The Portishead Pool Community Trust was set up in 2009 as a charity to re-open and run the Portishead Open Air Pool. After enormous enthusiasm and input from the trustees and local volunteers, the trust managed to open the pool to over 30,000 visitors in its second season.
The Trustee Board exists to deliver a fantastic leisure facility for the local community and is made up of local people full of passion and relevant skills. The first couple of years required a huge amount of hands on management by the trustees, whereby they had to meet up to 22 times a year. Without previous trustee experience in the group, they wished to create a sustainable governance and management structure to ensure the future of the pool for the community.
Innergy were asked to run an away day for the Trustee Board with the specific objectives of;
- defining best practice charity governance, considering all the legal and compliance issues
- articulating the vision of the Trust for the next few years
- agreeing a clear and effective structure for the Board, the committees, the volunteers and employees
- considering the processes and procedures needed to underpin the structure, including a calendar of Board meetings and their agendas
- defining the culture and values that would promote the way that all stakeholders interact with the Trust and the facilities.
In order to garner a clear understanding of the opinions and challenges of each of the Board trustees, Innergy created an online questionnaire prior to the away day.
Innergy also invited Con Alexander, a Partner specialising in Charity Law from Veale Wasbrough Vizards in Bristol to provide the legal and compliance expertise that the Trust required.
All trustees felt that the day delivered their expectations with an average feedback rating of 9.75 out of 10.
They came away with;
- a vision for the next five years,
- a well defined governance structure, including a sustainable committee structure with delegated responsibilities
- an annual Board agenda
- job descriptions for the key people
- clearly defined actions with accountabilities
- a draft set of values for further discussion with the volunteers and employees
- a positive sense of achievement for what they had achieved to date
What they said..
"Our away day helped to put our vision into perspective and motivated us to get on with it!"
"Innergy and Con brought a wealth of detailed practical knowledge and advice to our governance training, put across in a friendly and accessible manner, as well as a high degree of energy and professionalism. All in all exceptional value!"
"Innergy provided an extremely useful training day for our organisation. They addressed our charity's specific training aims and objectives in a focused and well-organised manner and we came away with sensible and clearly articulated plans for the way ahead."
"The whole day was enjoyable, thought provoking but above all enabling. It gave us all something to take away and work with but also a feeling that we were already doing a good job."
"The day was extremely focused and I think we were all pleasurably surprised at the high degree of tangible outputs in terms of structures and actions needed to make the structures work in practice."
Various Trustees of Portishead Pool Community Trust