Skip to main content

This job has expired


Ferne Animal Sanctuary
TA20 3DH, Chard
Closing date
27 Apr 2024

View more

Fundraising, Trustees & Chair
Part Time
Contract Type
Specialist / Consultant

Job Details

Ferne was founded in 1939 through the foresight of the late Nina, Duchess of Hamilton & Brandon who realised that men and women going off to war had no-one to take care of their animals and so would require a temporary refuge for them. The Duchess put a call out on the BBC and legend has it that when she returned to her London home there were several cats and dogs on her doorstep and even a parrot!

Trustee meetings are held during the working day, but we can be flexible if you are unable to attend then. Trustees are encouraged to attend at least one sub-committee which requires another four shorter meetings, usually two weeks prior to the full meetings. We have at least one, strategy planning day during each year. Trustees stand for three years and can be re-elected for a further two, three-year terms . The Trustees also have the power to co-opt additional members onto the Board for their specific skills and in the case we are looking for someone that has real life relevant experience in Fundraising.

The Trustees’ primary role is to ensure that Ferne fulfils its charitable objectives and that monies received are used effectively. In order to carry out this key role, Trustees (as a Board) must do the following:

Mandate and reputation

Ensure that the charity is properly focussed on its charitable objectives and constitution and operates within the law. The Trustees are responsible for preserving the charity’s good name and reputation.

Strategic Planning

Work with the CEO and the leadership team to plan strategically for the future. Meet at least once a year to review the plan, then update or replace it as circumstances and needs change. The strategic plan is a changing, active document to which all trustees contribute. It is their job to challenge, assess and review the plan before approving the final strategy for the following five years.

Objectives, business plan and budgets

Approve Ferne’s objectives on an annual basis through the business plan and budgets that are submitted at Board meetings.

Risk Identification and Management

Challenge the leadership team to keep effective processes in place to identify potential risks that the charity faces. This risk register is reviewed and updated at each Board meeting.

Management Effectiveness and Succession

Ensure the leadership team is in place and operating effectively and efficiently. The role of Trustees is to question, scrutinise and monitor the leadership team, for which purpose Trustees should have the opportunity to constructively question, test, and challenge leaderships teams views and proposals in the spirit of achieving the charity’s objectives. Although not involved in the regular appointment of new staff, trustees actively recruit and appoint the CEO.

Internal Control and Management Information Systems

Ensure that effective systems exist to protect the organisation, and the necessary management information systems exist to assess and report back the charity’s performance and progress in meeting its objectives.


Report back yearly to members, regulatory bodies, associated charities, staff and volunteers, and other stakeholders through the Annual Report, at the Annual general meeting and from time to time through the @Ferne magazine


Ferne Animal Sanctuary is a charity that provides care and shelter for domestic and agricultural animals whose owners are either unable or unwilling to look after them. The sanctuary cares for approximately 300 animals at its 51 acre site in Somerset. Founded in 1940, Ferne has 43 employees and over 100 volunteers.

Ferne’s history began in 1940 when it was founded by the Duchess of Hamilton and Brandon to provide a temporary refuge for animals belonging to service men and women who were sent abroad to fight in World War Two. Based at the Ferne Estate in Dorset, the charity continued to take in animals after the war. In 1975, the sanctuary moved to its present premises high in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. In 2015, Ferne celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The sanctuary is home to a collection of different animals including dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, birds and chinchillas. In addition, it actively seeks suitable homes for cats, dogs, rabbits and horses within a 40 mile radius of the sanctuary and regularly checks on their wellbeing after rehoming.

Another of Ferne’s activities is the delivery of talks at schools, local societies and residential homes.

Ferne Animal Sanctuary also provides free access to its site and offers guided tours. The sanctuary is open to visitors seven days a week and has a café staffed by volunteers. There are also three Ferne charity shops – in Bridport in Dorset and Chard and Ilminster in Somerset.

Ferne has more than 40 employees but also relies on volunteers to carry out much of its work. A network of volunteer home visitors, for example, regularly visit the homes of cats and dogs adopted from Ferne. Should an unexpected change occur in a rehomer’s life which results in them being unable to continue to offer the cat or dog a home, the animal is guaranteed a place at Ferne and need never be homeless again.

There are many other volunteer opportunities at Ferne, including a need for dog walking volunteers, cat socialisation volunteers, volunteer drivers, café volunteers, event volunteers, charity shop volunteers, estate helpers, office volunteers and fundraising volunteers.

The charity relies on donations and had an annual voluntary income of £1.27 million at the end of 2014.

Company info
01460 65214
Ferne Animal Sanctuary,
TA20 3DH

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert