Outlining our aims and introducing our board of trustees
Aims of Headway in West Kent
Headway West Kent seeks to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and at a local level, provide information, support and services to people, who have suffered a brain injury, and to their family and carers.
The organisations key strategic aims are:
- To provide advice and information about brain injury and its effects.
- To support families and carers.
- To assist brain injured individuals reach their potential.
- To ensure effective collaboration between Headway West Kent and statutory health, social and voluntary agencies as well as partner organisations
- To provide and environment conducive to attracting and retaining high quality staff and volunteers.
- To ensure business integrity and financial stability.
- To ensure that the well-being of people living with brain injury remains central to the Charity’s operations.
Richard Witts – Vice Chair, Acting Chair
Richard was a teacher for 30 years both in the UK and abroad and started volunteering at Headway West Kent in 1991 when he took a year off work. After retiring in 2002 he decided to become a full time volunteer and has continued to do this for HWK. He says that “each day of the week has its distinct character and by knowing all the service users I feel well qualified to inform the board of their wishes and needs.”
Patricia Fearnley, Company Secretary
Patricia is a solicitor and partner in local law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore. For over 20 years she has specialised in bringing claims on behalf of people who have been injured as a result of medical negligence. In the course of her work she has gained an understanding of the many difficulties faced by brain injured clients and their families and the problems frequently encountered in accessing appropriate services and support. Patricia has been a member of Headway in West Kent for many years prior to taking on the role of Company Secretary in 2011.
Martin Johnson, Treasurer
Martin is a Chartered Certified Accountant who has worked predominantly in the travel sector and latterly in his own small practice. His experience has been gained in leading management and financial accounting departments both internationally and in the UK, together with foreign exchange and investments. With this all round experience, he now wishes to offer this knowledge to the successful running of Headway West Kent.
Andrew worked as a sales representative for a china and glass company and used this experience to set up his own business as a wholesaler in English manufactured china. He qualified as a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians in 2005. In 2006 he joined ICA Ltd in Paddock Wood as Accounts Manager until 2007 when he suffered his brain haemorrhage.
After a year of hospitals and clinics, Andy moved into the Headway Court flats and started attending our Centre in Tunbridge Wells.
Graham is a solicitor and partner at Thomson Snell & Passmore in Tunbridge Wells. For many years he has specialised in acting for both adults and children who have suffered brain injury as a result of clinical negligence or road traffic accidents. He has been a member of Headway West Kent and other charities for many years.
Gill started working at Headway West Kent as a volunteer in 2002. She tutors adult numeracy work with individuals alongside general volunteering and recently had significant success helping one service user to achieve a grade A in GCSE maths.
Gill was a maths teacher for 30 years. Her last position was as Head of the Maths and Computing Faculty at a boy’s grammar school. Most importantly, Gill loves working with the “wonderful people” at Headway in West Kent.
Work of the Trustee Board
The Trustee Board ensures that recognised best principles are always adhered to and follows Charity Commission guidance. The Board is clear about the charity’s purposes, mission and values which are set out in the charity’s governing document. The trustees keep in mind the importance of sustainability and the need to balance current and future needs.
The Board is open and accountable. The Annual Report includes an explanation of what the charity has done for the public benefit during the year and the extent to which the charity has achieved its charitable purposes.
All trustees of Headway West Kent have signed a Trustee Code of Conduct and accepted the sanctions that may apply should they breach the Code of Conduct
The Board aims to ensure it has a balance of skills, experience and length of service and knowledge of the charity. In addition to financial, operational and strategic management it manages and supports staff and volunteers where applicable.
Changes to the Board
All appointments to the Board take place in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and the Charities Articles of Association. Any proposal for a new Board member is discussed and approved by the entire Board. All appropriate checks are undertaken to ensure that prospective trustees are eligible and suitable to act in that capacity.
Financial Reporting and Governance
The Board has a responsibility to present a balanced audited Annual Report of Accounts which is prepared in accordance with good practice requirements and fulfils the legal requirements for filing in a timely fashion. The Board has policies to control and managed its reserves, investments and borrowing and takes professional advice where needed. The Board integrates financial planning and wider operational planning and management, ensuring that funds are available when the charity needs them and are used in the most effective way to the benefit of the charity. Sources of income are kept under review and strategies are in place to raise funds and diversify sources of income as far as possible. Fundraising strategies are also regularly reviewed. The Board is aware of the financial risks involved in existing and new ventures and takes steps to manage those risks.
The Board ensures that HWK delivers its stated purpose by ensuring the organisational purpose remains valid and agreeing operational plans and budgets. The Board and staff have clear and appropriate delegated authority to carry out their designated roles in delivering the charity’s purposes.
Learning and Improving
The Board has considered how to identify, measure and learn from the charity’s achievements, impacts and outcomes, including the positive and negative effects that it has on beneficiaries, others with an interest in Headway in West Kent and the wider community.