CareTech Foundation Trustees’ Report 2019 >> Governance
Ensuring good governance and the active engagement of the Foundation’s trustees remains a key priority, with trustees committed to providing strong leadership to the charity, protecting its independence and ensuring its activities are focussed on delivering public benefit.
As of February 2020, the Board of trustees comprised:
- Haroon Sheikh (Chairman)
- Christopher Dickinson (Treasurer)
- Farouq Sheikh
- Mick Pratt – CareTech PLC Care Awards 2019 Overall Winner
- Lucy Arciuolo – CareTech plc Care Awards 2018 Overall Winner
Non-Executive Director of CareTech PLC
- Mike Adams OBE
Representative of the Sheikh family, the founders of CareTech PLC
- Akbar Sheikh
- Nicholas Cheffings
- Nashvir Jaffer (appointed September 2019)
- Adrienne Kelbie
- Jessica Taplin (appointed September 2019)
A key change this year has been the incorporation of the organisation, placing the Foundation on the strongest possible organisational footing. Following Charity Commission approval, the business of the former unincorporated trust was transferred to the new charitable company in March 2019 and the former body formally wound up.
Building on the governance framework established last year, the Foundation has continued to keep its governance arrangements under review. Over this last year, key governance developments include the following:
- Trustees agreed to increase the number of independent trustees to four, welcoming the appointments of Nash Jaffer and Jessica Taplin at the end of this financial year.
- Following the Foundation’s active engagement in the preceding consultation exercise, trustees undertook a formal assessment of its compliance with the Charity Commission’s Guidance for charities with a connection to a non-charity. Using the Charity Commission’s recommended checklist, trustees were reassured that the Foundation meets the expectations of the Guidance. A number of improvements were implemented in the light of this review process, including finalising the formal Donations Agreement and Communications Protocol with CareTech plc as well as provision of this formal statement regarding trustees’ assessment of compliance which is expected to be included in future Foundation annual reports.
- Trustees also undertook a formal review of the Foundation’s compliance with the Charity Governance Code, which has been designed to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance. The Code is not a legal or regulatory requirement but is, rather, intended to be a tool for continuous improvement towards the highest standards. We have undertaken a review of the Foundation’s compliance with the Code, using the recommended checklist. In general, we consider the Foundation to be well-placed in most areas of recommended practice. We have identified a number of areas for improvement, the majority of which were already planned. The principal areas for improvements we have identified through the review are:
- Ensuring implementation of the Foundation’s new Impact Assessment Framework
- Developing an Income Diversification Strategy
- Benchmarking performance against other similar organisations
- Reviewing effectiveness of Board
- Providing unconscious bias training for trustees
- Ensuring annual trustee review meetings
- Placing our Complaints Policy on our website
- Trustees also completed the first annual review of policies and procedures, clarifying a number of policies in the light of best practice and external developments.
The trustees were delighted to welcome Tariq Raja as Foundation Manager this year, following the departure on promotion of his predecessor Sara Smith. Tariq joined the Foundation from a successful consulting background with a range of grassroots community and charity backgrounds. The trustees also welcomed Clair Pike as Grants Officer, providing maternity cover for Karishma Patel.
The trustees took confidence in the underpinning systems and structures put in place, as well as the leadership provided by CEO Jonathan Freeman, that ensured that the Foundation’s business continued to be delivered successfully despite these staff changes in the small team.
As set out in the Foundation’s Financial Handling Manual, the CEO’s salary is reviewed annually by the trustees’ Remuneration Committee. The Remuneration Committee met during this period and agreed the CEO’s salary review in the light of his performance over the previous year. All other staff’s performance and salary is reviewed regularly, including an annual salary review, by the CEO.
Communications and Brand
The Foundation is increasingly recognised as the leading corporate foundation in the social care sector, supporting the Foundation’s mission to support and champion the sector. Successful Implementation of the Foundation’s Communications Strategy has resulted in strong growth in the Foundation’s social media presence, growing media mentions across a range of channels and, importantly, increased applications for funding across all grant funds.
The Foundation has a strong website in place with dynamic content which provides a good overview of the Foundation’s activities and developments in its work. We have used the website to host a series of thought leadership articles by our CEO, trustees and other supporters, such as the daily blog series to mark Mental Health Awareness Week and our CEO’s blog in Dementia Action Week.
Perhaps the key means by which the work of the Foundation is communicated externally is through our social media channels. Our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn presences are proving highly effective channels by which to communicate to a wide range of audiences and to support our delivery objectives. Our CEO’s personal blog on dementia released during Dementia Action Week was a particularly powerful example of using social media channels to increase awareness of the work of the Foundation and the issues on which we are focused. We have also launched our YouTube channel with a series of case study films to highlight the impact of the work of the Foundation and its partners.
With the support our communications agency, the Foundation’s work is also being increasingly recognised in more traditional media channels. Regional and local press coverage continues to be a popular route by which to highlight the impact of the Foundation’s Community Grants in local communities as well as the charitable fund-raising activities of CareTech plc staff which the Foundation has been able to match. The Foundation’s work is also regularly featured in the health and social care press as well as charity sector content providers. The Foundation’s support of the Care Sector Fundraising Ball was particularly useful in boosting wider awareness of our work and the causes we champion.
As recommended in The Charity Commission’s Guidance for charities with a connection to a non-charity, the Foundation agreed a formal Communications Protocol with CareTech plc to set out clearly how each organisation should refer to the other, as well as the processes to check any references to the other organisation or its work in external publications. This Protocol is designed to ensure that the distinct and independent nature of the CareTech Foundation, as well as its relationship with CareTech plc, is well understood publicly.
Effective engagement of CareTech plc is an important element of the Foundation’s work, both to promote applications for Community Grants and Match-Funding Grants, as well as our wider objective of stimulating charitable endeavour. With CareTech plc’s acquisition of Cambian Group during this reporting year, almost doubling the size of its workforce, the Foundation put in place a structured programme of engagement to build awareness of the Foundation’s work amongst staff in Cambian Group. We have been very pleased with the enthusiasm shown by Cambian Group staff in the work of the Foundation which quickly led to an increase in grant applications as well as offers of in-kind support for our work and that of our partners.
The Foundation also collaborated with CareTech plc to undertake the first baseline of its staff awareness of the Foundation and its work (prior to Cambian’s acquisition). The results revealed that 52% of CareTech plc staff are aware of the CareTech Foundation. Given that the Foundation is still relatively new and that many CareTech plc staff do not have access to online communications channels, these results represent a strong baseline on which to build and vindicates the strategy to date for the communications approach to date.
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