NON EXECUTIVE TRUSTEES
The Trust is seeking two additional Non-executive Trustees to help us with the growth of this new charity, to fulfill its vision and maintain good governance, mainly through our pioneering woodland education centre near Salisbury.
About Hazel Hill Trust:
The Trust’s key aim is to be a national pioneer in promoting wellbeing, resilience andsustainability through contact with Nature, mainly at Hazel Hill. Our main activity is operatingHazel Hill Wood, a 70-acre conservation woodland education centre, owned by the Trust, 7 miles south-east of Salisbury. The wood has indoor group space and sleepingaccommodation for up to 20 people, plus camping and various outdoor facilities. The founderof the project is Alan Heeks, who started educational activities and sustainable forestry here in 1992. He transferred ownership and operation of the wood into a new registered charity inJune 2015, and is Chair of the Trust. Marcos Frangos joined the team as General Manager ofthe wood and the Charity in May 2015.
We deliver programmes both with our own team, and through bookings from a range ofexternal organisations. One focus for our own programmes is innovative events serving ourlocal community, including primary schools, young carers, and special needs groups. Anotherfocus is resilience and wellbeing training for health and care providers, including hospital doctors and hospice staff. All external client programmes also fulfill our charitable aims. Manyevents use Alan’s model of ecosystems as a guide to human resilience, and all use the unique character of the wood.
Our operating team totals 8 people, who all work on a part-time basis (1-2.5 days per week). The management team consists of Marcos, plus Elle Kingett (who manages programmes and delivery), Caroline Hukins (fundraising), and Neil Russell (facilities management). For more about the wood, see www.hazelhill.org.uk and five-minute video: You Tube Clip.
Total operating costs for 2019 are budgeted at £185K, whilst income should total £106K, mainly from programmes, client bookings, and grants. Although income is rising, it is not expected to cover costs in the next few years, and Alan is funding the deficits. An important aim for the charity is to achieve higher income levels from other sources, potentially including corporate support.
All the buildings at Hazel Hill are off-grid, using some timber from the wood, and partly built by volunteers. In 2019, a major project is construction of a new accommodation building, the Hideaway: this will significantly increase and improve our capacity, enabling group sizes of 32 people in shared rooms, and 15 people single occupancy.
Hazel Hill has a magical atmosphere, which has been lovingly cultivated over many years, and which makes it a powerful place for learning, healing and inspiration. An important part of our approach is the belief that the wood, and the many non-human forms of life in it, have wisdom and needs which we should hear and align with our human plans. An important priority over the coming years is to nourish this magic alongside expanding and professionalising the project.
Our Trustee group meet twice a year in person at the wood, usually Sunday evening to Monday 4pm, plus two one-hour virtual meetings. The Trust has six trustees: two executive (Marcos Frangos 2.5 days pw, Alan Heeks 0.5 days pw), and four non-executive trustees, who allliveatsomedistancefromthewoodandhavelimitedinvolvementbetweenmeetings. Brief profiles plus date of appointment:
Alan Heeks (2015): Successful business management career, and 25 years’ involvement withnature-based learning as a trustee, trainer and writer.
Marcos Frangos (2015): Management experience with small charities and in a large local authority, plus varied training and facilitation work.
Jake Farr (2015): Works at senior levels as an organisational coach and consultant. Is also a client at the wood, bringing family groups from London.
Frances Wood (2015): An expert in monitoring and evaluation, working for Department of International Development. Involved with the wood since 2002.
John Kingston, OBE (2016): Over 25 years as a Senior manager and/or trustee with large and small charities.
Jo Clark (2017): Has worked as a Steiner teacher, and for 9 years was a manager at Embercombe, responsible for forestry, conservation, and action learning.
Brief for Additional Trustee(s):
The time involvement we envisage for additional trustees is ideally around 1 day per month. This will enable them to work with the executive trustees and other members of the management team, acting as a sounding board, providing help in the development of new proposals, and helping us with networking in our sector. We’d like trustees who can committo the role for at least 3 years. The timing of these inputs is optional, and locations would be 40% at the wood, and the rest optional. We are interested in appointing two new trustees, one with substantial experience as per this brief, plus a younger and hence less experienced trustee who could grow into the role over time.
There are four main areas where we would especially value inputs from an additional trustee:
● Occasional support for the General Manager and the senior managers, who are still quite recent appointments. Much of this support hitherto has come from Alan, who now wishes to move to a non-executive role and reduce his time inputs.
● Help with a wider understanding of potential needs the Trust can serve, and broadening our network of partner and client organisations, to assist future strategy and programme development.
● Experience of governance and best practice in relevant small-medium charities. Most of our trustees have limited previous experience in this role, and we are overly dependent on John Kingston to fill this gap.
● The scale of the facilities and permitted usage at Hazel Hill are quite small: we are unlikely to host more than 1000-2000 visitors per year. However, we can scale up the benefits of the project by pioneering and propagating: Over a 2-5 year period, we would welcome help from a new trustee in the process of sharing our experience.
For the senior role, we hope that you will have substantial experience in relevant organisations, ideally as a practitioner, manager, and trustee. Familiarity with the nature- based learning sector, relevant networks and other centres would be beneficial. Some experience of charity governance as a trustee or manager is desirable. For the junior trustee, some relevant experience and enthusiasm for the project are key needs.
We hope to find additional trustees who live within 1-2 hours of the wood, who share our vision, enjoy an informal but professional approach, and can work with the subtle balance between the magic of the place, and professional deliverables. We are seeking trustees willing to work on an unpaid basis, like the other non-executive trustees: we are happy to pay travel expenses.
To apply: If you are interested, please contact Nicky Green for more information and an exploratory conversation:
Tel: 07943 666292
Application deadline: May 20th 2019