounds. No two trustees have the same skill set and since the board operates a system of committees, covering items such as finance, governance, HR and property matters, there is plenty of scope to make a difference.

Citizens Advice Northumberland is seeking new trustees to further strengthen our reach and impact.

Last year, we supported 16,627 people with 37,889 issues.

We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward, whoever they are and whatever their problem.

Life can be tough at times and the need for free, confidential, independent advice will be more important than ever as we are set for a period of uncertainty, complexity and change.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of our service and we’re still reaching those in need of help. We still offer face-to-face advice from 13 locations in the county, but we’re increasingly reaching people in new ways through our website, webchat or on the phone.

Benefits, debt and housing are areas we have always worked on, and it’s likely they will always be central to what we do, but we’re increasingly working on very different kinds of problems.

We help people understand their consumer and employment rights and pension choices, deal with energy suppliers and prepare representation for people in court.

Now, more than ever, we are using our unique insight into the issues people are facing to show big organisations and the Government how they can make things better.

We challenge prejudices and assumptions to solve problems. Our campaigns have contributed to real improvements in millions of people’s lives, from changes to Universal Credit and a price cap on rent-to-own products to more rights for renters and a better deal for energy consumers.

It’s an exciting time to join us as we continue to develop the service to meet the changing needs of Northumberland.

In this round of trustee recruitment, we particularly welcome applications from people with specialism in fund-raising, communications and press, legal services or political strategy, or previous experience of governance and board-level management, such as chairing meetings, committee work and leadership skills exercised through a period change.

We would also encourage applications from individuals who would wish to hold an office within the charity as we will be looking to appoint a new chairman, vice chairman and treasurer from within our number.

The position pays expenses, but no other remuneration.

For a full application pack or for any further information about the trustee roles, please contact [email protected] on 07384 510724.

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Our current delivery includes:

• Countywide face-to-face, telephone and digital advice and advocacy services.

• Macmillan caseworkers providing welfare benefits support to those with life-limiting illness and cancer.

• British Gas Energy Trust advisers supporting people in fuel poverty to be able to heat and eat.

• The Bridge Project, our Building Better Opportunities programme. Advice workers supporting those furthest from the labour market with finance, benefits and debt casework and advice.

• Help to Claim, our national Citizens Advice offer for Universal Credit claimants, helping them navigate the system of application, evidencing and award.

• Money Advice Service, our FCA regulated debt and financial inclusion service supporting people managing £5m of debt in Northumberland this year.

We are currently seeking new trustees to join our board to further strengthen our reach and impact into the communities of Northumberland.

Decisions made by the board set the direction of our charitable activities and have a major influence on the success of our work so that local people are able to take decisions that directly affect their lives.

The role provides a unique insight into the issues facing local communities and being a part of improving local people’s lives is very rewarding.

The trustees are collectively responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of Citizens Advice Northumberland and for developing the organisation’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with governing documents and legal and regulatory guidelines, and your energy and ideas will drive the organisation forward.

Further details of the role can be found at