Citizens Advice County Durham delivers both local general advice services for the people of County Durham as well as national and regional specialist advice services. We specialise in Debt, Benefits, Energy, Employability and Health, but cover aspects of the whole adult advice spectrum.
As well as providing advice, we also campaign for change to ensure that people are not adversely affected by legislation. Both nationally and locally we have been able to provide a data-driven voice to convince authorities to make changes to avoid people being worse off in the future.
Based in Pity Me, Durham, we have over 130 paid staff and 200 volunteers. We have local presences in all the major population areas of County Durham as well as outreaches in the smaller towns and villages. We help over 28,000 people a year with their problems which is more than 5% of the entire population of County Durham.
We also work with and in partnerships across County Durham, leading work for the “Advice in County Durham” partnership as well as the “Reaching Out Across Durham” (ROAD) programme to help people get back to the workplace by removing barriers stopping them.
More details are available from our website: https://www.citizensadvicecd.org.uk/about/
Our trustees play a vital role in making sure that Citizens Advice County Durham achieves its core purpose. They oversee the overall management and administration of the charity. They also ensure that Citizens Advice County Durham has a clear strategy and that our work and goals are in line with our vision.
Board members have a collective responsibility. This means that trustees always act as a group and not as individuals.
● complete an introduction for your role
● maintain an awareness of how the local Citizens Advice is operating
● read papers for board meetings and attend six meetings per year
● work on specific projects with other trustees or staff within the local Citizens Advice to further the strategic objectives of the local Citizens Advice
● take an active discussion during board meetings and work with other trustees to:
set policy and strategy direction, set targets and evaluate the performance of the local Citizens Advice
monitor the financial position of the local Citizens Advice ensuring that it operates within its means and objectives, ensuring that there are clear
ensure that all the finances and supporting financial control systems of the local Citizens Advice are in order including that full financial records are kept for all transactions, that money is only spent for the purpose given, and that proper financial controls are in place to safeguard the organisation’s resources
monitor the financial position of the local Citizens Advice ensuring that it operates within its means and objectives, ensuring that there are clear lines of accountability for day to day financial management
seek the views of all sections of the community and monitor how well the service meets the needs of the local community
ensure that the service plans for the recruitment and turnover of staff and volunteers
review its own work and how effectively it operates including action for improvement
You don’t need specific qualifications or skills but you’ll need to:
● understand and accept the responsibilities and liabilities as trustees
● be non-judgmental and respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own
● have good listening, verbal and written communication skills
● be able to exercise good independent judgment
● have good numeracy skills to understand accounts with the support of the treasurer
● be willing to learn about and follow the Citizens Advice aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection
● be willing to undertake training in your role
Citizens Advice County Durham
Abbeywoods Business Park
With option to attend meetings from home.
We reimburse all the reasonable expenses.
● make a positive impact for people in your local area by ensuring the local Citizens Advice is sustainable and meeting the needs of the community
● meet people and build relationships with trustees, staff and other volunteers
● build on your governance, leadership and strategy skills
● increase your employability
How much time do you need to give?
Trustee boards usually meet in the evenings and you’ll likely need to attend six meetings annually and you may need to meet with volunteers and staff occasionally within the local Citizens Advice. We can be flexible about the time spent and how often you volunteer so come and talk to us.
Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBT+ and non-binary people, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
If you are interested in becoming a trustee and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please contact John Scollen – Chair of the board of Trustees on John.Scollen@citizensadvicecd.org.uk
Alternatively if you would like to join our fantastic board of trustees please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org