VCSE job profile: Director of a community charity (HHEAG)

9 January, 2019

Advertorial content created by Voscur for HHEAG

Welcome to a new series on the Voscur website, where we take a closer look at the many different job roles available in Bristol’s thriving VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) sector. To start the series, we’ve chosen to focus on being a Director – a senior level position that puts you in charge of steering an organisation. 

Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group (HHEAG) is currently looking for its next Director, making it the perfect real-life example of this role. The community charity has been a force for community good in South Bristol for 28 years, supporting people in Hartcliffe and Withywood with their health and social needs.

HHEAG does this through various groups it organises, such as Positive Minds (for mental health and wellbeing), The Amblers (walking with others) and The People’s Kitchen (teaching nutrition tips and cooking skills to anyone aged 14+). HHEAG also has a hub, called The Hive, where people can get advice, meet others, and be signposted to the right kind of activities.

Being a Director at HHEAG would involve applying experience of health and wellbeing-related work at a senior level, but also community development experience – something at the heart of the VCSE sector. Community-focused organisations are public-facing, so they need to be accessible and relevant to local people. As the Director, you are seen as the main spokesperson: one minute you may be at a nearby event talking to the media, the next you are in a board meeting with trustees. You must be a flexible and confident leader who can talk to a range of different audiences; it’s no good hiding behind a computer screen in this kind of role! The HHEAG vacancy rightly mentions that you need to ‘inspire and motivate staff, volunteers and partners’.

Of course, fundraising and finance management both play a huge part in a VCSE organisation’s success, so these are some of the biggest responsibilities of a Director. Without sustainable fundraising and sensible financial planning, there would be no organisation left to run. As Director, you would oversee budgets and financial reports prepared by other members of staff.

Like any other organisation in Bristol’s VCSE sector, HHEAG doesn’t exist in a vacuum – that’s why it needs a Director to be open to collaborating with like-minded organisations, from GP surgeries and health visitors to secondary mental health services and JobCentre Plus. A good Director would keep track of local and national developments in the sector, for example by checking local news, attending conferences and meetings, or networking with peers.

You should also make sure internal procedures such as risk assessments, safeguarding and monitoring facilities are in line with current legislation and insurance policies. What’s more, trustees will make decisions on internal policies that you need to act on, driven by the organisation’s aims or particular community needs. Whilst there are a lot of responsibilities for a Director of any community organisation or charity, the right person will be able to prioritise a busy to-do list.

Director vacancies are always popular on the Voscur jobs board, and this current vacancy at community charity HHEAG (applications close on Tuesday 29 January 2019 at 9am) shows just how rewarding and varied a Director role can be.

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