We're on the lookout for new trustees
About Winchester Poetry Festival
Winchester Poetry Festival’s mission is to share, celebrate and champion poetry - we believe in the power of poetry to bring us together and make a positive, enriching difference to our lives. While Winchester Poetry Festival (WPF) is international in outlook, our commitment to reaching under-represented voices and those experiencing challenges locally is key.
WPF aims to be a round table for poetry where everyone is welcome. We are a poetry organisation that does all sorts of things - from hosting our much-acclaimed biennial festival in Winchester, to our popular Winchester Poetry Prize competition, to our wider work with schools and community organisations.
WPF was established in 2013 with the first festival taking place in September 2014. WPF delivers a major Biennial Festival - our next Festival is due to take place on 13-15 October 2023 - with a range of more modest activities in each subsequent year. We also promote one-off events and work in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust to run the Hampshire Poet programme and the Hampshire Young Poet Competition.
WPF is a registered charity (No 1150097). It is chaired by Jane Bryant who took up the position in May 2021. Other Trustees are: Susmita Bhattacharya; Dr Will May; Rupert Nabarro OBE; Sophie Reynolds; Dr Jillian Saucier; Bear Shaw; Jon Whitfield QC (see: Board and Patrons) In addition to the trustees the board has the support of a volunteer Treasurer and a volunteer Minute Secretary.
Why become a trustee?
Becoming a Trustee is very rewarding and is a great way to give something back to a cause you care about. You’ll be playing an integral part in the way the charity is run, ensuring it remains sustainable and financially viable. The help you provide will be invaluable (Become a trustee | Reach Volunteering). Trustees use their skills and professional experience to support their charities or causes, working together to help them achieve their aims and charitable objectives and deciding their overall direction. Getting involved as a charity Trustee is an excellent way to put your professional skills to use.
One of the most important things charities need from their Trustees is someone who is committed to the organisation and enthusiastic about what they stand for. Most people over the age of 18 can become Trustees.
Trustee Roles and Responsibilities
WPF trustees play a vital role in making sure that WPF achieves its core purpose. The key responsibility of trustees is to contribute actively to the board giving strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and evaluating performance against agreed targets. Trustees support the organisation to grow and thrive, and through this, achieve our mission.
Board members have a collective responsibility. This means that trustees always act as a group and not as individuals. The statutory duties of a trustee include ensuring that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, and any other relevant legislation, ensuring that it pursues its objects, and uses its resources wisely.
Trustees are also key ambassadors for the festival and responsible for safeguarding its good name and values.
They are required to ensure the effective and efficient administration and financial stability of the organisation, and to appoint and monitor the performance of any staff.
● Support and provide advice on WPF’s purpose, vision, goals, and activities.
● Approve operational strategies and policies and monitor and evaluate their implementation.
● Oversee WPF’s financial plans and budgets and monitor and evaluate progress.
● Ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation.
● Ensure that key risks are being identified, monitored and controlled effectively.
● Review and approve WPF’s financial statements.
● Provide support and challenge to WPF’s executive team in the exercise of their delegated authority and affairs.
● Keep abreast of changes in operating environment.
● Attend Board meetings, adequately prepared to contribute to discussions.
● Use independent judgment, acting legally and in good faith to promote and protect WPF’s interests, to the exclusion of their own personal and/or any third-party interests.
● Contribute to the broader promotion of WPF’s objects, aims and reputation by applying your skills, expertise, knowledge, networks, and contacts.
As a small charity, there will be times when the trustees will need to be actively involved beyond Board meetings. Involvement will of course reflect trustee skills and experience, and their time availability, but may involve scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, providing advice and guidance on key issues or new initiatives, collaborating with the Chair and Festival Manager on fundraising and grant funding bids, presenting externally, or on other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.
What we are looking for
WPF is now actively looking for one or two new trustees. We have a small and committed group of trustees but feel WPF would benefit from further increasing the range and diversity of skills, experience, and expertise.
We would particularly welcome the insight and relevant experience of poetry lovers who reside in Winchester, or the Winchester/Hampshire area, and who may also help build links with local communities.
We are looking for people willing to bring energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to the role, and who will broaden the diversity of thinking on our board. Alongside a passion for poetry in all its forms - and its possibilities for connecting with other artforms - we are always looking for trustees with skills and experience in fundraising, in marketing, in nurturing volunteers, in events.
You do not need previous governance experience – we will provide a full induction and training.
Personal skills and qualities
● Willingness and ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as trustees and to act in the best interests of the organisation.
● Ability to think creatively and strategically, exercise good, independent judgement and work effectively as a board member.
● Effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion.
● A strong personal commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
● Enthusiasm for our vision and mission.
● Willingness to undertake specific tasks if as feasible and as required and to make time available
● Commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
Terms of appointment
Our board currently meets 4 to 5 times a year (e.g. January, March, June, October) with an occasional ‘Away Day’ to allow quality time for planning and reflection. When necessary, we also establish small task groups to undertake time-limited projects. This allows us to make best use of trustees’ skills, knowledge, and experience, and enables trustees to play a part in the practical management and development of the festival as an organisation.
In the normal course of events, trustees will find themselves scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, providing guidance on new initiatives, and helping the board to reach sound decisions. Individual trustees may wish to take responsibility for leading on specific topics or initiatives such as our Friends group, educational activity, assisting with fundraising bids, or volunteering at the Festival or one-off poetry events.
Terms of office
● Trustees are appointed for a 3-year term of office, generally renewable for a further term or more, but to a maximum of c. 9 to 12 years.
● This is a non-remunerated and voluntary position; occasional allowable expenses are available if required and budgeted in advance.
● Attending 4 to 5 Board meetings annually (c.2 hours per meeting). Currently meetings are held both via Zoom and in person.
● Attending Away/strategy/training days.
● Other time as required as outlined above, and reflecting trustees’ other commitments.
NEXT STEPS/HOW TO EXPRESS INTEREST
If you would like an informal discussion about the role or have any questions, please contact our chair,
Jane Bryant, on firstname.lastname@example.org
To express interest, please send us a short CV and covering statement, outlining your interest in the work of Winchester Poetry Festival and highlighting the skills and experience you would bring to the role and how this might contribute to and add value to aspects of WPF work and its governance.
Please email this to: email@example.com
Deadline for expressions of interest:
30th June 2023
Winchester Poetry Festival
(2nd May 2023)