Elected Trustee

Key information

Role Title

Elected Trustee


The role of Trustee is unpaid. However we are committed to ensuring that no volunteer should find themselves out of pocket because of expenses incurred when carrying out activities on our behalf. As a volunteer, you can claim out of pocket expenses in line with Parkinson’s UK’s Volunteer Expenses Policy.


Charity meetings are usually held at the charity’s UK Office at 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EJ, and occasional travel outside of London may be required. Meetings are designed in ways to assist people in attending (location/time/structure of agenda) including Skype options in some instances to make these meetings more accessible for all.

Anticipated length of role

You will be an elected trustee of the charity and your role of trustee is for a four-year term, after which you may stand for election for a further four years. 

Time commitment to the role will be around the equivalent of two days per month, however this may increase during times of high activity, for example during your first six months when you will undertake a number of induction activities. If you are a member of a committee the additional time commitment will be approximately six days per year.

The regular annual commitment (excluding induction) includes:

  • Seven all day meetings of the Board, including an annual away day, and time involved to read papers beforehand

  • One full day Members’ Day and AGM per year

  • Committee, panel or working group commitments as appropriate

  • Keeping up-to-date with developments within the charity and governance best practice

  • Other Parkinson's UK events as appropriate

Member support contact: 

Support is provided by a small governance team who can assist with travel arrangements, circulation of meeting papers and general queries.

All new Elected Trustees are also offered the opportunity to be matched with an existing Trustee to act as a buddy and friend to help you settle into the role.

Learning and development

A key part of our People Strategy is to continue to develop and enhance the learning experience during your time at Parkinson’s UK, and we are proud to offer many learning opportunities, along with a full induction.

Am I suitable to be a trustee?

It is important to us that our board reflects the real world. We want our trustees to have diversity of background, thought and experience, so that our board has a breadth of perspective that will lead to healthy debate and different ideas around the table.

Given the current composition of the board, we would particularly welcome applications from: women; people from BAME backgrounds; people with disabilities; people with or affected by Parkinson’s; younger people; people who identify as LGBTQI; experienced finance directors; and people with experience or understanding of law, digital, technology, health and social care, human resources.

The following pages contain our trustee role description, which sets out more detail of the trustee role. Please read this carefully and ensure that you fully understand the responsibilities and liabilities that you will take on if you become elected as a trustee. However, please bear in mind that no single trustee is required to have all the skills and experience that are needed on a board, so don’t be deterred if you do not possess all the skills listed. We would encourage anyone interested to at least take the opportunity to have a phone call with an existing trustee (see below) before deciding to withdraw from the process.  

Likewise, the suitability checklist included (FORM 5) is a guide only.

Will having Parkinson’s (or caring for someone with Parkinson’s) affect my ability to be a trustee?

We encourage people with Parkinson’s, and others affected by Parkinson’s, to become trustees and take an active part in board and charity activities. A number of our current trustees have Parkinson’s, and a number have family or friends with Parkinson’s. No trustee is expected to attend 100% of meetings and we make accommodation available before and/or after meetings to help with journeys. We can also support remote attendance via digital means when necessary. However, travel to London for some board meetings and induction activities will be unavoidable.    

During our meetings we schedule regular breaks and have a ‘quiet room’ next to the board meeting room which trustees can use if they need time out from the meeting.

No two people with Parkinson’s are the same and if you have Parkinson’s you’ll have better insight into and understanding of what challenges you may face with the condition over the four-year term.

Please let us know if you would like to discuss how we could support you as a trustee. We want to be able to do whatever we can to assist you with your application and potential future trusteeship.

About the role

The role of the Board of Trustees

The Board is the governing body of Parkinson’s UK. Trustees are jointly and severally responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity and must ensure that the charity is solvent, well run and delivers against its charitable objects. The Board must make decisions in the best interests of the charity as a whole and are accountable to its beneficiaries, members, donors and its regulators.

Being an Elected Trustee

Trusteeship is ultimately a legal and fiduciary role, whose purpose is to safeguard the charity and its assets. Our Trustees need to be able to interpret and discuss complex financial information, assess and respond appropriately to sometimes hazardous risk, and ensure compliance with the statutory and regulatory frameworks imposed by charity and company law. This is set out in more detail in the Trustee role description below. Candidates should read this carefully and ensure that they fully understand the responsibilities and liabilities that will be undertaken if appointed as a Trustee.


To be eligible to stand for election as a trustee you must:

  • be eligible to be a trustee and not been disqualified from acting as such; and

  • live in the country in which you are standing for election; and

  • have been a member of the charity for at least the last six months continuously as at the application deadline; and

  • not have been employed or received payment for services by Parkinson’s UK in the past year (except expenses).


To apply for this post please download and review Supporting Information where you can learn more about the process and timetable.

If you have any queries, or would like an informal and confidential conversation about this position, please the assistant company secretary, Kate Monro, directly at kmonro@parkinsons.org.uk.


Closing date for biographical details: Monday 22 April 2019

Open Board meeting: Thursday 2 May 2019.

There will be an open board meeting on 2 May at the UK Office for potential candidates to see the working of the board in practice

Interviews: Tuesday 21 May 2019 and Thursday 23 May 2019

Closing date for final applications: Thursday 20 June 2019