Brookes Union is looking for innovative, creative people to join the charity, based in Oxford. Our team work hard to represent our members to the university, locally and nationally. We provide a flagship advice service which deals with over 3,000 cases a year, and support community building projects across the institution through our societies and exciting cultural and social events.
We are seeking an experienced finance professional to join a friendly and enthusiastic board
which usually meets quarterly. Being a member of a trustee board can be a hugely rewarding opportunity, and we are looking for people who are passionate about developing and supporting young people. Like other volunteer roles, you will get out of this experience what you put in, so we welcome
applications from people who are able to give us their time and in return we offer:
- Broadening your understanding of organisational management including risk, finances, strategy, HR
- Building your professional and personal network
- Supporting a high-impact organisation which develops the lives of young people - our young trustees are inspiring and unlike any you will meet elsewhere.
- Access to specialist training and development
We understand that people join Boards for all sorts of reasons and we are more than happy to support you on your journey, and make sure that we work together to get the most out of your time with us.
We are a registered, unincorporated charity with an annual income of around £1.2m. Our funding comes from an unrestricted grant from our parent institution, Oxford Brookes University. Our big challenge over the next 12 months will be becoming an incorporated charity, as well as finding a sustainable way to tackle our defined benefit pension scheme deficit. We are looking for a treasurer to support our CEO and experienced Head of Finance & Resources through this process.
We have a broad and diverse membership of around 18,000 students spread across Oxfordshire; being a membership organisation means that we are governed by our members, who determine our policy and lead the organisation. Every student who enrols at Oxford Brookes University is automatically a member of the union, meaning that our membership is both diverse, and constantly changing.
Like any charity, the key to our success is strong governance; however, what makes students’ unions unique is that our governance is entirely student-led. Our Trustee Board is constituted of both students and external trustees, and four of the student trustees are elected annually by the membership to lead the organisation as employees. Brookes Union also has a small staff team of around 20 members of staff, including a newly appointed CEO; the staff team work to facilitate the officers in achieving their goals and supporting students through community building and representation activity.
Like our wider membership, the Board membership changes every year as our elected student members are replaced, so we are looking for trustees who anticipate being able to remain actively engaged with the Board throughout the entirety of the advertised term. Our student trustees tend to have little to no previous experience at Board level, so we are looking for trustees who are able to coach and mentor these Board members whilst also discharging their own duties.
Trustee roles are unremunerated, though we can pay reasonable expenses as well as provide an induction and training programme. Meetings normally take place between 4pm and 6pm either at our offices in Headington, Oxford, or online via google or Zoom. We are dedicated to ensuring that our Board meetings are inclusive and would be very happy to discuss any accessibility arrangements that would better suit the right candidate.
The Board does not currently reflect the rich diversity of our membership and we are therefore actively seeking trustees from black or people of colour.
If you are interested in any of the roles and would like to discuss these further please get in touch by sending us a copy of your most recent CV.
In addition to the general responsibilities of a trustee, duties of the treasurer include
- Being assured that the financial resources of Brookes Union meet its present and future needs, ensuring Brookes Union’s financial stability
- Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate reserves policy
- Keeping the board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities
- Advising on the financial implications of Brookes Union’s strategic plans
- Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate investment policy
- Ensuring that there is no conflict between any investment held and the aims and objects of the charity
- Monitoring Brookes Union’s investment activity and ensuring it is consistent with Brookes Union’s policies and legal responsibilities
- Ensuring that the accounts are scrutinised annually by the appointed auditors and Oxford Brookes University, and any recommendations are implemented
- Contributing to the Brookes Union income generation strategy
- Sitting on appraisal, recruitment and disciplinary panels as required
- Advising the Board on appropriate courses of action in relation to specific liabilities including but not limited to pensions liabilities
With the CEO and Head of Finance & Resources:
- Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place
- Overseeing and supporting the presentation of budgets, accounts and financial statements
- Ensuring that the accounts are prepared and disclosed in the form required by the University, the Charity Commission and/or the Registrar of Companies
- Providing mentoring and support for the Head of Finance and Resources where appropriate.
Support Student & Officer Trustees by:
- Supporting, through training, coaching and mentoring other Trustees, and specifically student and officer trustees to understand and appropriately scrutinise financial information
- Supporting the Deputy Chair to present Brookes Union financial information to the Oxford Brookes University Finance and Risk Committee; this may involve attending the meeting with the Deputy Chair
- Supporting the Deputy Chair to make a formal presentation of the accounts at the annual general meeting and drawing attention to important points in a way which our members will understand. This may include attending the meeting with the Deputy Chair.