West Mercia Women’s Aid
The Charity Commission Guidance
WMWA is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. We are governed by our Board of Trustees (sometimes known as Board of Directors) and follow the Charity Commission’s Guidance on running a charity. The guidance sets out 6 main duties:
Ensure your charity is carrying out its purpose for the public benefit
We do this by reviews of our Charity objects, current trends and changes in the law. For example our Trustees hold Board ‘Away Days’ anually where they explore new and emerging topics and consider any changes to our services.
Comply with your charity’s governing document and the law
As well as our quarterly Board meetings we also hold quarterly Committee meetings. Our Governance & Risk Committee regularly looks at compliance and best practice. In 2021 we started a review of our Governance arrangements by adopting the national Good Governance Code.
Act in your charity’s best interest
Our Governance and Risk Committee reviews regular operational reports and plans for the future. Our Board of Trustees considers our strategic approach to services, for example, together with our Chief Executive we are committed to continue running a 24 hour helpline. Despite lack of funding we have not reduced the 24 hour coverage for this service. We work to obtain contributions to keep this valuable service running.
Ensure your charity is accountable
We have quarterly Finance, Health and Safety and Employment Committees hearing reports for those areas of our operations. In 2019 we improved our processes for hearing from people using our service by the introduction of a Service User’s Charter and created a new policy and procedure for consulting, involving and informing Service Users about our activities.
Manage your charity’s resources
Our Finance Committee review our financial position and support us to achieve a balanced budget. As with many charities, our income often reduces at the same time as demand for services increases. We are always looking to save costs by improving our efficiency, find ways to increase our grant income and avoid any staff redundancies.
Act with reasonable care and skill
We have a Leadership Team consisting of our senior managers and Chief Executive who oversee all aspects of our activities. Our Board of Trustees scrutinise all activities and often undertake research on topics we need to know more about. We are also a member of the Women’s Aid Federation, England. We recognise external skill sets and seek to use them to improve our activities, for example we invested in a Health and Safety Software system to ensure we continue to improve our health and safety track record.
How we are constituted
We are a Registered Charity and a Company limited by Guarantee. Our governing document (our Articles of Association) was reviewed and updated during 2019. Our Board of Trustees are responsible for the organisation.
Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees appoint our Chief Executive and she reports to the Board on all aspects of the service. The Board of Trustees ensures the organisation carries out its activities for the public benefit, they act in the organisations best interest and make sure the organisation is accountable and manages its resources well. The Board of Trustees scrutinise the impact of our work, finances, employment, health and safety, and governance and risk. We have adopted the national Good Governance Code standards, including a Declaration of Interest Register for our Trustees.
Our current Board of Trustees
Trustees are volunteers and are limited to no more than 9 years in post. We aim to have a wide range of skills and conduct Trustee skills audits to identify any gaps in skills and experience. We have a strong and passionate Board of Trustees who are all committed to our organisation ethos and values. As a group they have personal and working experience of: domestic abuse, domestic abuse services, the police, finance, housing, health, human resources, consultancy, management, IT and strategic planning.
Join our Board of Trustees
We welcome applications from women who wish to join our Board. Our Board meetings are quarterly, and Trustees also attend at least one of our standing Committee meetings to look at areas of our activities in depth. We also hold Board Away Days annually and offer other engagement, training and support. All our Trustees share our Ethos and Values.
We review our Trustee recruitment needs on a yearly basis and generally recruit for new Trustees in January. See our current advertisement and details of how to obtain an application pack here.