Head of Governance Committee and Trustee
About Makaton and The Makaton Charity
Today over one million children, young people and adults have communication difficulties.
Makaton is the UK’s leading language programme for children and adults with communication challenges. Originally established in the 1970s, todayover 100,000 people use Makaton symbols and signs, helping them to reach their potential and remove the frustration that inability to communicate inevitably brings them and their families and carers.
The Makaton Charity was established 10 years ago to promote the language, mostly through training delivered by c. 1000 licenced Makaton tutors to many individuals including parents, carers and those from within the education and healthcare professions. Our core activities are:
• providing training to families, carers, and professionals
• developing and producing printed and electronic resources
• working with others to make their information accessible
• providing advice and support for families and professionals
• working in partnership to influence society and empower people.
In addition to schools and healthcare settings, Makaton can be found in many other places. Perhaps you have seen Mr Tumble on CBeebie’sSomething Special, visited a Makaton Friendly venue such as a museum, supermarket or zoo, or come across Makaton in some of the c. 13 other countries where there are Makaton organisations and where we have alliances and partnerships?
The Charity is at an exciting time in its journey and in the early stages of embracing digital technologies and approaches to deliver the vision; we are in the process of launching a new charity website, a natural language powered on-line dictionary for Makaton signs/symbols as well as better processes to improve our resources supply chain.
This, together with our future plans, has tremendous potential to increase the reach of our services and products and enable us to achieve our vision of a world where there are no communication barriers to inclusion or achievement.
The charity has an income of c £1m, an experienced Board of Trustees,and a talented and enthusiastic team of 12 permanent employees.
Due to retirement of some Trustees who are coming to the end of their terms, we are looking for some new Trustees to help bring the high standards of governance and guide the Charity through its next exciting phase of growth.
What Trustee skills and experience are we seeking?
Being a Trustee is an important role for any Charity, as you are, with your fellow Trustees, responsible for governing the charity and directing how it is managed and run
A good source of general further information on the role can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charity-trustee-whats-involved
The specific skills and experience we are currently seeking are in 3 areas:
1. Finance and governance experience to act as Treasurer on the Board and to chair the finance committee
2. Governance and finance experience able to chair the governance, audit and risk committee
3. Makaton user/tutor experience to bring that essential perspective into all Board discussions and decisions.
What will actually be involved?
You will need to be able to attend c. five 2 hour Board meetings a year, attend Committee meetings if you are part of these (c. three to five 2 hour meetings a year). Meetings are either held at the Charity’s offices in Farnborough, Hants, in London or remotely via phone conference.
Preparation for these as well as visiting the charity from time to time and possibly representing the charity in other situations (such as meetings with partner organisations) will require on average 1 day per month.
As a small charity with an exciting growth strategy there is the opportunity to bring your experience and make a fulfilling difference in the vital area of communications. An ability to get to the Farnborough office may be helpful to visit staff and build relationships.
As with all charity Trustee roles, the position is unpaid although expenses, such as for travel, will be re-imbursed.
The term is 3 years, with the possibility of re-election for a further term of 3 years.
What do I do if I am interested?
In the first instance, please send a brief e-mail explaining your interest in one or more of the roles, together with a summary CV to Penny.Butler@makaton.org by 31st March.
It will be possible to have an informal conversation with an existing Trustee to tell you more about the charity and to answer any questions.We also have a more detailed role description for each role that may be of interest.
We will then short list interest and arrange further meetings with the Chair and another Trustee. Our aim is to have the 3 new Trustees appointed by the end of May.