Trustee recruitment 2021
Help steer our future as we develop plans for the Devizes Assize Court as a community hub and the new home of the Wiltshire Museum
The Museum is a friendly and welcoming place, full of people who are enthusiastic about what they do. We have ambitious plans, working with the Devizes Assize Court Trust, to rescue this historic building and place it at the heart of our community. We aim to transform the nationally important Wiltshire Museum, giving a major boost to the local economy.
We are now looking to recruit new trustees who can bring their own perspectives and life experience to help achieve this aim. As an independent charity, important decisions are made by our trustees, working together to identify priorities.
Being a Trustee
As a trustee, you will be able to help us develop our ideas and plans. We are particularly looking for people who can be a voice for our different communities or represent a range of ages and backgrounds. We would also welcome the support of those with project management skills or who work in the archaeology / heritage sector.
Our board of trustees is led by our chair, assisted by our deputy chair and the treasurer. The board of trustees meet five or six times a year and are also asked to give advice and guidance as plans and projects are developed and may become more involved in specific areas of the Museums work as they arise – and ones we’ve not thought of!
Trustees are also asked to promote the Museum where they can, for example through organisations and clubs that they may belong to and online channels.
About Wiltshire Museum
The day to day running of the organisation is managed by our Director and his team of 10. Their varied roles include welcoming visitors, promoting the Museum, working with children and young people, managing the collections, developing exhibitions, looking after our 1,000 members and making sure that the finances are well-run.
The Museum is supported by over 100 volunteers, who help in a number of roles such as welcoming visitors, working in our library and even painting the walls of our art gallery. Increasingly we have a team of young volunteers who help prepare social media posts and develop digital projects.
Our financial situation is always challenging, and we raise most of our income from admissions, sales, events and membership subscriptions.
Many of our visitors are from outside Wiltshire and we generate around £750,000 for the local economy – including the money that our visitors spend in local cafes, restaurants and hotels. We benefit from the support of past members, who have generously remembered us with a legacy, meaning that we have income from investments. We also have small grants from Wiltshire Council and Devizes Town Council.
In normal times we welcome 8,000 paying visitors a year and work with over 20,000 people across the County and beyond. We work in partnership with English Heritage and the Stonehenge Visitor Centre and also with our Wessex partner museums – Salisbury, Poole and the Dorset Museum.
The Wiltshire Museum is run by the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (the Society) and was founded in 1853. The Society is a registered Charity (1080096) and a Company Limited by Guarantee (03885649).
We have nationally important collections, and the displays feature Gold from the Time of Stonehenge - completing the picture of Prehistoric Wiltshire for visitors from across the world. Galleries tell the story of the County, including two galleries that trace the history of the town of Devizes.
We have a new gallery to host special exhibitions, including objects loaned by national museums. In 2021 we are holding an exhibition of the work of the artist Eric Ravilious, with loans from the British Museum, Tate and V&A. We have an extensive library and archive, and we are visited by many researchers.
As a Trustee, your main role will be to help plan and guide the strategic future of the charity and its work, be involved in advising and developing staff and make policy decisions. You will also ensure that we are accountable to our members, beneficiaries, Charity Commission and the public in general.
We expect trustees to actively contribute to the Trustee Board meetings. This includes:
- Preparation: reading Board and other papers which are sent out in advance and trying to resolve points of clarification before the meeting, wherever possible;
- Listening and Questioning: be willing to question and challenge, yet be supportive of other people’s views and contributions;
- Supporting decisions: support the decisions of the Board, even when you may not have agreed with the decision;
- Maintaining confidentiality;
- Agreeing to fulfil actions between meetings;
- Engaging with the Society and Museum: developing a knowledge of the organisation to support the Director and other members of the team.
- Advocacy: promoting and celebrating the Museum and Society
- Diversity: ensuring that equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what we do
What is involved?
There are usually five Board meetings each year, currently held on Thursday evening, starting at 6.30 pm, in the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes (on-site parking is available). They usually last between 1 ½ to 2 hours.
There are additional occasional informal meetings, strategy or other workshops, and the Director and Chair may also ask for additional advice and input based on your experience and skills.
Trustees usually serve two renewable three year terms (but can serve no more than six years).
Skills and experience
Being a trustee should be rewarding, providing opportunities for personal development.
You will bring your skills and energy to the role, but we also hope that you would gain new experience, knowledge and contacts.
Effective trustee boards need a range of people with a good mix of skills. The best boards are also diverse in as many ways as possible, including representation by people who have a real understanding of the needs to be met and those with good financial, business and management experience.
We are particularly looking for people who can be a voice for our different communities or represent a range of ages and backgrounds.
We would also welcome the support of those with project management skills, fundraising experience or who work in the archaeology / heritage sector as we plan for our future. This might include creating links with other organisations, planning events and activities or developing our ideas for the Assize Court.
For more information about what being a charity trustee involves, please read the Charity Commission’s guidance - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission
Being a trustee is a voluntary unpaid role, although some expenses can be covered where appropriate.
Diversity and representation
We are interested in hearing from anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability.
As people of colour and those from a younger age group are currently under-represented on the Board, applications from those candidates would be particularly encouraged.
All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process. In line with the Equality Act 2010, however, the organisation may employ positive action where diverse candidates can demonstrate their ability to perform the role equally well.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and why you would like to become a trustee.
This could be as a Word documents including a CV (2 sides of A4) and covering letter, or could be in another format, such as a video or recording. We will invite people for an informal discussion before confirming those who will be recommended to join our board. Please send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am Friday 25 June.
We are planning to hold informal discussions with those who have indicated their interest on Tuesday 29 June. It would be helpful if you could let us know if you may be available on that day.
You will be very welcome to talk informally about the role with our Director – David Dawson - by emailing email@example.com or by phoning the Museum (01380 727369).
Any vacancies will be listed on this page and will be advertised using social media - follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with our news. Some roles will be also be listed on the Leicester University Museum Jobs Desk which lists many jobs and contracts..
If you are thinking of a career in Museums, information is available from the Museums Association website. You may also like to consider volunteering with us to gain valuable experience - get in touch for a chat.
We are equal opportunities employers, which means that we are committed to providing equality of opportunity in employment to all persons.