Trustee and Director of Perennial (Services)

Trustee and Director Role Description

Responsible to:             Trustee Board/Chair of Trustees 

Closing date:                 31st December 2021

Perennial is a remarkable charity that has brought enormous benefit to people for over 180 years delivering on our purpose of building better futures for people in horticulture. We are needed more than ever, helping anyone who makes or looks after gardens, sport grounds, woodlands and other green spaces.

We are passionate about delivering early help and preventative services that make a real and lasting difference in people’s lives and have ambitious plans for the future.


Trustee and Director of Perennial (Services)

Being a Trustee is a legal responsibility, taking individual and collective responsibility for the overall governance and strategic direction of Perennial. As a Trustee and member of the services Committee you will play a key role in setting the future strategic direction of our service delivery.

  1. The core responsibilities are:
  • To be familiar with and ensure that the Charity complies with its governing document (i.e. its Articles of Association), charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation (including employment legislation) or regulations.
  • To ensure that the Charity carries out its objects as described in its Articles of Association and does not carry out any other purpose.
  • To act at all times in the best interests of the Charity Working within the six legal duties of a Trustee set out by The Charity Commission of England and Wales.
  • To ensure that the Charity adopts and observes policies which ensure that The Charity’s resources are applied exclusively in pursuance of its objects and are managed responsibly, and that the good name and ethos of the Charity are safeguarded.
  • To act with reasonable care, skill and diligence.
  • To ensure that the Charity is accountable as required by law, as well as to its members, funders and other stakeholders.
  • Providing overview and scrutiny of the performance of Perennial and its strategic objectives, particularly its service delivery
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent and that appropriate controls are in place.
  • Providing advice, guidance and support relevant to the Trustee’s area of expertise.
  • To attend all Board and Service Committee group meetings for which the Trustee is a member of where practicable.
  • To discharge duties with reasonable care and skill seeking advice as appropriate to ensure decisions are made with adequate advice.
  • To undertake appropriate training, including some mandatory training.


  1. In exercising these duties the Trustees must:
  • Formulate, approve and review the Charity’ strategy for achieving its objects and for safeguarding its good name, ethos, property and funds.
  • Contribute actively to the role of the Board of Trustees in giving firm strategic direction to the Charity, setting overall policy, defining strategic goals and targets, contributing to the achievement of those goals and targets through attending board and committee meetings and fulfilling other tasks assigned by the Chair of the Trustees, and evaluating the overall performance of the Charity.
  • Working with the Chief Executive and Senior Management Team to provide strategic leadership and good governance.
  • Hold the executive to account for the effective and efficient management and performance of the Charity and support the executive as appropriate in the exercise of its management functions.
  • Oversee the protection and management of the property and funds of the Charity including the proper investment of the Charity’s funds.
  • Use any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions.
  • Fulfil any other duty agreed from time to time by the Board of Trustees.
  • Ensure that the Board of Trustees takes appropriate professional advice when required.
  1. Each Trustee must comply with the duties of Company directors:
  • Duty to act within the powers set out in the Charity’s Articles of Association, and only in order to achieve the Charity’s objects;
  • Duty to act in the way the Trustees in good faith consider would be most likely to promote the Charity’s objects);
  • Duty to exercise independent judgement;
  • Duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence;
  • Duty to avoid conflicts of interest;
  • Duty not to accept benefits from third parties and to declare any interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement with the Charity.


  1. Person specification

Ideal candidates will have all or some of the following qualifications and qualities:

  • Extensive experience of operating effectively at a strategic leadership level within a welfare, health or social care organisation.
  • Strategic vision and understanding or strategic planning within a voluntary sector environment.
  • Knowledge of external regulatory bodies (FCA, CQC, OfSTED).
  • Commitment to Perennial’s, vision, mission and values.
  • Willingness to commit time to learn role and the expectations that this involves.
  • Impartiality, fairness, independent judgement and the ability to respect confidences.
  • Working knowledge and understanding of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trustees.
  • Creative and innovative in approach with experience of establishing collaborative leadership cultures.
  • Understanding of and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Broad knowledge of the UK not for profit sector and current social welfare policies.
  • Willingness to speak their mind.
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to maintain good working relations
  • Adherence to the Nolan’s seven principles of public office: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
  • Ability to play an ambassadorial role.
  • Ability to distinguish between the roles of the trustees and the executive.


How to Apply

All potential Services Trustees are welcome to have an introductory call with the Director of Services which can be arranged by calling 01372 384035. If, after your initial research, you are interested in becoming a Perennial Trustee the process of application and selection will involve:

  • submitting an application form and CV to
  • having a meeting (in person or remotely) with the Chief Executive, Director of Services and Chair of the Services Committee
  • meeting other team members ideally by visiting our Leatherhead office;
  • meeting with at least two Trustees (including the Chair);
  • attending a Board Meeting as an observer to receive a board pack, meet the other Trustees and to gain a sense of what it’s like being a Trustee of Perennial;
  • if this final stage goes well then successful applicants are invited to join the Board.

This is a real opportunity for someone with experience and understanding of our work to play a part in helping Perennial fulfil its purpose of building better futures for people in horticulture and their families.