Job Description

What will you be doing?

Home-Start Surrey Heath is a family-support charity established in 1989, deeply-rooted in our community. We help families with young children, who may be struggling with mental or physical health, disability, bereavement, domestic abuse, social isolation or a whole range of other reasons. We do that through our volunteer visitors who offer practical and emotional support.

Our income in 2021/22 was £79k, so we’re a small organisation and while we’re separate from Home-Start UK, we’re part of that national family.


The role and what we’re looking for in our safeguarding trustee

Trustees are the people who make the top-level decisions for our charity. Our Board includes people with experience and skills in governing our charity and supporting families, as well as some brand-new trustees.

We are looking for a trustee to help us with safeguarding, focusing on this important part of our work, and alongside other trustees, steering the organisation where there may be safeguarding concerns within families.

You’ll have an understanding of, and probably a background in safeguarding children, likely some experience in Early Years, Health or Family Support. You’ll understand the need for our organisation to prioritise safeguarding, especially in our work with more-complex families, and you’ll contribute to our Board discussions in those areas.

You don’t necessarily need prior charity experience, but you will need empathy with our cause and a genuine interest in supporting parents in our community.

You’ll support and provide a sounding-board for our Strategic Lead for Safeguarding and ensure we use local procedures appropriately, monitor and review our systems, policies and procedures. You’ll be able to access support and training from Home-Start UK, including their intranet and forums for Safeguarding-focused trustees.

We are a charity not a business, but we apply business principles to governing our organisation. We want to expand the diversity of our board, in all meanings of the word, and strongly welcome applications from people from less-represented groups.

What are we looking for?

Here is some of what we would expect from our trustees. We know that you may also need training and support from employees, from other trustees and from external organisations, and that that will be forthcoming, as necessary, to build on any area.

  • Understanding of the needs of local families and their children is desirable; an empathy with these needs is essential
  • Clear commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, valuing differences to make better decisions and deliver better services for our beneficiaries
  • An understanding of safeguarding children is essential
  • Experience of working (paid or voluntary) in Early Years, Health or Family Support, or similar settings, would be highly useful
  • Strategic vision; good, independent judgement; ability to think creatively
  • Ability to cooperatively work with the team of trustees, bringing impartiality and objectivity to decision-making
  • Skills and ability to listen, even to dissenting views
  • Willingness to speak your mind and to challenge other trustees and employees with good intent; able to make unpopular recommendations to the Board, if necessary
  • Skills to analyse proposals, examine their strategic consequences and make concise recommendations
  • Secure personal access to digital communication and able to competently use those resources
  • Commitment to the organisation; willingness and ability to devote the necessary time & effort
  • Having appropriate personal and professional contacts & networks, with willingness to draw on those as needed
  • Willingness to be available to employees for advice and enquiries on a scheduled or ad-hoc basis, especially about safeguarding or associated issues


What do you get?  

  • An opportunity to exercise your safeguarding-focused skills and experience, probably in a different environment or context
  • An opportunity to influence and collectively-lead an organisation supporting children and families
  • A chance to expand and implement your understanding of our work, as well as augment your experience of charities
  • A boost to your career and CV, if needed
  • Satisfaction of helping an organisation that supports local families, thus giving something back to your community

What difference will you make?

What do we get?  

  • Your strategic skills, knowledge, understanding and experience of safeguarding
  • Your abilities to influence plans for our charity’s future
  • Enhancement to our overall governance and the Board of trustees; improvement in our safeguarding focus, procedures and support for our staff and volunteers in this area of our work
  • Your participation in our collective decision-making, contributing to all areas of our charity work
  • Your enthusiasm


What do our beneficiaries get?  

  • Our continued support for local families and children, ensuring we are there for parents when they need us most, “because childhood can’t wait”
  • A forward-looking and agile organisation, with a well-informed Board of trustees
  • A well-governed charity, sustainable for the future

Before you apply

You can have an informal no-obligation discussion with Mike Allen, Chair of our Board of trustees, by messaging through Reach Volunteering in the first instance, and request the detailed Role Description and Person Specification.

We will explain the easy next steps to apply, including providing your CV in the first instance, followed by completion of our Trustee Application Form.

Trustee appointments are subject to satisfactory references and an Enhanced DBS check, and completion of an internal Safeguarding course, as well as Local Safeguarding Board/ Local Authority Safeguarding training (refreshed every 3 years).

Click here to apply.