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The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers’ Charity: call for an Ophthalmologist Trustee

24 August 2017

The WCSM Charity is a registered Charity in England and Wales. It was formed by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers in 1998 and operates under a Trust Deed dated 10 September 1998. The Trustees have resolved that the purposes of the charity shall be primarily to make grants to charities with national and international objectives in all fields of vision and optics and certain charitable initiatives supported by the Corporation and Livery Companies of the City of London.

In particular, our mission is to enable people with vision impairment, and their families, to lead full and active lives through:

  • Grants to national and international organisations that provide services for vision impaired people and conduct associated research.
  • Grants to support eye health training and education internationally
  • Grants to charitable organisations which increase access for vision impaired people in education, business and leisure activities.

The Trust is chaired by Dr Natalie Briggs and there are currently five other Trustees, with different relevant skills and backgrounds. Due to the planned retirement of Mr. Nigel Andrews, a vacancy will occur in November 2017 and it is the wish of the Trustees to recruit another Ophthalmologist to succeed him on the board.

The new Trustee will be expected to be actively involved in all aspects of the Charity’s plans to develop the fund and increase our grant making potential. We have an aspiration to raise £1m by 2029 to mark four hundred years since the WCSM’s incorporation in 1629.

Applicant criteria

  • An Ophthalmologist registered to practice within the UK
  • Experience of grant application reviews and making recommendations
  • Experience of being a Trustee or have a clear understanding of charity governance

Trustees would expect to serve for a term of three years, renewable once by mutual agreement.

Trustees meet quarterly for regular business in February, May, September and in November ahead of quarterly Court meetings. Meetings last no more than 2 hours, with an hour or two’s individual preparation required in advance. Meetings will usually take place at the Company’s offices in London but arrangements can be made for participation by conference call. Between meetings, there will be email and telephone contact between Trustees and with the Clerk, who provides administrative support and acts as Secretary to the Charity. Trustees therefore must be able to receive information and contribute to discussions by email.

This is a voluntary role.  No expenses are paid for attending meetings and Trustees should expect to attend one or two events each year, at their own expense, to support the Charity’s activities. However, if a Trustee is asked to represent the Charity at an event some distance away from home, travel expenses will be paid.

If you are interested, please send a brief statement of relevant qualifications and/or experience, why you would like to take on this role and how you would be able to contribute to the Charity’s work, to Helen Perkins, the Clerk and Secretary to the Charity, by 5.30pm on Friday 29 September 2017.

All expressions of interest will go forward to the Trustees for consideration, followed, if appropriate, by a more detailed conversation for short-listed candidates. The Clerk will also be happy to provide any further information you may need about the work of the Committee and to answer any questions about the role of a Trustee. This is a role which will allow someone to help others and become more involved in the charitable work of the Company and we hope it will be of interest to ophthalmologists.