The Role of the Chair

Theresa Shaw, FoNS CEO

Dr Theresa Shaw (NursD, BA (Hons), RNT, RN - Associate Facilitator

FoNS Chairman, Professor Tony Butterworth, CBE, is stepping down this year having completed two terms of office; the maximum period for all Trustees. Having worked with several different people in the Chair role I have come to appreciate just how important the role is for a charity both in terms of the leadership the role offers to the board and the support if offers to me in my role as Chief Executive.

The Chair has the key responsibility of ensuring that the charity fulfils the ‘charitable objectives’ as set out in its governing document and that it complies with charity, and in our case, company law and regulations: The Chair and indeed whole Board hold significant accountability whilst giving their time freely and without remuneration.

For me, the nature of the relationship between Chair and CEO is key. Leading an organisation like FoNS is immensely enjoyable but like many charities, there are challenges too. Ultimately, the Board of Trustees have handed me the responsibility for leading and managing the organisation but their support and particularly that of the Chair is highly valued and I believe creates the opportunity for organisations to flourish; something which I believe FoNS has experienced during Tony’s tenure.

As I have been talking to people about the role and new appointment, it is not surprising that they ask what I am looking for in the new Chair. For me, what is most important is a genuine interest in the work of FoNS and its values; the next chair may have a nursing background, but equally someone with an alternative health or social care related background may come forward – it will be the fit with the charity, Trustees and staff that is most important. Whilst I would not describe the role as overly onerous, the Chair role does demand a higher level commitment beyond Trustee meetings; we have suggested up to 15 day per year. As with all Trustees, outside of formal commitments, being an ambassador for FoNS and promoting the work of the Charity is important, to help build profile and business.

Tony speaking at the launch of ‘Playing our Part’

It has been a real pleasure to work with Tony and I will be sad to see him step down. However, I also look forward to working with the Board to appoint a new Chair for FoNS and seeing the organisation continue to make a difference to nurses, nursing and ultimately the care of people using services across health and social care.

If you are interested in applying for the role or hearing more, email [email protected] for an appointment to talk to me about the position. Visit the website for more information, closing date: Monday 4th June 2018

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