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Headway Darlington & District is your local charity supporting people affected by brain injury. We offer support, advice & education to survivors and their families.

Role Summary

The role of the Chair is to provide leadership and direction to the board of Trustees. The Chair's aim is to enable the board to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation.

The Chair will ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations and to make sure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.

The Chair's role is also to work in partnership with the board of trustees, employees and volunteers, helping them achieve the aims of the organisation; and to optimise the relationship between the board of Trustees and the staff/volunteers.

In addition to the general responsibilities of a Trustee, the Chair has a number of tasks specific to their role.

Main Responsibilities of the Chair

  • providing leadership for the board of trustees in their role of setting the strategy and policy of the organisation
  • planning the annual cycle of board meetings and set the agendas with support of the secretary.
  • chairing and facilitating the board meetings
  • giving directions to board policy making
  • monitoring that decisions taken at board meetings are implemented
  • representing the organisation at appropriate events, meetings or functions
  • acting as a spokesperson for the organisation where appropriate
  • where staff are employed - liaising with the board of trustees and/or staff member to keep an overview of the organisation's affairs and to provide support as appropriate
  • sitting on interview panels as required
  • acting as final stage adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required
  • attending and being a member of other committees or working groups when appropriate in role as Chair

Qualities of a Chair

  • commitment to the organisation
  • leadership ability
  • Integrity
  • Strategic vision
  • Displays good/independent judgement
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties as Chair and trustee
  • An ability to take decisions that will be of benefit to the organisation
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Be able to share views openly and listen to the views of others
  • To work effectively as a member of a team
  • Understanding of the legal responsibilities and liabilities of a trustee

Desirable experience

  • prior experience of committee/trustee work
  • knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation
  • a wider involvement with the voluntary sector

General Responsibilities of a Trustee

In addition to the responsibilities already outlined, the Chair as a trustee has the following general responsibilities:

  • ensure the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuing its objectives
  • contribute actively to the board of trustees' role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
  • declare any conflict of interest while carrying out the duties of a trustee
  • be collectively responsible for the actions of the organisation and other trustees
  • ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation
  • ensure the financial stability of the organisation and the proper investment of the organisation's funds
  • protect and manage the property of the organisation
  • attend meetings and read papers in advance of meetings
  • attend sub-committee meetings if required
  • participate in other tasks as they arise from time to time, such as interviewing new staff, helping with fundraising
  • keep informed about the activities of the organisation and wider issues which affect its work

In addition to the duties of all trustees, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This will involve scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, and providing advice and guidance requested by the board on new initiatives or other issues relevant to the area of the organisation's work in which the trustee has special expertise.

Time Consideration

  • The Board meets at least 4 times a year which the chair must attend.
  • It is important that the Chair is able to visit the organisation's office(s) and be available to meet with trustees, employees, volunteers and members from time to time outside of formal meetings to build rapport and develop understanding.
  • In addition to Board Meetings, other contact - usually electronic or by telephone - will be necessary.

The time commitment for the Chair is expected to be on average 10 hours per month.

How to Apply

Please email Melissa Hamoudi, Trustee at for an application form.