FOLIO Sutton Coldfield is recruiting two new trustees to join our Board!

You can find full details below or in our downloadable (pdf) recruitment pack.

Closing date for applications: 8 October 2021 (5pm)
Interviews: 2 November (evening)

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FOLIO Sutton Coldfield is a Registered Charity (No. 1175929, registered in England and Wales). We formed from a community group of Sutton Coldfield residents who wanted to see our public libraries not just survive, but thrive at the heart of our community.

FOLIO Sutton Coldfield runs an extensive programme of events and activities, designed with the intention that everyone will find something that might appeal to them. The events are generally held in Sutton Coldfield Library and encourage people to visit the library and use its services.

Our constitution sets out our ‘objects’, which are “The advancement of education for the public benefit in the area served by public libraries which are based in the constituency of Sutton Coldfield, without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or politics, religious or other opinions, in particular but not exclusively by: (a) supporting and promoting the current library service in Sutton Coldfield; (b) facilitating educational courses and events in libraries and through library outreach.”

We have thought about what these ‘objects’ mean in everyday language:

Our vision is to help create an inspired and cohesive local community, passionate about reading and learning, which enjoys and engages with library services.

Our mission is to offer inspirational and transformational activities for the community to learn, interact and thrive, through engagement with local library services.

Our values are that we will be:

Welcoming:
We reach out and welcome people in
We are respectful and inclusive
We engage fully with participants, funders and partners

Imaginative:
We provide activities/events which are meaningful for the participants
We offer activities/events which enrich library services
We create a “wow” factor

Community-focused:
We involve our local community and the wider community
We collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders to deliver a variety of activities/events together
We offer a wide range of activities/events that will appeal to different sections of our community

FOLIO Sutton Coldfield raises funds to host events and facilitate projects within or in support of the public libraries in Sutton Coldfield. While our activities have been hampered over the last 18 months, due to the coronavirus pandemic, previously we were, on average, putting on 2-4 events a week, from code clubs and creative writing workshops to den building and messy play, local history talks, school and adult workshops and a whole host of author and illustrator workshops. These events have ensured increased footfall to Sutton Coldfield Library, a raised awareness of all the library service has to offer and an increased passion for our local library service. During the pandemic, we have been offering digital and some ‘offline’ activities, some ‘in-person’, when restrictions permit, in line with national and local requirements and the results of our own assessments of risk.

We have raised in excess of £120,000 through grants since we were formed and are widely considered a key local community group. Feedback from our events since the start of 2020 included the following comments:

“It was a once in a lifetime experience, so much fun.”

“[The best bit was] Seeing so many happy people loving being in a library – so many people finding corners to read and share stories in, inspired by sessions they had just attended. It was an amazing atmosphere, a brilliant event, bringing people together.”

“It was so lovely to have a fun, buzzy, local book event for my two year old. Seeing her so happy was great!”

“This was inspirational for my 8 year old who loves reading and writing.”

“Thank you ever so much for organising such a fantastic event and inspiring children to read and have a passion for books. It was absolutely brilliant!”

“An amazing inspirational event that has encouraged my FASD child to read.” (FASD = Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder)

“It could hardly be classed as ‘work’ when it’s such an enjoyable thing to do.” [on volunteering at a FOLIO event]

“Thank you for organising these events which have brightened an evening during these difficult days of lockdown.”

“The online sessions have worked brilliantly, although I’m also looking forward to some face-to-face events as well. Many thanks to you and Folio for enabling a real sense of community under such difficult circumstances.”

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FOLIO Sutton Coldfield – our current situation

FOLIO Sutton Coldfield has a Board of Trustees, currently with four members:

Chair – Zoe Toft
Treasurer – Jenny Wilkinson
Acting Secretary – Liz Parry
Trustee (with special responsibility for volunteers) – Noran Flynn

You can read more about FOLIO Sutton Coldfield and our work here on our website – please use the menu items above to navigate around.

