National Lottery Community Fund

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support

 Donate through Local Giving
OBS Join us button Newsletter for Health Care Professionals
Facebook icon Twitter icon Instagram icon YouTube logo 

Trustee Recruitment - We Want You!

 

Image: Two women, one wearing a hijab, and a man sit around a table with a laptop and papers. Text: OBS wants you! We're recruiting new trustees bit.ly/OBStrustee21

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support (OBS) is a small charity (a charitable incorporated organisation or CIO) providing free direct breastfeeding support to the families of Oxfordshire - via a mixture of in person contactsvirtual one to one appointments, Zoom groups, a closed Facebook group, antenatal education sessions and work targeted at groups that are under-represented. OBS has wider strategic goals outlined in our mission statement and is currently working on a three year strategy. OBS is well known and respected in the community, with strong and valuable relationships with other service providers in the NHS, Local Authority and voluntary sectors. OBS is committed to being an actively anti-racist organisation, with a focus on social justice, equality, diversity and inclusion.

Although founded as an independent charity in 2018, OBS' work is a continuation of 12 years of breastfeeding support under the Baby Cafe umbrella.

OBS' work is delivered by freelance facilitators, most of whom are internationally board certified lactation consultants (IBCLC, the highest level of lactation accreditation), and a team of trained and supervised peer supporters. The Board of Trustees has overseen an enormous strengthening of governance within the organisation since the transformation into an independent charity, along with significant growth. Fundraising is led by a facilitator and supported by a group of volunteers and trustees - the financial position is healthy with the ability to set an ambitious agenda for targeted growth to better serve the users.

Since becoming a CIO, OBS has received funding from trusts and foundations, regular donations from our service users and a small number of generous major donors. In 2019, we were awarded a five year grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to develop our core services, our reach, and to transform how we work with families who have traditionally felt less able to come to us – those from minority ethnic communities, parents with disabilities, LGBT families and more. View OBS’s Annual Report and Financial Accounts

OBS is seeking to recruit three new trustees, specifically one to fulfill the role of Secretary of the Board of Trustees, one to have oversight of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and another to fulfill the role of Deputy Chair, with a view to taking over the Chair of Trustees position in 6-12 months. These appointments will join an active and welcoming board of 5 current trustees. See the role descriptions below for responsibilities and time commitment, both as a general trustee and for the specific roles of the Secretary, EDI and Deputy Chair positions. Please also read this Charity Commission guidance on responsibilities and liabilities of trustees if you are not already aware of these.

Candidates should be motivated to give their time to the cause of community feeding support (specific expertise or experience is not necessary), able to volunteer in the role for several hours a month (including preparation for, and attendance of, quarterly board meetings) and with transferable skills relevant to the roles described. Previous trustee or governance experience is desirable but not essential.

The benefits of the role are satisfaction and fulfillment of contributing to an effective and worthwhile charity, and modest funds for trustee training. Travel expenses are not offered but virtual attendance at meetings is facilitated. Costs of DBS will be covered. OBS has trustee indemnity insurance.

OBS seeks to recruit diverse candidates, without limitation on gender, age, sexuality, ethnic origin or disability. We particularly welcome applications from those who are underrepresented on our trustee board, including older people, people of colour, those with disabilities, and men. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to ask questions or to discuss your specific needs.

If you are not familiar with OBS's work you are encouraged to observe a virtual Group session and meet some of the facilitators and volunteers before applying. Please look around our website for more information about the organisation and to see all of our policies.

Apply using the button below. Two references will be required. Deadline for application is 30th August 2021. Interviews are likely to take place in September.

Apply now button

Role Descriptions

Role Description – Trustee (General)

Trustees are the people responsible under the governing document of Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support (OBS) for managing the affairs of the charity.

The role of a trustee is:

  • to ensure that OBS complies at all times with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • to ensure that OBS pursues its objects as defined in its governing document
  • to maintain proper financial control and ensure that OBS applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects i.e. the charity must not spend money on activities that are not included in its objects, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are
  • to set and maintain vision, mission and values
  • to develop strategy, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • to ensure accountability
  • to set up employment or contract procedures for, and respect the roles of, facilitators/volunteers
  • to support the operational management of the organisation
  • to draw up and monitor the implementation of internal policies, which must include equality and diversity as well as health and safety policies and grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • to ensure that risk assessments for all aspects of the charity are carried out
  • to safeguard the good name and values of OBS
  • to maintain effective board performance and ensure the effective and efficient administration of OBS including funding, insurance and premises
  • to act in the best interests of the charity in respect of decisions made as a trustee, never in the interests of yourself or another organisation

In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience s/he has to help the board reach sound decisions. These may involve scrutinising board and focus group papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives and other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.

