Have you ever considered becoming a trustee of a charity?

  • 96% of charity trustees in recent research said that they learnt new skills by being a trustee
  • 73% said it boosted their confidence
  • 84% said it made them happier

  • At FOLIO Sutton Coldfield we are keen to enhance and diversify our Board of Trustees and are currently recruiting new trustees. Could this opportunity by the ideal way for you to support an active local organisation and make a difference to your local community?

    **Click here to download our trustee recruitment pack**

    Closing date for expressions of interest: 4 October 2019
    Interviews: 15 October (evening)

    Alternatively, all the information contained in the pack can be found below.


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

    We support and promote the current library service in Sutton Coldfield and facilitate a richly varied programme of events and activities in Sutton Coldfield Library and through library outreach.

    FOLIO Sutton Coldfield raises funds to host events and facilitate projects within or in support of the public libraries in Sutton Coldfield. On average we put 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 ensure 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.

    FOLIO Sutton Coldfield was formed in June 2017 and became a registered charity in December of that year. As the result of our activities, library footfall, borrowing rates and new membership rates (for Sutton Coldfield Library) are all up significantly, bucking the national trend which has shown a drop in both borrowing and footfall:

  • Library borrowing has increased 10%.
  • Library footfall has increased 49% (there are now over 130,000 visits to the library each year).
  • Library membership (new members joining) has increased 97%.
  • (Based on data April 2018-April 2019 vs Jan 2017- December 2017)

    We have raised approximately £100,000 through grants since we were formed and are widely considered a key local community group. Feedback from our 2019 public consultation included the following comments:

    “FOLIO Sutton Coldfield has had a tremendous impact on Sutton Coldfield, from saving the library to the community engagement at local events. They clearly know and understand what resident want to see, and how they can do it!”

    “Folio’s rescue of the library was one of the most important events in Sutton Coldfield in the past few years.”

    “Folio is a real community service for all different people and needs.”

    “FOLIO has saved and ensured a future for our library services. Providing new events for children and adults to extend their skills including and beyond reading, bringing children together in clubs. Communicating with the community to explore new ways of extending services that are meaningful and that will be used.”

    “Folio have revolutionised my family’s use of the library and we feel more connected to Sutton Coldfield as a result”

    “A powerhouse of grassroots inspiration in the community”

    “An enduring team with pro active ideas that bring the community together.”

    “FOLIO has made Sutton Coldfield Library a vibrant place to be. It offers people experiences not available elsewhere in the locality.”

    “Fantastic services, often for free giving opportunities to everyone in the community. Invaluable to Sutton”

    “FOLIO has turned Sutton Library into the best library in the city. If only all libraries were as welcoming and inclusive, and as packed with events and activities.”

    “FOLIO has breathed new life and energy into Sutton Coldfield. It has expanded our ideas of what a library can be and created a space and opportunities which bring people together.”

    “FOLIO SC is playing an essential role in uniting the community through the use of a physical space and creative events. An inspiration to us all in a time of ever increasing divisions and community fragmentation.”

    FOLIO Sutton Coldfield – our current situation

    FOLIO Sutton Coldfield has a Board of Trustees, currently with 5 members:

    Chair – Zoe Toft
    Treasurer – Jenny Wilkinson
    Secretary – Jonny Mayner
    Trustee (with special responsibility for volunteers) – Noran Flynn
    Trustee (with special responsibility for income generation) – John Cooper

    You can read more about FOLIO Sutton Coldfield and our work on our website
    our website.

    You can get a sense of our community on our Facebook page:

    Here is FOLIO’s entry on the Charity Commission website: https://bit.ly/2Kn1SQD

    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 5 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 up to 4 new trustees to our board.

    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.

    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 which normally take place from 7.30pm to 9.30pm in central Sutton Coldfield (usually on Tuesday evenings). During this 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, October 4th, 2019. Interviews will be held from 7.30pm on Tuesday 15th October 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:


    Dates for remaining Trustee meetings in 2019:

    19 November, 7.30pm
    17 December, 7.30pm

    FOLIO Sutton Coldfield has a Code of Conduct for its trustees.
    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.

    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.

  • Trustee – Person specification
    Specific skills and experience relating to the Trustee role

  • Commitment to FOLIO Sutton Coldfield and its mission.
  • 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.

  • Personal qualities 

  • Good, independent judgement.
  • Impartiality, fairness and confidentiality.
  • Willingness to speak his or her 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. 

  • How to apply 

    Please send us a statement (maximum 500 words) about why you want to be a Trustee of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield and 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 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 and at one of our two informal meet and greet events specifically for those interested in becoming FOLIO trustees:

    FOLIO Sutton Coldfield Trustees Informal Meet and Greet
    7.30-8.30pm 18 September Quinto Lounge, Birmingham Road
    This is your opportunity to meet the full FOLIO board and ask questions

    FOLIO Sutton Coldfield Trustees Informal Meet and Greet
    7.30-8.30 30 September Quinto Lounge, Birmingham Road.
    This is your opportunity to meet the full FOLIO board and ask questions

    If you are not able to join us at either of the meetings above, please do take the opportunity to come and see us in action at one of our events in September:

    All events below, other than the BID Expo, take place inside Sutton Coldfield Library.

    Mapping our Memories
    1-2.30pm, 5 September,
    A free, drop-in reminiscence group, in conjunction with Sutton Coldfield History group

    Toddler Construction Club
    10.15-11.00, 10 September, 17 September, 24 September
    Free, drop-in play with duplo, brio and wooden building blocks. Combined with story time on 24 September.

    Family History Helpdesk
    1-3pm, 11 September
    Get expert, free help from our highly experienced genealogical researcher to help you build your family tree.

    1.30-3pm 11 September
    Free, drop-in reminiscence group for the over 50s.

    Reaching for the Moon!
    10-12 midday and 1.30-3.30pm 14 September
    Hands-on science workshops for 8-12 year olds.

    Lego Club
    1-2.30, 21 September
    Free family sessions making lego creations.

    Pokemon League
    10-12.30, 28 September
    All Pokemon fans welcome at these regular meetings of the local Pokemon League

    Sutton Coldfield BID Expo
    9-5, 28 September
    Come and say hello to FOLIO at our stall, help us plan our future events, and try your luck at our book tombola. NB This event is on the Parade outside Gracechurch.

    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 4 October 2019.

    Interviews will take place in the evening of October 15th in Sutton Coldfield.

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


    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 (we have a collection box in Sutton Coldfield library, or you can donate online via https://wonderful.org/charity/foliosuttoncoldfield).