You can get a sense of our community on our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/FOLIOSuttonColdfield/

Here is FOLIO’s entry on the Charity Commission website:
https://register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-search/-/charity-details/5104330

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FOLIO Sutton Coldfield – where we want to be

As is the case with many young / small charities, at FOLIO Sutton Coldfield our Board of Trustees is not only responsible for the governance of the charity, but additionally we carry out most of the day-to-day running of the charity, from writing funding applications, managing projects, creating publicity materials for FOLIO and delivering/stewarding at events. In addition to our Board of Trustees we have a body of around 30 volunteers who assist with events on an ad hoc basis.

As part of our strategic vision for the next five years we want to move to a model where FOLIO has a significantly increased body of volunteers enabling us to deliver more events, a small team of paid staff who will be responsible for the operational side of FOLIO, and an expanded Board of Trustees who can focus on strengthening the charity’s governance. All of this will significantly enrich FOLIO, ensuring that the flying start we have got off to as a charity can be maintained and our sustainability is ensured.

To assist us in our transformation we are seeking to recruit two new trustees to our board, one of whom will be appointed as our Secretary.

In parallel with this, we are also have an application currently under consideration with a grant awarding body which would fund a paid part-time project manager to support us in providing an exciting and varied programme of events as well as fund-raising and running the charity.

Who are we looking for?

First and foremost we are looking for enthusiastic people keen to make a real difference to the local community in Sutton Coldfield by playing an active role in enhancing our existing dynamic team. A can-do, creative and positive approach is essential. Previous board experience is not necessary. We are very keen to increase the diversity of our Board of Trustees and will work to ensure we are fully inclusive. We welcome applications from everybody.

We are keen to recruit young people (16+), current or retired librarians/library assistants, those with experience of working in an education setting (not limited to schools), those with experience of working in the arts and people with commercial/business experience. 

If you have skills in IT, fundraising/income generation, charity law, finance or helping organisations evolve, you’ll be able to make a particularly valuable contribution to FOLIO Sutton Coldfield. Recruiting to the role of Secretary is a key priority for the board. Please see below for the Secretary Role Specification.

We can offer trustee training and support, as well as a comprehensive induction. Trustees are unpaid volunteers but we can cover your expenses.

Trustees are expected to attend monthly board meetings. These normally take place from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and are usually on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. Over recent months, we have been meeting virtually, via Zoom, but we expect to move to alternating between virtual and in person meetings from the autumn. In person meetings will be in or around central Sutton Coldfield.

During our period of transition, as we move from a model where trustees do much of the operational work to one where FOLIO has a small number of staff, we also ask trustees to steward at up to four FOLIO events during the year (chosen to align with your particular interests). This is a great way to experience FOLIO’s work and meet library users and others who attend our events.

The closing date for expressions of interest in becoming a trustee of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield is 5pm on Friday, 8 October 2021. Interviews will be held from 7.30pm on Tuesday, 2 November in the library in central Sutton Coldfield.

If you’d like to have an informal conversation about becoming a trustee, please feel free to contact our Chair, Zoe Toft, on chair@foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk

If you’d like to find out more about what it means to be a charity trustee in general these links will help you:

https://reachvolunteering.org.uk/guide/become-trustee
https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/governance/getting-started-in-governance/trustees
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charity-trustee-whats-involved

Dates for remaining Board of Trustee meetings in 2021:

21 September, 7.30pm – online
20 October, 7.30pm – in person
16 November, 7.30pm – online
21 December, 7.30pm – in person

FOLIO Sutton Coldfield has a Code of Conduct for its trustees which you can read here: https://foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk/policies/

Trustees are appointed for an initial term of three years with the option to renew thereafter. You can read our Constitution (our Governing Document) here.

FOLIO Sutton Coldfield requires all trustees to hold a full DBS certificate. This does not need to be in hand at time of application; should you be invited to join FOLIO’s Board of Trustees we will meet the cost of a DBS check.

There are certain legal constraints on who can stand as a trustee. For full details please read the section “Trustee eligibility and responsibility” on this form: https://bit.ly/2KhNSJf

If invited to join FOLIO’s Board of Trustees you will be asked to formally confirm that you are legally eligible to be a charity trustee.

