Trustee (Member of Trustee Board acting as Company Secretary)

Opportunity for an individual with a strong interest in helping to combat domestic abuse to join a newly formed trustee board as Company Secretary and help steer the charity towards independent operation.

What will you be doing?

South West Surrey Domestic Abuse outreach Service (SWDAS) currently operates under the Citizens Advice umbrella and is run and managed by Citizens Advice Waverley (CAW). The Domestic Abuse Team includes qualified Independent Domestic Violence Advisers who can support and advise on a wide variety of problems caused by domestic abuse, as well as providing emotional support. This work is funded by a combination of local authority, police, government and other grants and SWDAS is currently applying for endorsement from Womens Aid. From 1 April 2023 it is intended that SWDAS will operate separately from CAW as a foundation Charitable Incorporated Organisation with an independent board of trustees, and the initial trustees are currently in the process of building a new trustee board.

This is an opportunity for an individual with a legal and/or company secretarial background with a strong interest in issues affecting women, and particularly in helping to combat domestic abuse, to join the trustee board. Applications from survivors of domestic abuse are particularly welcome. The successful applicant will have empathy with the feminist and survivor centred ethos of Women’s Aid.

The key professional skills required are –

  • Knowledge and experience of company secretarial and/or charity administration
  • Ability to identify legal issues as they arise, to provide pragmatic advise to the board and to communicate simply and clearly with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Willingness and ability to keep clear and concise minutes of trustee meetings
  • Knowledge of risk management and governance
  • Ability to contribute to wider trustee board discussions

The successful applicant will need to be able to devote a significant amount of time and energy at least for the first 12 months, as the new charity and trustee board takes shape and it moves towards separation from Citizens Advice.

What difference will you make?

SWDAS receive around 1000 referrals annually from social services, the police and other sources. There was a 50% increase in referrals between 2019/20 and 2020/21 as the higher levels of referrals since the start of the pandemic continues. On the phone, by email or face to face at a safe location, SWDAS provides practical advice and emotional support to individuals who experience domestic abuse including

  • advice about keeping safe and handling abusive behaviour
  • advice about the specialist Domestic Abuse Court and child contact issues
  • Support through the civil and criminal legal process
  • risk assessment and safety planning
  • support and referral for those needing refuge accommodation
  • access to legal advice
  • referral to other specialist agencies providing support with:
  • welfare and benefit entitlement
  • immigration
  • housing issues

Interested applicants should respond with a CV. SWDAS will follow a recruitment process aligned with that of Citizens Advice Waverley which involves a form, two referees and two formal interviews. Current trustees are very happy to meet and chat informally to answer questions and help applicants decide whether they want to proceed.