If you are passionate about changing lives, creating independence and achieving great outcomes for people with learning disabilities and mental health challenges, join us as trustee at this exciting time of growth and opportunity.

Role Details:

Location: North West Specific

Employment Type: Voluntary

Salary: Unremunerated

Closing date: 19/04/2024

About us:

Alternative Futures Group (AFG) is one of the largest not for profit Health and Social Care charities in the North West and has been changing lives, creating independence and achieving great outcomes for the brilliant people we support.

With an annual turnover of over £60m, we employ over 2,000 people who proudly support around 900 people with a range of learning disabilities and mental health issues. Our personalised services are tailored to meet the specific needs of each and every person we support.

We look to connect people to their loved ones and the communities in which they live, promoting independence, choice and opportunity to ensure they live a full independent life, as they wish to live it.

By getting to know the people we support, understanding what is important to them and how they want to be supported, our person-centred approach allows us to tailor support. We develop person-centred care plans and one-page profiles by working in partnership with our people, their families, advocates and local authorities.

We focus on the things that are important to the people we support, ensuring together, we help them to reach the outcomes they want to achieve.

As a large, successful charity in the North West, but one without a significant public profile, we have often described ourselves as the charity world’s “best kept secret”.

To meet our aims and drive forwards our ambitions we no longer want to be a secret!

We are proud of what we do and the difference we make in people’s lives, and our new strategy includes the aim to raise our profile and elevate our clients’ voices in the public sphere.

In order to support our plans and enable and empower our people to do amazing things, the Board is now looking to appoint new Trustees to replace those whose terms have come (or are coming) to an end.

Who we’re looking for:

We are seeking individuals with a fundamental alignment to our charitable purpose and mission. With exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, you will bring sound judgement, the ability to think strategically and offer constructive challenge and debate to the Board and senior officers.

On this occasion we are particularly keen to hear from candidates with a background in Mental Health services. We are open to a broad range of Mental Health experience across the third sector, public sector, voluntary sector or other relevant environments. With a successful track record of success in delivering, evaluating and monitoring services; you will act as a strategic support to the board and executive team. Whilst an understanding of legal frameworks around commissioning and the mental health capacity act would be advantageous, we are also open to hearing what candidates can offer by way of transferable skills.

For this appointment we are looking for an individual who can provide trustee oversight on new areas and strategic priorities. Acting as a strong sounding board to the Chair, fellow trustees and the executive team, and able to provide strong strategic advice and overview.

Time commitment: circa 1.5/2 days per month

This includes 4 virtual board meetings, 1 in person board meeting, 4 virtual sub committee meetings, and 2 in person development days a year. There is also an expectation for trustees to be visible, proactive and engaged with the board, executive colleagues and wider organisation outside of board meetings.

How to Apply:

To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position. Please ensure that your application is emailed to steven.campbell@afgroup.org.uk, inserting “Trustees – AFG” into the subject field.

We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

All applications will be considered solely on merit.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

Closing date: Friday 19th April 2024

Please see the full Trustee Job Description below.

Job Description

Job Purpose

The Board of Trustees is collectively responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of Alternative Futures Group, including its financial health, the probity of its activities and developing the strategic direction in line with our charitable purpose, our Memorandum and Articles of Association and with legal and regulatory requirements.


The role of Trustee has 4 key elements:

Strategy: trustees should constructively challenge and help to develop proposals on strategy

Performance: trustees should scrutinise the performance of the organisation and of management

Risk: trustees should satisfy themselves about the integrity of financial information and that the systems of internal control and risk management are robust

People: trustees are responsible for developing remuneration policy and for ensuring succession planning for the Board and the post of CEO.

Principal Accountabilities

  • To act as an ambassador for the charity
  • To promote the charitable purpose, success and long-term sustainability of the charity
  • To ensure that Alternative Futures Group functions within all legal and regulatory requirements, and in line with the organisations governing documents
  • To determine the overall direction and development of the charity through good governance and clear strategic planning
  • To manage and use the resources of the charity for the beneficiaries both current and future
  • To act in the best interests of the charity, its beneficiaries and future beneficiaries at all times
  • To ensure robust systems are in place for internal financial control and risk management, protecting both the resources of the charity and its reputation.
  • Devote sufficient time and effort to fulfil the role of trustee, including attendance and preparation for Board and Committee meetings, personal development and engagement with our beneficiaries and stakeholders
  • To meet their statutory duties as Trustees (Charities Act 2011) and as Directors (Companies Act 2006)

Statutory Duties

Trustees duties as defined under the Charities Act 2011 are a:

  • Duty of trust
  • Duty to comply with the charity’s governing documents
  • Duty to act in the best interests of the charity, present and future beneficiaries
  • Duty to avoid conflicts of interest
  • Duty to safeguard assets
  • Duty not to benefit from their position
  • Duty of care
  • Duty to carry out their responsibilities personally (trustee responsibilities cannot be delegated to proxies or personal representatives)
  • Duty to act collectively as a member of the Board

Trustees duties as Directors under the Companies Act 2006

  • Duty to act within their powers (as set out in the governing documents)
  • Duty to promote the success of the organisation
  • Duty to exercise independent judgement
  • Duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
  • Duty to declare conflicts of interest
  • Duty not to accept benefits from third parties
  • Duty to declare an interest in a proposed or existing transaction or arrangement

A broad view of diversity is required on the Board including disability, but all candidates will need to demonstrate a range of attributes and be able to meet the legal demands and requirements of the role.

Such candidates may have a specialist knowledge base, experience or skill, but will be able to contribute to the whole agenda.

All appointments will be expected to be capable of working at board level, to contribute at that level and to evidence that they are able to do so. They may not have held board appointments, but they will be able to demonstrate that they have the breadth, the depth, the strategic vision and the ability to do so.

In addition, they will demonstrate:

  • A belief that people with disabilities should be supported to live independently, as full citizens: our charitable purpose
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • The ability to challenge and debate constructively both within the Board and with senior officers
  • A commitment to the organisation, its vision, mission and values
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort required to fulfil their role as trustee, including Board and committee meetings, personal development and engagement with our beneficiaries and stakeholders
  • The ability to think strategically
  • Sound, independent judgement
  • An ability to think flexibly and/or creatively
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team

NB recruitment and appointment will be in line with the terms of reference for the Trustee Appointments Committee, as agreed by the Board, and will follow an analysis of the skills requirements of the Board. Detailed person specifications, based on the skills gap identified, will be developed for each new trustee.