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    Temporary / Interim

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    Volunteers Team

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    over 3 years ago

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Methodical, detail-oriented and up on (or keen to learn) the legal requirements of governing a charity? Abortion Support Network (ASN) is seeking a new Secretary to join its Board of Trustees. Trustees work together with ASN’s Director and have specified roles and responsibilities along with strategic oversight for ASN and helping the organisation fundraise. This is a fantastic opportunity for a proactive, organised person who is passionate about reproductive rights to work with a dynamic, creative and motivated group of people to have a direct impact on women’s lives.

What does Abortion Support Network do?

The Abortion Support Network provides financial assistance and accommodation to people travelling from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to access legal, safe abortion services in England. We also provide confidential, non-judgmental information to anyone who contacts us via phone or email who is seeking information about travelling to England for an abortion, as well as information about reputable providers of early medical abortion pills by post.

ASN was founded by Mara Clarke in October 2009 when we heard from just 4 individuals and gave grants totalling £300. ASN has grown since then and in 2015 we heard from 650 individuals and gave grants totalling more than £40,000. ASN’s work is vital and many of our clients are particularly vulnerable due to poverty, migrant status, abuse, ill health and mental ill health. Volunteers staff the helpline throughout the year and are trained to support individuals over the phone or online.

ASN Mission, Vision, Values


A world where women have the information and means to access safe, legal abortions wherever they live.


To provide information, financial assistance and accommodation to women who may be forced to travel to England to access a safe, legal abortion.


  • We believe that all women have the right to safe and legal abortions
  • We believe in providing practical support to enable women to exercise this right
  • We are compassionate and respectful of women and their decisions

What is the responsibility of the Secretary?

  • To ensure that the requirements of the Charity Commission and Companies House are met;
    • That the Trustees Annual Report and annual accounts are filed with the Charity Commission
    • That the annual return is filed with Companies House
    • That the list of Directors at Companies House is kept up-to-date
    • To ensure that the AGM, EGMs etc are properly administered
    • That membership records are kept up-to-date
  • Ensure that trustee meetings and the AGM are run according to ASN’s Articles of Association
    • Ensure nominations for Trustees are coordinated on time
    • Ensure voting procedures are followed correctly
    • Ensure that any required business is dealt with
  • Ensure that trustee meetings including decisions and actions are adequately minuted


  • To have and/or seek knowledge of Charity Commission and Companies House requirements
  • Familiarise one’s self with ASN’s Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • To be proactive, organised and methodical
  • Able to give clear advice on procedural matters

Additionally, all board members contribute to fundraising.

Further responsibilities include:

  • Providing strategic oversight for ASN. This can include helping to shape strategy around volunteer management, referral practices, client assessment, relationships with outside organisations, legal issues, event planning, media/comms strategy and other issues as and when they arise
  • Helping develop and implement ASN’s long term strategy
  • Supporting ASN’s Director and volunteers

In addition, Board members will be expected to:

  • Attend quarterly (four a year) board meetings and take minutes at at least one meeting per year. These meetings are held in London.
  • Attend ASN’s Annual General Meeting and an annual strategy / planning session
  • Be reachable by email and phone for discussing ASN board business and other ASN projects as they arise
  • Attend ASN events (including fundraising events and awareness-raising events) when possible

What kind of time commitment is required of Board members?

Board meetings are scheduled a year in advance, take place quarterly in central London, are held on Saturdays or weeknights and last for 4 hours. There is also an annual planning session, usually held in late summer/ early Autumn on an agreed date. Ad-hoc requests for support will vary, but Board members should expect to contribute at least one hour per week in addition to participation in meetings.

What are the legal responsibilities of Board members?

Charity trustees have legal responsibilities regarding organisation governance, finance, membership and other matters. These are outlined by the Charity Commission here: overview and guidance.


Those interested in the role of ASN’s Secretary should express their interest by filling out the ASN trustee application and sending it with your CV to: Deadline for applications is 5pm Sunday, 6 March 2016. Interviews will take place w/c 14 March with the goal of voting in the new Secretary at our AGM on 12 May.