Volunteering Opportunities for Trustee Directors with the South Mitcham Community Association

Our Aim is:

  • To provide a Healthy Living Centre in the heart of the Phipps Bridge Estate offering a wealth of opportunities for leisure and learning, serving all families and individuals borough wide especially those in areas of social and economic deprivation;

  • To work with local partners to develop a wider range of activities to meet all identified needs to improve the quality of life and promote a sense of cohesiveness and ownership among local residents; and

  • To attract and actively involve current and potential users and gainsufficient funding to sustain our programme and to empower all users to increase their level of skill and employability through their engagement both in fun and supportive community activities.

The help we need:

The SMCA board currently comprises five volunteer trustees with a collective (though increasingly historic) background in finance, administration, building management, policy development, social care, and charity management. All staff work part-time. They have an office manager, one weekend caretaker who is also responsible for community liaison and one evening caretaker. They are a dedicated team but have identified gaps in our current capabilities which they are keen to address as part of their succession planning at Board level.

We are keen to find two or three volunteer trustees:

  • with the drive and experience to help the Board fill the gaps in its current capability;

  • to act as agents for change to help SMCA respond to the challenges it faces going forward;

  • to help to ensure that SMCA is operating in line with good practice and is compliant with its legislative responsibilities;

  • to help the Board find the space for addressing higher level concerns that can get lost in dealing with day to day management issues; and
  • to ensure a smooth handover, as current trustees retire in due course.

Trusteeships - Level of commitment

The term of office for a trustee is currently three years (one year for a co-opted Board Member). The Board meets bi-monthly on Monday evenings, except August, and there is an Annual General Meeting. We hope that new trustees would be prepared to be involved in some project work or in an advisory capacity as well as bi-monthly meetings.

Volunteering at SMCA presents a challenge as we strive to do what other similar organisations do but with fewer resources. Our small friendly team is up for the challenge and ready to welcome and support someone new to help work towards delivering a sustainable service for our community and make a difference to the quality of life for others.

Trusteeships – skills and experience

We need a people:

  • who can appreciate the challenges faced by small charities like SMCA a local voluntary organisation, manage small grant from Merton to run a community centre;


  • with proven management and/or leadership experience who is able to understand the practical challenges faced by small charities as they address change and work through improvements that are vital for us to make:


  • with sound independent judgment and analytical skills to examine proposals and their financial implications;


  • able to work effectively as a team member, be constructive and demonstrate integrity, objectivity, accountability and openness and be prepared to make unpopular recommendations to the board if necessary;


  • who understand the importance and purpose of meetings and be committed to preparing for them adequately and attending them regularly;


  • with experience in, or a good working knowledge of, one or more of the areas identified i.e. HR, Data Protection and IT, to be sufficiently proficient to help us overcome technical issues in making the best use of our system and building an efficient and effective website.

    For more information please contact: Mrs Pat Harrison, Board Director and Trustee, SMCA