Trustee Required at Dorset Mind

Have you ever considered becoming a charity Trustee

Becoming a Trustee is a GREAT way to GET INVOLVED with Dorset Mind, and help support the future of a thriving growing local charity.

The Trustees currently meet formally monthly but I expect that to move to bi-monthly before the end of next year. In between formal meetings a number of Trustee Sub-Groups meet to oversee particular areas of the charity’s work. These are:

  • Finance, Risk and Quality
  • Young People
  • West Dorset
  • Premises
  • HR
  • Technology, Online, Digital

Each Sub-Group has at least one, preferably two Trustees who attend sub-group meetings. Each has a lead Trustee. Each Sub-Group reports to the Board at formal meetings. Most sub-groups meet monthly, others less frequently depending on their Terms of Reference.

Trustees are also asked to contribute between meetings by email and to give their advice and expertise when needed. There is also an implicit desire that Trustees use their own networks and contacts to further the development of the charity and in meeting its objectives.

Trustee Role Description

The Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of Dorset Mind, developing the organisations aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.

Dorset Mind will raise awareness within general and specific communities about mental ill health. That is to say that it will educate people about symptoms – what they are, what to expect and how to spot them. Dorset Mind will educate people about what they can do when they experience symptoms either themselves or someone they know.

Dorset Mind will challenge the stigma and inequality of mental ill health so that neither stigma nor inequality prevent people receiving the information and support they need.

Dorset Mind will promote the ethos of recovery of mental ill health by educating people about recovery and by directly providing support services to specific communities to assist them in their own recovery.

In law trustees of Dorset Mind have three duties – compliance, care and prudence – which are set out below using the wording given by the Charity Commission.

Duty of compliance – Trustees must:

  • Ensure that Dorset Mind complies with charity law, and with the requirements of the Charity Commission as regulator; in particular ensure that the charity prepares reports on what it has achieved and Annual Returns and accounts as required by law.
  • Ensure that Dorset Mind does not breach any of the requirements or rules set out in its governing document and that it remains true to the charitable purpose and objects set out there.
  • Comply with the requirements of other legislation and other regulators which govern the activities of Dorset Mind, in particular the requirements of maintaining the Mind Quality Mark.
  • Act with integrity, and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of Dorset Mind funds or assets.

 Duty of care – Trustees must:

  • Use reasonable care and skill in their work as trustees, using their personal skills and experience as needed to ensure that Dorset Mind is well-run and efficient.
  • Consider getting external professional advice on all matters where there may be material risk to Dorset Mind, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.

Duty of prudence – Trustees must:

  • Ensure that Dorset Mind is, and will remain, solvent.
  • Use Dorset Mind’s funds and assets reasonably, and only in furtherance of Dorset Mind’s objects.
  • Avoid undertaking activities that might place Dorset Mind’s endowment, funds, assets or reputation at undue risk.
  • Take special care when investing Dorset Mind’s funds, or borrowing funds for Dorset Mind to use.

 1. Strategic Direction

Trustees must ensure that the Dorset Mind has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and is focused on achieving these.  Trustees must work in partnership with the Chief Executive and other senior staff to ensure that:

  1. Dorset Mind has a clear vision, mission, set of values and strategy, and that there is a common understanding of these by trustees, staff and volunteers.
  2. Operational plans and budgets and the fundraising strategy support the vision, mission and strategy.
  3. The views of users are regularly sought and considered, and that efforts are made to identify possible future users.
  4. There is regular review of the external environment for changes that might affect Dorset Mind (environmental, political, financial, competitive, partnerships, alliances).
  5. There is regular review of the need for Dorset Mind and for the services it provides or could provide, and regular review of strategic plans and priorities.

2. Performance management

Trustees are responsible for the performance of Dorset Mind, for its impact upon stakeholders and for its corporate behaviour:

  1. To ensure that Dorset Mind measures its impact and progress towards its strategic objectives and to regularly consider reports on Dorset Mind’s performance.
  2. To ensure that there are policies to direct key areas of the charity’s business.
  3. To ensure that there are quality and service standards for major areas of delivery and that these are met.
  4. To ensure that Dorset Mind’s values are understood and put into practice, by trustees, staff and volunteers.
  5. To ensure that there are complaint systems in place, for users and supporters.
  6. To ensure that there are processes for trustees, staff and volunteers to report activity which might compromise the effectiveness of Dorset Mind.
  7. To recruit the Chief Executive and to hold him or her to account for the management and administration of the charity.
  8. To ensure that the Chief Executive receives regular, constructive feedback on his/her performance in managing the charity and in meeting his/her annual and longer term objectives.
  9. To ensure that Dorset Mind has effective employment policies and processes in place, to recruit, train and develop staff and volunteers.

3. Compliance

Trustees must ensure that Dorset Mind complies with all legal and regulatory requirements and the requirements set out by Mind to achieve the Mind Quality Mark:

  1. To ensure, with professional advice as appropriate, that Dorset Mind complies with all constitutional, legal, regulatory and statutory requirements.
  2. To understand and comply with the constitution and rules that govern Dorset Mind, and to review the constitution regularly (at least every three years) to ensure it is fit for purpose.
  3. To understand and comply with the requirements of the Mind Quality Mark and to review them regularly to ensure that it meets the requirements when assessed every three years.