A trustee is required to act reasonably and prudently in all matters relating to the charity and must always bear the interests of OBS in mind.

Practical expectations

Trustees meetings take place 4-6 times per year. Meeting dates will be provided at least 2 months in advance and trustees are expected to attend. Virtual attendance is facilitated. Meetings are likely to last 2-3 hours, usually in the evening. The term of office is three years. A trustee can retire early by giving notice in writing.

Supporting documents will be circulated with a target of at least two weeks before meeting dates. Trustees are expected to read these documents and think critically about them in preparation for the trustee meeting. Preparation time is likely to be 1-2 hours per meeting.

Each trustee is expected to have responsibility for an area of working, for example:

  • Chair
  • Deputy Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Facilitators & Volunteers
  • Impact
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Fundraising
  • Governance

Trustees will be expected to undertake or coordinate activities related to their area of responsibility between meetings. This will be a variable time commitment depending on the role, for example at least 2 hours a week for the Chair and Treasurer, and a minimum of 6 hours a month for other roles (in addition to meeting related time outlined above).

Support provided

Travel expenses are not provided, due to the size of the charity and potential for remote attendance at meetings.

Reasonable costs can be covered for relevant, cost-efficient trustee training.

Where a trustee has a disability, all efforts will be made to make adjustments to facilitate their full involvement.

Role Description – Secretary to the Board of Trustees

In addition to the role description of a general trustee above, the Secretary will:

  • Organise and coordinate Board meetings, including venues where appropriate. Dates should be provided to trustees at least two months before the meeting date
  • Compile and circulate trustee meeting agendas, and meeting papers before meetings after liaison with the Chair of trustees. Agendas should be circulated at least two weeks before the meeting date
  • Take minutes at trustee meetings
  • Circulate minutes to trustees, facilitators and any other relevant stakeholders. Minutes should be circulated within one week of the meeting date.
  • Maintain lists of agreed actions from trustee meetings and communicate with trustees between meetings to ensure progress is made.
  • Maintain a list of agreed actions decided between trustee meetings, for example via WhatsApp discussion between trustees, and present these at trustee meetings for formal agreement.
  • Organise for policies and procedures to be reviewed and approved by the Board, as required. 

Essential Skills/experience

  • Organisational skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Writing skills

Desirable Skills/experience

  • Minute taking experience
  • Trustee or governance experience
  • Experience with Google Suite (Drive, Docs etc)

Role Description – Trustee with oversight of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

In addition to the role description of a general trustee above, the EDI trustee will:

  • Oversee the development and implementation of Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy.
  • Work with the facilitator team and staff/contractors with specific responsibilities for EDI work to implement the strategy, drive cultural change, and ensure services are reflective of current and future or potential service user needs, and are inclusive for service users from all backgrounds, especially under-represented groups. 
  • Ensure OBS services are shaped by data, qualitative feedback and assessment of service user needs. 
  • Chair the EDI working group meetings (made up of service user volunteers with specific knowledge or experience of protected or under-represented characteristics), ensuring actions are completed in a timely manner.
  • Contribute to funding bids and grant applications as required.
  • Help the facilitators to develop opportunities for volunteers and peer supporters from under-represented backgrounds, who are essential in delivering OBS support.

Essential Skills/experience

  • Lived experience, or clear commitment to understanding of the lived experience, of minority, disadvantaged or protected characteristic groups
  • Self-motivated
  • Commitment to anti-racism and social justice

Desirable Skills/experience

  • Experience in developing an organisational culture committed to and respectful of equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Trustee or governance experience
  • Experience with Google Suite (Drive, Docs etc)

Background

Since becoming an independent CIO, OBS has focused on understanding more about how we serve the Oxfordshire community and whether people with various protected characteristics, and groups who tend to have low breastfeeding rates, are supported appropriately. Through close analysis of data and understanding of national social and demographic trends we have identified that service users with disabilities are not attending current OBS services in significant numbers and this is a key priority for us. The ethnic background of our service users mirrors the ethnic background of local pregnant women fairly well, but given that pregnant women from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to breastfeed in the UK, it is likely that this is another significant gap in our service. Given the experiences of general and healthcare-associated racism that black and brown women experience, with poorer outcomes of pregnancy and higher infant mortality, it is a high priority for OBS to focus on this area. Our strategy plan has outlined that first we will seek to understand more about the breastfeeding support needs of black and brown women in Oxfordshire - for example are many people well supported with breastfeeding outside of OBS due to strong inter-generational breastfeeding culture? Once we understand more about the stakeholders and gaps we can plan subsequent actions.