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Trustee – Role Specification

Trustee responsibilities:

  • Ensure that FOLIO Sutton Coldfield complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • Ensure that FOLIO Sutton Coldfield pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
  • Ensure that FOLIO Sutton Coldfield uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects: the charity must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objects, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are.
  • Contribute actively to the Board of Trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to FOLIO Sutton Coldfield, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • Safeguard the good name and values of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield.
  • Ensure the effective and efficient administration of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield.
  • Ensure the financial stability of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield.
  • Protect and manage the assets of the charity.
  • Be involved in the appointment of staff and the monitoring of their performance.

  • Additional Role Specification for Secretary

    In addition to the above, the Secretary has the following specific responsibilities:

  • Ensure smooth and efficient running of trustee meetings. Liaise with the Chair to prepare the agendas and collate and circulate paperwork on a timely basis.
  • Take and circulate minutes of board meetings. Accurately record decisions and actions and report to the next meeting on the progress of actions and the result of decisions.
  • Prepare and file the Annual Return and Annual Report to the Charity Commission.
  • Ensure our Charity Commission records are kept up-to-date.
  • Otherwise correspond with the Charity Commission as required.
  • Ensure that all decisions made by the trustees are in accordance with the governing document and reflect the objects of the charity.
  • Ensure proper governance of the charity and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Communicate necessary updates regarding regulatory and compliance matters to the board.
  • Trustee – Person specification

    Specific skills and experience relating to the trustee role: 


  • Commitment to FOLIO Sutton Coldfield, its vision, mission and values.
  • Understanding of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
  • Willingness to put time and effort into the trustee role.
  • Commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
  • For the Secretary role, a legal background and understanding of Charity Law would be a benefit but not essential.

  • Personal qualities

  • Good, independent judgement.
  • Impartiality, fairness and confidentiality.
  • Willingness to speak their mind.
  • Tact and diplomacy.
  • Respect for others.
  • Willingness to learn new skills.

  • Specific skills and abilities

  • Strategic thinker.
  • Creative thinker.
  • Effective team member.
  • Excellent communicator and strong interpersonal skills. 

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    How to apply 

    Please send us a statement (maximum 500 words) about why you want to be a trustee of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield and what you think you are able to offer to the charity. We are interested hearing about your relevant experiences, whether in work or as a volunteer. Please indicate if you would be specifically interested in the Secretary role.

    Please include the names and details for one referee who will not be contacted until after a successful interview. The statement should be sent by email to Zoe Toft on chair@foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk with the subject: Trustee Expression of Interest.

    All applicants are strongly encouraged to meet informally with FOLIO trustees before they submit their statement. Please do come and chat to us at one of our events in September:

    Elderberries in Sutton Coldfield Library
    9 September 10.30-11.30am

    Sutton Coldfield Town Hall Community Fete
    12 September 11-6pm
    Come and say hello to FOLIO at our stall

    Telling Sutton’s Stories at Banner’s Gate Community Hall
    14 September 1.30-4.30pm

    Holy Trinity Heritage Open Day
    18 September 11-3pm
    Come and say hello to FOLIO at our stall

    Sutton Coldfield BID Expo
    25 September 9-5pm
    Come and say hello to FOLIO at our stall. NB This event is on the Parade outside the Gracechurch Centre.

    If you are not able to attend any of these dates but would still like to meet informally with FOLIO trustees please get in touch by emailing Zoe Toft on chair@foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk
    
The closing date for expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 8 October 2021.

    Interviews will take place in the evening of November 2nd in the library in central Sutton Coldfield.

    Please let us know if you will require any adjustment because of any disability should you be called for interview.

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    Queries 

    If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information or would like to have an informal discussion, please contact Zoe Toft on chair@foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk

    If you would like to support FOLIO Sutton Coldfield but decide that applying to become a trustee is not for you there are several other ways you can support our charity. You can:

  • Tell your friends and colleagues about FOLIO and encourage them to attend one of our events.
  • Share your ideas with us about the sorts of events you’d like to see in your local public library.
    Volunteer at an event.
  • Volunteer behind the scenes with distributing information about FOLIO events either in person eg via schools, churches, or online.
  • Donate to FOLIO (you can donate online via https://localgiving.org/charity/folio-sutton-coldfield/).
  • Could you be a FOLIO Trustee?
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