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VAS information digest

11th November 2016


Charity Commission Re-emphasises the Fundamental Role and Value of Trusteeship

This week was annual Trustees’ Week, which was launched to celebrate the great work that trustees do and highlight their complex but invaluable role in society.

As part of Trustees’ Week, the Charity Commission is reminding trustees that their fundamental roles and responsibilities are the same as they have always been, despite the recent increase in focus. Trustees should act in the best interests of their charity, ensuring it is best placed and equipped to achieve its charitable purpose for the public benefit.

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The Role of Trustees: Duties and Responsibilities

To celebrate Trustees Week, and showcase the great work that trustees do, VAS held a networking event for trustees of local charities. The event included a keynote presentation on the duties and responsibilities of being a charity trustee. This presentation was delivered by Tessa Hennessy, an Oxford-based solicitor who specialises in the voluntary sector. This was followed by a charity advice clinic, in which attendees got advice on fundraising, governance and financial issues from VAS experts. The event was well attended, with 23 representatives from 19 local charities and community groups present.

VAS would like to thank Tessa and all who attended this very constructive session. Future events will be advertised on our website and through VAS id.

More About Tessa Hennessy Solicitor

In Kind Direct: Product Giving for Social Good

When companies have too much stock- samples, cosmetically damaged (but usable) goods, or end of line items sitting on shelves- they take up valuable warehouse space. Those products might not seem to be worth much, but they could mean everything to a small charity or not-for-profit organisation.

In Kind Direct redistributes products from companies to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.

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Plant a Tree at Common Farm

Pop along and plant a tree for or with a loved one. The event is open to everyone. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Trees will be provided but please bring your own spade! There will be lots of mud so please wear wellington boots or suitable footwear and remember to wrap up warm.

Date: Saturday 19th November 2016
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Common Farm Community Woodland

Download the Poster (pdf, png)

Reach Inclusive Arts AGM

The Reach Inclusive Arts AGM will take place on 5th of December 2016 from 6.10pm to 7.30 pm in the Lower Foyer of The Wyvern Theatre, Swindon (a fully accessible location near the Town Hall.) They will be sharing their work with project reviews from members and live performance.

Funding & Governance Advice

New Rules Around Fundraising

New sections of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 relating to fundraising came into force on 1st November 2016. These legal changes are intended to help protect donors, charity supporters and the public from intrusive fundraising practices.

For charities who are required by law to have their accounts audited, the Trustees’ Annual Report must cover some new items on fundraising, for accounting periods beginning after 1st November 2016.

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Draft of Significant Update to Charity Governance Code

A draft for a new version of the Code of Good Governance has been published for consultation. The draft proposes that trustee boards must consider mergers with other charities or winding their charity up, if other organisations are seen to be fulfilling similar charitable purposes more effectively.

The update also contains a new section on the relationship between the trustee board and staff, recommending that boards and chief executives strive to create conditions for staff to feel confident and enabled to provide boards with all the information they need to carry out their duties.

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Operations and Facilities Controller at MS Therapy Centre

20 Hours per week (with the flexibility to increase hours)
Part Big Lottery funded – Reaching Communities

The MS Therapy Centre are looking to recruit an Operations and Facilities Controller to join their small team of staff to support their Members, Carers and large team of volunteers.

The purpose of the job is to ensure the smooth, effective, safe and efficient day to day running of the Swindon Therapy Centre for MS. To act on behalf of the Centre Manager on all Centre business when required.

Read More and Apply

Assistant Project Manager at Swindon Foodbank

Circa £17,290 (pro rata 25hrs /week = £11,357 per annum)

This is a challenging part-time position with Swindon Christian Community Projects, to assist the Project Manager on a day-to-day basis. You will need to have a high level of fitness as the work involved is physically demanding.

The key skills required for this position include driving, orderliness, with a keen eye for detail and the ability to support the Project Manager in the organisation and management of the warehouse and distribution centres. You must be able to work with volunteers effectively and work under pressure. The work involves heavy lifting and moving of food stocks on a daily basis, therefore a high level of physical fitness is required. Good communication skills are essential as meeting and liaising with external partners and giving presentations at school assemblies and other groups is necessary. Critical to this role is the ability to work as a team player and have a strong commitment to being part of a team.

Read More and Apply


Upcoming Training at VAS

From Emergency First Aid to Employment Law, VAS offers a range of training courses for the local voluntary sector. Here are the dates for some of our upcoming courses, all held at the VAS building on John Street unless otherwise indicated:

Emergency First Aid at Work Level 2: Friday 18th November (at Sanford House), Wednesday 18th January, Wednesday 22nd March

Fire Safety Training: Wednesday 1st March, Wednesday 1st May

Food Safety Level 2: Wednesday 22nd February, Wednesday 19th April

Health & Safety Level 2: Wednesday 30th November, Wednesday 1st February, Wednesday 5th April

Manual Handling: Wednesday 16th November, Wednesday 7th December, Tuesday 7th March

Read More & Book a Place

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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.

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