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 a yearly ‘away day’ where we have reviewed topics such as gender re-assignment and gender definitions to 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 Committee regularly looks at compliance and best practice. For example in 2019 we started a review of our environmental sustainably to see if we can improve our impact on the environment.
Act in your charity’s best interest
Our Governance Committee reviews regular operational reports and plans for the future. For example the Board of Trustees, together with our Chief Executive 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 these 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 have worked over the last three years to achieve a balanced budget. As with many charities, our income has reduced at the same time as demand for services increases. We have managed to save costs by improving our efficiency, increased our grant income and we have not made any staff redundant.
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 recently 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 Officer 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.
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 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 one of our standing Committee meetings to look at areas of our activities in depth. We also have a yearly Trustee Away Day and offer training and Trustee support. If you are interested in becoming a Trustee and share our Ethos and Values please read our Trustee Role Description and complete our Trustee Application form.