Become a Trustee

The Friends of Rowntree Park are recruiting trustees – if you are passionate about your park, nature and community – we need you!

To support the strategic leadership of The Friends of Rowntree Park, we are now looking for people to join our board of trustees. We are looking for two new trustees who are passionate about nature and about community, and who have the time and energy to contribute to our work.

Friends of Rowntree Park new trustees needed poster

The Friends became a charity in 2019. In recent years, we have greatly increased our membership and volunteer numbers, as well as the range and breadth of our activities.  The Friends help maintain and improve specific areas of the park with our gardening groups, and we run a range of community events and projects, as well as educational programmes. Our volunteer programme has a particular focus on helping reduce social isolation and supporting those with mental health issues. We run Forest School sessions and have recently added Wild Ones (a programme supporting girls using the park). We are creating new wildlife areas and habitats, enhancing our education programme and working with the local community. We work closely with the council, with local schools and with other groups.

Most of our work is voluntary but we have a paid part-time Charity Manager whose work includes managing the membership and volunteers, communication, event organisation, social media etc, and two other part-time workers (admin and gardening lead). Further details of our work can be seen on our website , our news and plans are communicated to our members and other stakeholders, via our newsletters. 

Skills required

We are looking for two new trustees to join our existing team of seven. We seek people with a strong commitment to the organisation’s aims and values, who are collaborative in approach and who, in due course, may be interested in leading on areas. Applications from individuals with experience in the following areas are particularly welcomed; financial and legal aspects of charity work, fundraising, marketing and PR – but this list is certainly not exclusive.  Personal knowledge of the park and the Friends is also helpful. The role of trustees is voluntary and unpaid. Trustees serve three-year terms (with a maximum of three terms consecutively).

The Friends of Rowntree Park are committed to improving the diversity of the trustee board and believe that representation is important to reflect the diverse communities that we serve. We encourage applications from individuals with a disability, those from the LGBTQ community and/or individuals from an ethnic minority background. Applications are open to anyone above the age of 18; younger people are encouraged to apply and can reference experience from education or volunteer work. We seek people with a belief in the power of volunteering and community to make a positive impact on the environment and personal wellbeing. In return, you will be joining a dedicated group of people, who all have a genuine desire to make a difference.

Time commitment

We are a relatively small charity and the contribution of the trustees is a key part of the functioning of the organisation. Individual trustees have ‘links’ to particular areas of the Friends activities, e.g. finance, gardening, young people etc. The exact time commitment will fluctuate depending on the activities each trustee is linked to, and on the overall level of Friends’ activity. As a minimum, the role requires a commitment of approximately one day a month, spread over the month.  Most communication is conducted by email. There are also around four trustee meetings a year, though additional meetings may sometimes be required.  These meetings normally take place in person at venues in the Southbank area, although trustees may join via Zoom, if necessary. Trustees are also expected to attend the Friends’ committee meetings that take place four times a year, normally 7pm at the Park cafe. Optionally, trustees are encouraged to volunteer for Friends’ activities or projects, as this gives an insight to the nature and value of our work.

How to apply

To apply, please email a letter of no more than 2 sides of A4 by January 31st 2023,  explaining:

– your interest in the Friends of Rowntree Park, and

– what skills and experience you can bring to our board

-and giving details of two character references.

You may include a CV if you have one. Please send to Interviews will be in February 2023. We would hope that the new trustees would be appointed swiftly and be able to attend our 3rd April 2023 trustees’ meeting.

The Friends of Rowntree Park have a general public meeting on Tuesday 17th of January at 7pm at the cafe in the park. This would be a good opportunity for any potentially interested people to com along and find out more about the charity, committee and trustees. Enter the meeting/park via Richardson Street entrance as the main park will be closed.

Summary of the role of a trustee:

A trustee helps a charity to achieve its charitable aims. Individual trustees work together as part of a group of trustees, overseeing the work of the charity, confirming that it is working towards its priorities, as well as ensuring that it is financially and legally secure. Individual trustees bring their own experience and viewpoints to discussions, but decisions are always made as a group. We expect trustees to be active contributors at trustees meetings. The Friends also encourage trustees to be involved in practical aspects of the charity’s work, such as gardening, running stalls etc, as this gives trustees a better understanding of what the charity is about.

Why become a trustee?

1.Give something back

Becoming a trustee is a fantastic way to contribute to a cause that you care about. You’ll be playing an integral part in the way the charity is run, ensuring it remains well-run, sustainable and financially- viable. 

2. Meet new people

Joining a new organisation or charity is a fantastic way to meet new people from a range of different personal and professional backgrounds. There are lots of opportunities to meet new and interesting people.

3. Learn new things

Getting involved as a charity trustee is a great way to put your professional skills to use, but can also be a fantastic opportunity to learn new things – and have fun doing so. You’ll get great insight into what’s involved in the management of charities, gaining skills in team work and working in a leadership role.

4. Improve your CV and enhance your professional development

This might important to you or totally irrelevant, but .for younger people, it can be an exciting form of professional development, with a range of experiences, from learning how organisations work through to planning finances.

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