29 July, 2023 - By Leyla Williams

We’re looking for a Trustee with lived experience

We’re looking for someone with lived experience of seeking refuge or migration to join our diverse Board of Trustees.

Each week at West London Welcome brings unique joys and challenges. We support hundreds of people from 52 different countries with a range of immigration statuses, providing community support, English classes, advice, hot food, a foodbank, clothing, childcare, and social and creative activities. We take a holistic approach to support the needs of our members, from the practical and social to the emotional and playful.


About our work with people with lived experience of seeking refuge and migration

We are making signficant progress to ensure our staff, volunteers and Board of Trustees are reflective of the communities we work with.

Our small staff team includes three women with lived experience of refuge and migration, all of whom are involved in organising new ‘discussion and action’ groups with our refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant community members as part of our growing lived experience work.

Amongst our 90 volunteers, many are our community members whom we also support, who work collaboratively with us to run our centre. From cooking and organising our foodbank to running our creative activities and translating for our advice team, this collaborative work ensures our community members have a stake in the way we practically run our organisation day-to-day and have a sense of ownership over the space.

We are now looking to recruit a Trustee with lived experience of seeking refuge or migration, and would like to work with that person to develop a new Advisory Committee of community members with lived experience who will begin an advisory relationship with our Board on governance matters.


The Role
We are looking to recruit a Trustee with some or all of the following skills and/or experience:

  • Lived experience of the challenges of seeking refuge or migrating to the UK.
  • Refugee/migrant sector experience – experience of volunteering or working within the refugee and migrant NGO sector in the UK or another country. This could include either volunteering or working directly for an NGO, or in another related capacity such as with a campaign.
  • Somebody who is passionate about the work of West London Welcome and supporting people in our community.


Trustee Duties
The general duties of a trustee are to:

  • Ensure that WLW complies with its governing document (its constitution), charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • Ensure that WLW pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
  • Ensure WLW applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects, i.e. it must not spend money on activities which are not included in the objects, however worthwhile they appear to be.
  • Contribute actively to the Board’s role in giving firm strategic direction to WLW, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • Safeguard the good name and values of WLW.
  • Ensure the financial stability of WLW.
  • Protect and manage the property of WLW and to ensure that proper investment of WLW’s funds.
  • Support WLW’s Director and monitor her performance.
  • In addition to the above general duties, a trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board reach sound decisions. This may involve leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, evaluation or other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.
  • We are looking for this new Trustee to help us develop a new Advisory Committee of community members with lived experience, who will begin an advisory relationship with our Board on governance matters.


Minimum Time Commitment

  • The Board generally holds meetings at least four times per year. These normally take place in the early evening and last approximately two hours. There may also be additional occasional trainings.
  • Trustees should also support WLW at informal fundraising and other events as part of their ambassadorial role as well as making make regular visits to the WLW centre.
  • This is a voluntary position, but trustees can claim out of pocket expenses such as those incurred in travelling to meetings.
  • Occasionally quick decisions on urgent matters need to be made. Trustees should be available via WhatsApp as well as at regular board meetings to provide needed input/advice.


Person Specification
Each trustee must have:

  • A commitment to the mission of WLW;
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort;
  • Integrity;
  • Strategic vision;
  • Good, independent judgement;
  • An ability to think creatively;
  • A willingness to speak their mind;
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship;
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of WLW;
  • A satisfactory DBS disclosure;
  • Satisfactory references.

Interested applicants should review the duties and person specification detailed here, and send their CV and a covering letter with the subject line Trustee Applicants to Joanne MacInnes, Director, at joanne@westlondonwelcome.com by midnight on 31 August 2023.