Headlines: October 19th, 2005

A team of governance professionals has been appointed to implement ambitious plans to improve the way voluntary and community organisations are run. The Governance Hub aims to lead the way in good governance and help trustees to enhance their skills and build their own governance capacity. The Hub will be chaired by Gill Edelman, who recently stood down after eight years as Chief Executive of children’s communication disability charity, I-CAN and who has been a board member of small and medium sized voluntary organisations.She said the Hub team planned to show people the critical role that governance plays in helping voluntary and community organisations to achieve their mission. It will signpost, develop and promote new resources and help local and regional infrastructure organisations provide more accessible support to their members. “We need to bring governance out of the shadows. The general public don’t know how voluntary and community organisations are led and managed. People who might be interested in becoming trustees, are in the dark about the opportunities and responsibilities trusteeship offers, and people who are trustees don’t always have access to advice and support on governance issues,” she added.

The Governance Hub is a partnership of seven voluntary and community sector organizations. Projects over the coming months will include a support programme for chairs, learning opportunities for advisors of community-based organisations and campaigns to encourage more people to become trustees.

Deanna Buick, formerly Professional Resources Programme Manager at Macmillan Cancer Relief, will take up the post of Head of the Governance Hub in November, ensuring the programme is delivered on schedule. Three Implementation Managers are now in post and bring with them complementary experiences of governance and the voluntary and community sector.

Steve Roberts, who has responsibility for increasing the supply of trustees, especially from diverse communities, managed grant making at the Stone Ashdown Trust and Lord Ashdown Charitable Settlement, and held trustee positions with Dutchpot, a provider of services to African Caribbean elders in London. Patricia Jones, who led the board of the Catholic aid charity, CAFOD, through a self-evaluation process, will lead the Hub’s work on enhancing the knowledge and skills of trustees. She has also been a trustee with Christian Aid and Jubilee 2000. The team is completed by Sally Hiscock, who will be responsible for increasing organisations’ capacity to govern themselves effectively. She has experience of building the capacity of frontline organisations and learning and sharing good practice.

The Governance Hub has already developed a Code of Good Governance, which provides guidance on the main principles and contains a framework, designed to help Committees and Boards evaluate their organisations and identify areas for improvement.

Stuart Etherington, the Chief Executive of NCVO, said the newly created Code was just one of the many resources and initiatives the Hub would be developing for the voluntary sector.