Social Worker of the Year Awards – chair and trustees

A feature sponsored by Social Worker of the Year Awards. The charity is recruiting to take its work raising the profession's profile to the next level

Photo: The 2016 award winners

The Social Worker of the Year Awards is looking to recruit a new chair of trustees and up to three new trustees to help take the charity’s work for the sector to the next level.

To apply, please email a CV, the names and contact details for two referees, and covering letter explaining why you are interested and what you would bring to the role to our awards co-ordinator, Annabelle Rennie: Please indicate whether you are applying to be considered as chair and/or a trustee. The application deadline is 15 March 2017.

If you would like to talk to the current chair of trustees, Ray Jones, email him on  and he will happily get in touch.

About the charity:

The Social Worker of the Year Awards is a registered charity (no. 1144458).

The aims of the charity are to:

  • Give recognition to the high quality and important contribution made by social workers in England
  • Promote best practice in the profession and celebrate success
  • Improve understanding of the range of work which social workers undertake
  • Celebrate and promote diversity and equal opportunities in social care.

The charity is managed by a board of trustees who all give their time voluntarily to support the development of the awards.

Job purpose:

We are looking for trustees who can actively support the charity develop to the next level and secure the awards’ long-term success in giving recognition to and celebrating social work and social workers in England.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring strong governance and management for the charity
  • Attending trustee meetings, which are usually held in central London about four times a year
  • Fundraising – helping to secure sponsorship for our award categories, which includes local authorities, charities and other organisations that support the sector
  • Generating award entries and supporting the judging process
  • Helping to generate publicity for the awards and the great work of the social work profession – being willing to be a spokesperson for the charity when appropriate
  • Attending the annual Social Worker of the Year Awards ceremony
  • Attending the annual parliamentary reception for award winners.

In addition, the chair will:

  • take the lead on ensuring that the charity is properly run
  • help plan and will chair board meetings and ensure they are properly minuted
  • take the lead on ensuring that trustees comply with their duties and the charity is well governed.

Key experience for the chair and for trustees:

  • We are looking for people who are passionate about raising the profile of the social work profession
  • You should be a registered social worker, or have a strong track record of supporting the profession
  • For the chair, it would be desirable (but not essential) to have experience of being a charity trustee.

Legal requirements:

  • You must not act as a trustee if you are disqualified under the Charities Act, including if you:
    • have an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception (such as fraud)
    • are bankrupt or have entered into a formal arrangement (e.g. an individual voluntary arrangement) with a creditor
    • have been removed as a company director or charity trustee because of wrongdoing.
  • By law, the Social Worker of the Year Awards is required to meet the management condition in the Finance Act 2010. This requires all of the charity’s managers (including trustees) to be ‘fit and proper persons’.
  • Trustees have a legal duty to act only in the best interests of their charity. They must not put themselves in any position where their duties as trustee may conflict with any personal interest they may have.
  • Each trustee has an individual personal responsibility to declare conflicts of interest which affect them.
  • Trustees may reclaim expenses, such as reasonable travel costs, they incur (and which are recorded) as a consequence of fulfilling the role of trustee.

You will be required to meet the six duties of trustees, as set out in government guidance.  These are:

1. Ensure your charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit

You and your co-trustees must make sure that the charity is carrying out the purposes for which it is set up, and no other purpose.

2. Comply with your charity’s governing document and the law

You and your co-trustees must:

  • make sure that the charity complies with its governing document
  • comply with charity law requirements and other laws that apply to your charity.

3. Act in your charity’s best interests

You must:

  • do what you and your co-trustees (and no one else) decide will best enable the charity to carry out its purposes
  • with your co-trustees, make balanced and adequately informed decisions, thinking about the long term as well as the short term
  • avoid putting yourself in a position where your duty to your charity conflicts with your personal interests or loyalty to any other person or body
  • not receive any benefit from the charity unless it’s properly authorised and is clearly in the charity’s interests; this also includes anyone who is financially connected to you, such as a partner, dependent child or business partner.

4. Manage your charity’s resources responsibly

You must act responsibly, reasonably and honestly. This is sometimes called the duty of prudence. Prudence is about exercising sound judgement. You and your co-trustees must:

  • make sure the charity’s assets are only used to support or carry out its purposes
  • not take inappropriate risks with the charity’s assets or reputation
  • not over-commit the charity
  • take special care when investing or borrowing
  • comply with any restrictions on spending funds.

You and your co-trustees should put appropriate procedures and safeguards in place and take reasonable steps to ensure that these are followed. Otherwise you risk making the charity vulnerable to fraud or theft, or other kinds of abuse, and being in breach of your duty.

5. Act with reasonable care and skill

As someone responsible for governing a charity, you:

  • must use reasonable care and skill, making use of your skills and experience and taking appropriate advice when necessary
  • should give enough time, thought and energy to your role, for example by preparing for, attending and actively participating in all trustees’ meetings.

6. Ensure your charity is accountable

You and your co-trustees must comply with statutory accounting and reporting requirements. You should also:

  • be able to demonstrate that your charity is complying with the law, well run and effective
  • ensure appropriate accountability to members, if your charity has a membership separate from the trustees
  • ensure accountability within the charity, particularly where you delegate responsibility for particular tasks or decisions to staff or volunteers.


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