Dr Bell’s Family Centre is where families with young children (under 5) living in Leith, facing disadvantage and complex situations can access a variety of support groups, drop-in services, and individual support services.
The Trustees are all jointly involved in governance and supporting the Chief Executive and staff team. We are particularly looking for someone with experience of working in the Children/Families sector who is committed to the work of the Charity and its objectives. This is an exciting time to be involved in the governance and strategic direction for the charity as we look ahead. There are still many opportunities for us, as the need for our support in the community is as strong as ever.
We work in partnership with other local organisations and in consultation with families to design and deliver services that make a real difference to those who find it the most difficult to access services or get the support they need. We deliver groups aimed at increasing parents’ employability chances, reducing anxiety and stress, better management of parenting challenges, giving social opportunities, improving health and wellbeing, and increasing family cohesion.
A key component to reducing barriers for parents with young children attending social and therapeutic groups and activity is our provision of childcare in the same building. Many parents in Leith do not have the support network available to them where they can find childcare that allows them to take part in activity that will improve their own and their child’s life outcomes. By offering flexible childcare by motivated, experienced and qualified staff we can reach families who can most benefit.
We are seeking additions to the board who can help with the development of services and partnerships in the community.
Our ideal Trustee is someone who has knowledge and experience of working with children and families whether in the third/private or public sector. Skills would encompass one or more of the following:
As the needs of our families evolve so does the work of the charity. Funding also evolves as national and local government strategies and priorities are updated. Our sustainability depends on us being able to remain in step and design projects that meet the needs of our users and sponsors. This is critical area of input for the Trustee we seek.
The board meets regularly, currently every 8 weeks. We foresee most meetings being virtual in future, however we would expect ot meet face to face at least twice per annum. In addition, most of our Trustees have regular direct contact with the Chief Executive and other staff to provide support and mentoring.
The Board of Trustees have a good working relationship with senior staff. The organisation is small and there is a high level of competence in the Centre's staff. We rely heavily on donations from charitable foundations, council and government funding who are increasingly looking to governing boards and management committees to ensure adequate policies and procedures are in place and followed. This requires a good deal of commitment from the Trustees to review and monitor management policies and procedures.
The Family Centre has a crèche which is regulated by the Care Inspectorate - a recent inspection graded the crèche as "Good". We closely follow the Child Protection guidelines. The demonstration of good employee management is also vital to the continuation of the charity - not only in terms of applying for funding but also within OSCR and company law. In order to support the Chief Executive and staff the Trustees need to be challenging the operational decisions to ensure we are continuing to meet the needs of our beneficiaries and target families. We need more experience of working within this sector on the Board to be confident of strong governance.
Dr Bell's has been in existence for 15 years and has benefited from the skills and experience of a wide range of people in developing into what it is today. We have a flexible model that works well for the people we seek to serve in Leith. For that to continue we have to stay fresh and relevant, open to new ideas and insights, which we seek from any new Trustee, employee or volunteer.
The charity supports inclusion and equal opportunities.