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Chair

Chair

Chair-designate of CLASP (Caring, Listening and Supporting Partnership)

Do you have leadership skills and some committee or Chairing experience? Would you like to help transform the Board of a highly-valued and well-respected learning disability charity in Wokingham, Berkshire?

Would you like to spend six to twelve months as a trustee, learning about us and the Chair's role before your final confirmation as Chair?

About Us

The Caring, Listening and Supporting Partnership (CLASP) is a Wokingham-based charity, supporting adults with learning disabilities to speak up for themselves. Our mission is: 'To develop independence through self-advocacy for adults living with a learning disability'. We deliver this through workshops and training, providing resources and signposting, and peer support. We're a small team of staff, volunteers and trustees and are a well-established part of the learning disability community.

CLASP also manages the Learning Disability Partnership Board: an empowering and inclusive network, working together to break down barriers and enable positive outcomes for people with learning disabilities and their families.

Trustees' Annual Report and Annual Accounts are available from the Charity Commission.

The role

Half of our board is made up of people with learning disabilities and we don't intend to change that; at the same time, we need to equip our organisation to better move forward.

We are looking for a new trustee to eventually take on the role of Chair, to lead the Board and the charity alongside our existing trustees, assisted by our Manager and other employees. Our expectation is for you to spend six to twelve months in this 'designate' role, to enable you to ascertain if it's right for you and right for our organisation, to learn how we operate and understand how we want to change.

If you have skills and abilities in cooperatively chairing a committee, maybe experience of charity (or corporate) governance, we'd welcome you, although similar experience and transferable skills are as important; we'll give you support and training as necessary. This opportunity will become a chance to work with staff and trustees to build a Board ready for the future. You don't need experience of, working with adults with Learning Disabilities but you must have a willingness to do so.

We also want to expand the diversity of our Board, in all aspects.

We are a charity not a business, but we want you to help us apply good business principles in governing our organisation.We welcome potential trustees with ideas and expertise from a variety of backgrounds, including the business world.

The focus of a trustee role is strategic and you don't need to be directly involved in the organisation's operations on a day-to-day basis; of course, the Chair will eventually take on the support & supervision of the Manager in regular meetings. This is a voluntary role and reasonable travel expenses may be claimed.

We ask for about eight hours per month as Chair-designate, rising to at least ten hours per month upon appointment as Chair: this includes induction & training, all meetings, correspondence, communication, etc.

Full induction to our charity is provided, plus specialist support as a trustee including access to external training. You do not necessarily need prior experience of charity trusteeship, as support from other trustees and from our Manager is always available.

What do you get as a volunteer trustee with our organisation?

Some of these you will gain as Chair-designate, some as eventual Chair:

  • An opportunity to exercise your cooperative leadership skills, possibly in a different environment or context
  • A chance to create, adapt and implement strategic change for the organisation
  • A chance to augment your experience of charities
  • A boost to your career and CV, if needed
  • An opportunity to work alongside other committed trustees
  • The personal reward of giving back to the community
  • High-quality induction training from us and other charity-support organisations

What do we get?

  • Your skills, knowledge and leadership experience
  • Your abilities to help our Board and charity grow in line with our strategic plans
  • Enhancement to our overall governance and the Board of Trustees; improvement in our charity governance and operational growth
  • Your participation in our collective decision-making, contributing to all areas of our charity work
  • Your enthusiasm

How to apply

This appointment is being managed for us by inVOLve Community Services, a charity-support organisation, who offer a no-obligation discussion by phone or video. A detailed Role Description and Person Specification can be made available to you upon request.

You will need to be eligible to be a charity trustee & company Director, which we will explain. Trustee appointments are subject to satisfactory references.

Your CV or similar will be read by CLASP's trustees and Manager and an interview by video offered as soon as mutually convenient.

I need to know more

Contact Mike Allen at intrusted@involve.community for more information and arrange to have a no-obligation initial informal discussion (phone, WhatsApp, Teams, Zoom, Meet, etc.)