Trustees must be stewards of Dorset Mind’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking care over their security, and how they are used:

  1. To ensure that Dorset Mind’s financial obligations are met and that there are adequate financial controls in place to ensure all money due is received and properly applied, and that all assets and liabilities are recorded.
  2. To act reasonably and prudently in all matters relating to Dorset Mind and always in the interests of Dorset Mind.
  3. To ensure that trustees take professional advice when needed, and record the advice received.
  4. To ensure that there is an effective fundraising strategy in place.
  5. To be accountable for the solvency of Dorset Mind.
  6. To ensure that intangible assets such as organisational knowledge and expertise, intellectual property, Dorset Mind’s brand, good name and reputation are recognized, used and safeguarded.
  7. To review the condition and use of the properties and land owned by Dorset Mind.
  8. To ensure that the major risks to Dorset Mind are regularly identified and reviewed and that systems are in place to mitigate or minimise these risks.

5. Good governance

Trustees must ensure that Dorset Mind’s governance is of the highest possible standard:

  1. To ensure that Dorset Mind has a governance structure that is appropriate to a charity of its size/complexity, stage of development, and its charitable objects, and reflects the diversity of is its users.
  2. To ensure that Board decisions are recorded in writing by means of minutes.
  3. To ensure that the Board’s delegated authority is recorded by terms of reference for board committees, job descriptions for honorary officers, trustees and key staff, and that reporting procedures back to the Board are recorded in writing and complied with.
  4. To ensure that the responsibilities delegated to the Chief Executive are clearly expressed and understood, and directions given to her come from the Board as a whole.
  5. To ensure the Board regularly reviews Dorset Mind’s governance structure and its own performance, to an agreed programme and in line with the Mind Quality Mark.
  6. To ensure that major decisions and policies are made by the trustees acting collectively.
  7. In consultation with the Chief Executive, to ensure that the Board has on it the skills it requires to govern Dorset Mind well, and that the Board has access to, and considers, relevant external professional advice and expertise.
  8. To ensure that there is a systematic, open and fair procedure for recruitment of trustees and of the Chief Executive.
  9. To ensure that all members of the Board receive appropriate induction on their appointment and that they continue to receive appropriate advice, information and training (both individual and collective).
  10. To ensure that trustees have a code of conduct and comply with it, and that there are mechanisms for the removal of trustees who do not abide by the trustee code of conduct.


Dorset Mind works actively to ensure that its Trustee Board has the right skills and experience to lead the charity effectively.  Dorset Mind Trustee vacancies are normally advertised.  Application is normally by written application, followed by interview.  The application form and interview are evidence based and we will look for clear examples of how candidates meet the essential and desirable criteria below.

1. Personal competencies

Dorset Mind Trustees are expected to demonstrate all of the following personal competencies and the capacity to apply these to the direction of the charity:



  1. Ability to understand and accept the duties and liabilities of being a charity Trustee
  2. Empathy with the vision, mission and aims of Dorset Mind
  3. A willingness and ability to devote the necessary time and effort


  1. Ability to think and apply knowledge strategically,
  2. Ability to think creatively
  3. Ability to keep mission-focused
  4. Ability to analyse and evaluate management information and other evidence
  5. Willingness to listen and learn

Communication and team working

  1. Ability to communicate clearly and sensitively and to take an active part in discussions
  2. Ability to influence and engage
  3. Ability to work effectively in a group
  4. Willing to express their own opinion in a reasoned way, while also listening to the views of others
  5. Ability to challenge constructively and ask questions appropriately


  1. Ability to exercise sound and independent judgement
  2. Willingness to make and stand by collective decisions, including those which may be unpopular
  3. Ability to manage difficult and/or challenging situations
  4. Ability to maintain confidentiality on confidential and/or sensitive information


The knowledge, skills and experience in the list below are relevant to Dorset Mind’s main areas of activity, and they are represented across Dorset Mind’s executive and staff, who apply them at operational level.

Dorset Mind is looking for Trustees who have the knowledge and understanding to maintain an oversight of these activities at a strategic level in a large and complex charity, and who can contribute well informed views, constructive challenge and a commitment to best practice.  Dorset Mind would normally expect each Trustee to be able to do this in at least one of the areas below.  A Trustee’s ability to contribute in this way will often, but not always, draw on professional and/or practitioner experience at a senior level.


Stewardship and governance

Specialist expertise:

  • Mental Health, Psychology, Psychiatry
  • Finance
  • Young People, Education
  • Volunteering
  • Fundraising, Income Generation
  • Partnerships
  • Health and Social Care service provision or commissioning
  • Technology, Digital, Online

How to apply

If you decide to apply for the position please email us for an application pack on, then please forward your Volunteer Application Form and your CV by the 11th December 2017. This is so that the Trustees can consider all applications at their next meeting. It would also be useful to know whether you have any experience that you think particularly relevant to any of the key roles set out in the Person Specification.