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 a 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.

The role of the Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee is a sub-committee of the Board of Trustees (the Board).  Its role is to help the Board properly discharge its responsibilities of ensuring that the Charity has effective internal control systems and is operating within approved policies, its budget, and the law. The role of an independent member of the Audit and Risk Committee is set out in more detail in the role description.

We will provide support, training and mentorship in these duties for all trustees and committee members, but you must have the aptitude and willingness to understand and act on this.

About the role

Our Board of Trustees (the Board) is the governing body of Parkinson’s UK and is ultimately responsible for everything the charity does and how it does it. 

Trustees share this responsibility both individually and collectively.  This requires Trustees to contribute in an informed and active way to all aspects of the Board’s work.

As an incorporated charity Board members are charitable trustees and directors of a company limited by guarantee.  The work of the Board is therefore governed by both charity and company law.

Purpose of the role

Trustees must be fully committed to the objectives of Parkinson’s UK and optimistic about the positive impact the charity can make.  They are expected to acquire a sound knowledge of the activities and financial position of the charity and be willing to devote the necessary time and effort to their role.

Each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board reach sound decisions.  This may involve scrutinising board and committee papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives and other issues in which the Trustee has special expertise.

Trustees are required to act reasonably and prudently in all matters relating to the charity and must always take decisions in the best interests of Parkinson’s UK and people affected by Parkinson’s.

How to apply

To apply for this post please provide a comprehensive CV including details of:

  • relevant professional and personal achievements
  • two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. 

This should be accompanied by a covering letter explaining:

  • your motivation for the role including any previous involvement with Parkinson’s UK;
  • how you believe your skills and experience match the requirements of the role, directly addressing the person specification.
  • Any relevant experience as an executive or non-executive director/Trustee.

If you have any queries, or would like an informal and confidential conversation about this position, please contact Nicola Hitt via email: recruit@parkinsons.org.uk


Cosing date for applications: XXXX

Please also note the following dates:

Shortlisting: w/c 21 May

Interviews: early/mid June             

Appointment recommended to the Board: mid June

Board approves appointment: by end of June

Board meeting: 9 August     

(first meeting for successful candidates, as observers where the post is not yet vacant)

Next meeting of the Board: 4 October

(first meeting for successful the candidate)



Key information

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 Trustees are also offered the opportunity to match us with an existing trustee to act as a buddy and friend to help settle them into their role.

Location: Charity meetings are usually held at the charity’s UK Office at 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EJ however occasional travel outside of London may be required.

Anticipated length of role: Appointed Trustees are generally appointed for a fixed term of four years.  Trustees can generally not serve more than two consecutive full terms and after this time must stand down.

Co-opted Trustees are appointed for a fixed term of one year, which may be renewed for an additional one-year term.

Anticipated time contribution: The Board usually meets around seven times a year during normal business hours.  Trustees are expected to adequately prepare for, attend and contribute to all Board meetings and participate in additional tasks and meetings as required by the Board.

The expected time commitment is the equivalent of 2 days per month as detailed below:

  • 7 all day meetings of the Board (including an annual away day)
  • 1 half day meeting of the Annual General Meeting
  • 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

Training provision

A full induction will be provided following appointment. 

This will be followed up with regular correspondence from the charity to keep Trustees up to date and engaged with its work.

Additional training may also be provided as appropriate.

What this role offers volunteers

Being a Trustee can be hard but also very rewarding work.

As a Trustee you will have the opportunity to shape the work of Parkinson’s UK at the highest level - developing its work to provide the best possible services and support.  This includes the opportunity for personal development to build on your existing skills and experience.

All of our current Trustees say they get enormous job satisfaction from using their skills and experience to support the work of the charity - knowing that they are making a real difference for people affected by Parkinson’s.

Volunteer expenses

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.


Before appointing a new Trustee our Board must ensure that prospective individuals are not unsuitable to act as such.  In line with Charity Commission guidance appointment will therefore be subject to the following register searches and checks being conducted and two satisfactory references:

  • Individual Insolvency Register (maintained by the Insolvency Service)
  • Register of disqualified directors (maintained by Company House)
  • Register of persons removed as a charity trustee (maintained by Charity Commission)

Individuals who appear on any of the above registers will not be considered suitable for appointment.

References will be requested before an individual’s first meeting where practicable.

A basic disclosure check, which identifies convictions considered unspent under The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (conducted by Disclosure Scotland), may also be conducted.