About the board of trustees

The charitable mission of the Ramblers is defined by our legal constitution - the Memorandum and Articles.

The Ramblers is run by a board of trustees elected by Council members at the annual meeting of General Council.

The trustees are all volunteers. They steer the charity and guarantee its long term health and strength. They appoint and oversee the chief executive, approve the business plan and agree the annual budget. The minutes of board meetings are available online so that members can see what the board is doing on their behalf.

The key role of the board is to determine the strategy for achieving our mission and the oversight of the implementation of that strategy across our range of activities. This includes our values, ethics, image and communications.

Day-to-day management of the organisation is delegated to a senior leadership team led by the Chief Executive Officer, Vanessa Griffiths.  

The full board focusses mainly on the strategy for delivering our charitable objectives

Trustees

The board of trustees comprises:

  • A Chair and Honorary Treasurer – elected by the General Council
  • A vice chair - elected by board from its own membership
  • Nine 'ordinary' members – elected by General Council
  • An appointee from Ramblers Scotland
  • An appointee from Ramblers Cymru
  • Up to two members – co-opted by the board

Trustees 2019-2020

Kate Ashbrook
Chair
Michael Penny Honorary treasurer
DrPeter Rookes
Vice Chair
Jonathan Bergwerk Ordinary member
Thelma Brown
Ordinary member
Sophie Clissold-Lesser
Ordinary member
Rebecca Dawson
Ordinary member
Ronnie Forbes Ordinary member
Chris Hodgson Chair, Ramblers Cymru
Aynsley Jardin Co-opted member
Malcolm McDonnell
Ordinary member
Richard May
Ordinary member
Paul Rhodes Ordinary member
Jay Wilson
Ramblers Scotland appointee

Meet the trustees and senior leadership team.

Role of the board of trustees

The role and responsibilities of trustees are governed by charity law and further information is available from the Charity Commission, in particular The Essential Trustee publication.

Working collectively, trustees have three main responsibilities:

  • To set a clear direction for the Ramblers.
  • To make sure the Ramblers’ plans are being carried out appropriately.
  • To ensure the Ramblers meets its legal responsibilities.

The duties of a trustee are to:

  • Ensure that the Ramblers complies with its governing documents, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • Ensure that the Ramblers pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
  • Ensure the Ramblers applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects. For example, it must not spend money on activities which are not included in the objects, however worthwhile they may be.
  • Contribute actively to the board of trustees by giving firm strategic direction to the Ramblers, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • Safeguard the good name and values of the Ramblers.
  • Ensure the financial stability of the Ramblers.

In addition to these duties, trustees should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve leading discussions, identifying key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, and evaluating or offering advice on other areas in which the trustee has expertise.

Each trustee must have:

  • A commitment to the mission and values of the Ramblers
  • A willingness to meet the minimum time requirement
  • Good, independent judgement and a willingness to speak their mind
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship (ongoing training and support is provided).
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of the Ramblers.
  • A commitment to abide by the trustee code of conduct.

The Charity Commission (the body which regulates charities like the Ramblers in England and Wales) produces a useful guide to the role and responsibilities of trustees, called The Essential Trustee. For more information visit www.charity-commission.gov.uk.

Finance and risk committee 

The board of trustees has a finance and risk committee, chaired by the honorary treasurer. The committee has delegated authority from the board of trustees to oversee and advise the board on:

  • The overall financial and operational health of the Ramblers and its ability to continue to fulfil its mission.
  • The major financial, operational and IT risks and opportunities relevant to enacting the mission.
  • The co-ordination of the external audit and co-ordination of the approval of the statutory accounts.

 

Meet the Board of Trustees

Find out more about the Ramblers Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team.