OBS has already made some progress towards becoming more inclusive and self-reflective. We have a service user EDI working group and have put in place various supportive tools such as Language Line interpretation (including BSL via video) and Otter.ai for transcription/captioning (in process). Currently one of our facilitators has a small number of hours allocated to focus on EDI work and we plan to expand funded time for EDI in the future. In the past year we have targeted our social media presence towards for example Black Breastfeeding Week and Disability Awareness Month and increased the visual representation of many groups in OBS materials. Our recent strategy plan includes short and long term actions to increase the representation of groups with protected characteristics within our volunteers and facilitators. Our most recent EDI demographic report is available on request.

Role Description – Deputy Chair of Trustees

In addition to the role description of a general trustee above, the deputy chair of trustees will:

  • Deputise for the Chair, and chair meetings of the Board or represent OBS to external stakeholders as required
  • Build a strong and effective working relationship with the Chair, Board of Trustees, Project Lead and facilitator team.
  • Assist and support the Chair in providing leadership to the Board, through the governance arrangements, and also acting as a ‘sounding board’ and confidante to the Chair in the execution of his/her role. 
  • Act as a ‘sounding board’ and ‘critical friend’ to the trustees of the Board and members of the facilitator team, promoting constructive relations between the team and trustees.
  • Determine, in conjunction with the Chair, meeting agendas, helping to monitor that they are forward looking, focused on strategic matters and include all matters of concern to all meeting attendees.
  • In conjunction with the Chair, take a leading role in finalising any changes to the structure and composition of the Board

Essential Skills/experience

  • Organisational skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Trustee or governance experience
  • Leadership experience

Desirable Skills/experience

  • Writing and oral communication skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of the health service/health charity sector more generally, and breastfeeding support more specifically
  • Experience with Google Suite (Drive, Docs etc)

Background

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support is seeking to recruit a trustee to act as the deputy Chair of trustees for six to twelve months, with a view to transitioning to the Chair of trustees after that point. Key skills are therefore an understanding of charity governance, a commitment to leading OBS and good people skills in relation to both the board of trustees and the facilitators/volunteer team. Below is a role description for the Chair of Trustees as this role is specifically recruited with an intended transition.

Role Description - Chair of Trustees

  • Ensure trustee meetings happen regularly
  • Coordinate preparations for meetings with the Secretary to the Board of Trustees
  • Chair trustee meetings
  • Ensure due diligence by the trustees and oversee the appropriate delivery of their individual briefs
  • Have oversight of the organisation to ensure the delivery of the organisational strategy
  • Monitor the function and effectiveness of the Trustee board to fulfil the needs of the organisation, for example ensuring capacity, training and support and the composition of Board
  • Monitor the financial health of the organisation and plan for changes in collaboration with the Treasurer
  • Help others think through strategic issues and how far they match our mission and vision (possible changes to services, potential new projects), in collaboration with the Strategy Lead
  • Communicate closely with the Project Lead to ensure effective two way flow of information, views, plans and experiences
  • Take responsibility for prompt decision making and communication in response to proposals put forward by the facilitators and volunteers
  • Taking ownership of the way that OBS is perceived externally
  • Assist with grant writing as needed
  • Coordinate report writing (annual report, funding evaluation reports)
  • Speak at public events as needed
  • Coordinate the response to complaints

OBS seeks to recruit diverse candidates, without limitation on gender, age, sexuality, ethnic origin or disability. We particularly welcome applications from those who are underrepresented on our trustee board, including older people, people of colour, those with disabilities, and men. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to ask questions or to discuss your specific needs.

If you are not familiar with OBS's work you are encouraged to observe a virtual Group session and meet some of the facilitators and volunteers before applying. Please look around our website for more information about the organisation and to see all of our policies.

Apply using the button below. Two references will be required. Deadline for application is 30th August 2021. Interviews are likely to take place in September.

Apply now button

Last updated July 2021

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support logo