The Board of Trustees are ultimately responsible for the financial and operational management of The Care Forum, although the day to day decisions and management are devolved to the Chief Executive and staff team. In reality the Trustees set the overall strategic direction for the Charity, ensuring that its work remains true to the charitable objectives, values and aims of the organisation. Staff and managers then use this strategic blueprint to shape the actions and plans they make within individual projects or service developments.
The Board of Trustees also remain responsible for overall policy development, and have created a sub group for each major policy area to ensure best practice, good governance and to monitor implementation. Currently there are three sub groups:
- Health and Safety
- Human Resources
The Board is also looking to develop sub groups to look at Operational standards and Volunteering, which is an important aspect of the Charity’s work.
The Board of Trustees focus on an annual work plan, and take reports from a number of staff and managers. There are six meetings per annum, to coincide with major deadlines or milestones. In the recent Board Satisfaction Survey one member said the following: “I am very happy and proud to be a board member of TCF, it does great work, and I feel well informed and involved. There is a strong culture of open and honest debate and respect between the Board.”
As a departing member of the Board said, “A group of committed trustees with a variety of experience and skills is essential to the effective governance of a charity – my experience has demonstrated that trustees come and go over time for a variety of reasons, and that it is always difficult to recruit.”
If you are interested in joining the Board of Trustees at The Care Forum, please contact the Business Support Team, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We are currently looking to recruit new trustees with lived experience or expertise in equalities work.
Martin Dear – Treasurer
I recently retired from Local Government after 24 years of service. During that time, I was heavily involved in budget planning and financial management, advice and guidance on business cases, Schools Finance, servicing the Schools Forum and the commissioning of services for schools from South Gloucestershire traded services.
My professional qualification is that I am a Chartered Accountant. I became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in November 1986.
By being a Trustee I can bring to the Care Forum a thorough understanding of finance and budgeting. I possess good interpersonal skills, an ability to work as part of a team, together with problem solving and organisational skills.
The reason why I wish to be a Trustee is that I have spent a lot of time determining budgets and hence the services that are available for vulnerable adults and children. Having retired I wish to continue to have an impact, particularly in the finance field.
David Cottam – Chair
I have spent my entire career in social care in the Bristol area and am about to retire from St Monica’s Trust whilst working on information and Governance! Prior to this I worked for Bristol City Council and Avon County Council. My experience includes management responsibility for the councils care homes, day services and domilicary care services, and Bristol’s project manager for extra care housing programme all of which have helped me develop wide experience of staff management and HR issues. I also have significant experience of project management and commissioning.
I am currently a trustee of Linkage which has given me insight and experience into the importance of trusteeship especially when the going gets tough. Giving something back is important to me and The Care Forum is an excellent organisation to give to; being a trustee will also help keep me interested, challenged, occupied and provide an excellent opportunities for eating cake.
Therese Gillespie – Trustee
I worked in the fields of Education and Children’s Services in the West of England area for over 30 years. In January 2013, I took early retirement from the post of Director of Children’s services in the South Gloucestershire Council and decided that I would wish to be involved at a strategic level with the volunteering and community sector.
I had known, and hugely respected, The Care Forum for many years and was excited to learn that TCF had been chosen to be the provider of Health Watch in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and B&NES.
I was therefore pleased to be co-opted onto the Board in March 2013 and became Chair in November 2013.
In addition to my involvement with TCF, I am a governor of several Bristol schools and regularly sit on school admissions appeals panels.
Robin Butcher – Trustee
I have spent my career to date working in communications and public and patient engagement for a range of NHS trusts, from providers, commissioners and strategic bodies. I am keen to use my knowledge, passion and experience to support The Care Forum (TCF) to improve the way they support service users by developing effective and competitive service offerings, based on intelligence gained through the operation of current services.
Through my work with TCF, I encourage constructive dialogue and accountable decision making, that directly addresses the challenges faced by the organisation, whilst doing our very best as an employer to represent the views of staff in all that we do.
Gordon Podmore – Trustee
Since graduating in psychology in 2003 I spent some time working out what I wanted to do and doing various jobs until in 2004 I began working for Second Step with dual diagnosis in the Rough Sleepers Initiative as a relief worker. 10 years on and I was still at Second Step having worked as a deputy in psychiatric discharge services, a dual diagnosis service and the Intensive Tenancy Support service. My main emphasis has always been on Recovery and enabling people to achieve goals that feel real to them, especially paid/voluntary work and independent living. I also became a dad, took on two teaching jobs, completed a post graduate certificate in Mental Health Practice and became a trainer to develop knowledge and understanding of personality disorders in this time.
I moved to the Maples in March 2015 to take up a position as a manager of the high support service, where I wanted a fresh a challenge. My role has migrated into managing new referrals, meeting them and their teams, and getting to know the applicant and helping them to understand what to expect from the Maples.
About a year ago I volunteered as a Trustee for TCF. It has helped me understand the role and the organisation better and I also hope that the knowledge I have of supporting people, and how different services are commissioned and organised is of some use to TCF.
Jenny Allen – Trustee
I work to promote equality and diversity within access and participation at the Office for Students, the higher education regulator. I am responsible for the OfS’ access and participation funding streams which seek to promote inclusion and remove barriers to participation and success for underrepresented students.
For two years I was programme manager of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) which aims to reduce the gap in higher education participation between the least and most represented groups. Prior to joining OfS I worked with social landlords around care and support, employability, skills and apprenticeships.
I am a member of a multi-academy trust board and has been chair of a small homelessness charity and member of a housing association board.
Steve Barnes – Trustee
I worked in IT for a large financial organisation in Swindon for 34 years before taking retirement. During that time, I was an active rep for the union and served on the National Executive Committee for over 15 years, including 2 years as President of the Union and a number of years as Treasurer.
During my career I was a membership assessor of the BCS for a number of years and I was chair of the PTA for my boys’ primary school.
Angela Roberts – Trustee
I have worked in Human Resources (HR) for many years, having trained originally as a solicitor. Most of my HR career has been spent in the health and care sector and, prior to setting up my consultancy, I was Director of HR for a large local care provider. I am a Chartered Member of the CIPD.
I am a Director and Deputy CEO of Care & Support West, the care association for the south west and most of my work as an HR consultant is within the care sector.