As we seek a replacement for our Treasurer, who is wanting to step down from the Board after 7 years, Lucy explains more about the role..

When I became Alopecia UK's treasurer 7 years ago, I didn't enter in to the role with a particular tenure in mind. But as the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun! I took up the position initially because I wanted to use my accountancy skills to give something back to the alopecia community. I had previously been involved in support groups, attending events etc., and I knew first-hand how important the charity is to so many. 

I hadn't been a charity trustee before and wasn't sure what was involved so I reached out to Simon Ray (our Chair of Trustees at the time) who I knew from my previous interactions with the charity. I learned what was required from a treasurer - to work with the other trustees to ensure good governance and management, but with a particular focus on charity finances. The treasurer oversees the finances, budgets, accounts - working with the staff team and updating the rest of the board of trustees on a regular basis. 

In practice the Treasurer part of the role involves:

  • A monthly finance meeting with the finance committee (approximately 1 hour)
  • Input in to large financial decisions
  • Input in to the preparation of the annual budget
  • Liaising with accountants who prepare the financial statements (although the staff team do the lion's-share of the work)
  • Responsibility for keeping the Charity Commission up to date with administrative changes and filing of accounts
  • Preparing a quarterly management account pack and presenting these at the Trustee meetings

Presenting the finances at the board level is a really good opportunity for the rest of the Trustees to look at the overall finances, spot  any trends or anything of concern and discuss if any action needs to be taken. It's great to be at the heart of the charity and help make sure we are financially sustainable - not just now, but thinking ahead to the future. It's also helped me in my professional life as an accountant; my role can be somewhat focussed on past events so being the charity treasurer has improved my ability to be more forward-looking.

Alopecia UK's trustee board is a really friendly and passionate group of people and I have made personal friends through my time as treasurer. In the 7 years I've been on the trustee board, I've had a lot of fun too. From getting involved in fundraising to attending events such as Alton Towers or volunteering at our Kingswood children's activity weekend, I've enjoyed it all (even the Total Warrior obstacle event with its freezing water and mud!). 

All the trustees are volunteering because they care about the charity and want to use their various skills and experience to make it serve the alopecia community as best it can. Though I have been responsible for producing the finance reports and updating my colleagues, we share responsibility for the good governance of the charity and have healthy discussions at meetings on best way forward and what we need to do differently.

The time required is very flexible and manageable around my work and social life and the benefits of being able to give something back to the alopecia community gives me great personal satisfaction. I will be sad to step down but it is the right time for me to do so, and I want someone new to have get as much from this fantastic opportunity as I have. 

I would really encourage anyone with accounting experience - you could be part or fully qualified - to consider this voluntary position to help the charity and also add to your personal development. Please feel free to reach out to me, or my fellow trustee Emma ([email protected]) if you would like an informal chat about what's involved and to find out more about the charity. Or please pass the details on to anyone you know who might be interested. 

The full recruitment pack for our Treasurer position can be found here