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Chair of Trustees

FearFree is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in England and Wales and a registered as a company limited by guarantee which establishes it as a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its members and trustees.

The objects and governance of FearFree are set out in the governing document (the Articles and Memorandum of Association).

The Board are both directors and trustees of FearFree and must act within the provisions set out in the governing document.

The Board
The role of the Board is to ensure delivery of the aims and objectives of the organisation and to provide it with strategic leadership and approve its future direction. In undertaking this role, the

Board must ensure the organisation:
• Operates within the objectives set out in the governing document.
• Utilises assets and resources for charitable purposes in line with the governing document.
• Acts in the interests of its members.
• Adheres to charitable and company law.
• Adheres to the organisation’s philosophy and values.
• Upholds the reputation of the organisation.

The role of the Chair of Trustees
In addition to fulfilling the primary functions of a Trustee, the Chair of Trustees responsibilities include:
• The Chair of FearFree provides leadership and direction to the Board of Trustees, enabling them to fulfil their responsibilities and ensuring that the core values and purpose of the organisation are met.
• Holds responsibility for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation, working closely with the executive team and Trustees to ensure its development is in line with its aims and objectives in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.
• Strives to raise the Board’s business performance at every opportunity in line with sector best practice and the Governance Code
• Works in partnership with the Chief Executive to ensure that Board decisions are acted upon, that FearFree is led and managed in an effective manner and the strategic goals are met.
• Effectively chairs meetings of the Board which currently take place 6 times a year and sits as a member of a number of Board sub committees.
• As well as encouraging a close rapport between Trustees and Executive Directors, the Chair also ensures Board members maintain contact with FearFree staff and volunteers.

Main Responsibilities and Tasks
• Provide Board leadership in ensuring the strategic goals of FearFree are in line with its articles and charitable objects.
• Meets with the Committee Chairs and Trustees and works closely with to keep them informed in order for them to fulfil their function in supporting the effective governance of the organisation.
• Acts as an ambassador and advocate for FearFree representing the organisation at staff or public meetings gatherings and acts as a figurehead for the Board when required and ensures an effective relationship with external stakeholders and the community.
• Provides support and guidance to the Chief Executive and ensure that the organisation is run in accordance with the governing documents and governance policies of FearFree.
• Liaises with the Chief Executive in drafting agendas for Board meetings and to ensure that the business is covered efficiently and effectively in those meetings.
• Ensures that FearFree has an appropriate governance structure and that these structures and the governing instruments are reviewed regularly.
• Ensures that Board members are aware of the responsibilities of their role and that the organisation operates in accordance with all legal requirements.
• To chair and facilitate discussion at Board meetings, encouraging all Trustees and/or Directors to participate.
• Monitors systems for distributing information before meetings and keeping Trustees updated between meetings.
• Ensures that decisions taken at Board level are implemented.
• Leads Trustee recruitment and induction, strengthening the Board by recruiting capable new Trustees with the necessary governance skills and ensures the diversity of the Board: and looks to develop current trustees and identify succession for key roles.
• Ensures the recruitment and leadership of Directors/members of Board sub committees is in line with FearFree values and policies and is carefully managed and consistent with the FearFree main Board.
• Develops governance effectiveness by taking steps to increase governance ability in the Board and in individual Trustees and review and appraise the performance of the CEO and Trustees
• To lead the Board as it fulfils its management responsibilities toward the Chief Executive, overseeing role definition, selection, induction and appraisal, supervision and support.
• Ensures that the Board of Trustees delegates sufficient authority through its scheme of delegation to its sub committees and the CEO to enable the business to be effectively led.
• Provides a visible presence in all aspects of FearFree both with staff and volunteers.
• Acts as the final stage adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required.
The term of office for elected and co-opted trustees is three years, with a maximum of three consecutive terms, unless agreed by the full Board as described in the Articles and Memorandum of Association. Within each term of office trustees are expected to:
• Chair meetings of the Board (to be at least four per year, plus two strategic meetings and at least one away day to enable review and strategic planning)
• In addition, the Chair is required to meet and speak with the Chief Executive Officer regularly in between Board meetings in order to liaise on governance matters and strategic direction and to provide ongoing support.
• Attend the organisation’s annual general meeting of members and any extraordinary general meetings if required.
• Contribute expertise to Board committees and possible other expert committees of FearFree as relevant.

Other

Remuneration and expenses
The role of trustee of FearFree is voluntary and trustees will not receive any remuneration for their services on the Board.

Out-of-pocket expenses incurred by trustees in the course of carrying out the role will be reimbursed in accordance with the organisation’s expenses policy.

Conflicts of interest
Trustees have a duty to:
• Declare any potential conflicts of interest relevant to their trustee role e.g., where the individual has an interest in company that may wish to provide a service to the organisation.
• Take steps to resolve any conflicts that may arise. In instances of private interests conflicting with trustee duties, the trustee must resolve this conflict in favour of the trustee role or resign.
• Declare any financial interest in a matter under discussion and withdraw from the room unless he/she has a dispensation to speak.
• Declare an interest in any matter which might reasonably cause others to think it could influence their decision. He/she should state the nature of the interest but may remain in the room and participate in the discussion.
• Consult with the Chief Executive if in any doubt about the application of these rules.

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