Interested in helping to lead the Fragile X Society?
The Fragile X Society is governed by a fantastic group of volunteers, who use their skills to ensure the health and growth of the organisation. We are currently looking for more people to join our board. This page will give you an introduction to the role of a Director and how you could join our team.
Who are our Directors?
Our Directors come from many different backgrounds with many different skills. The majority of our Directors have a personal link to Fragile X (such as having children or relatives with the condition), though this is not a requirement. Up to 15 people can be on our Board at any one time.
What are we looking for in a Director?
We need people who are passionate about the work of the Fragile X Society and we welcome people with many different skills to the team. As part of our skills gap analysis and succession planning, we do have a gap in terms of legal input/ experience, communications as well as finance and fundraising experience. As a result, we would particularly welcome candidates with experience in these areas.
What are the responsibilities of a Director?
Our Directors typically meet via a variety of physical and remote meetings. Typically face-to-face meetings take place on a Saturday (10am-3pm) in central London, three times per year. Expenses are covered for travel to these meetings. In addition, remote meetings are held approximately 3 times per year between the physical meetings, and take place on a weekday evening. Directors are sent reports a week in advance which should be read before the meetings.
Being a Director takes time, between one and four hours a week, as all Directors are encouraged to be active members of a sub-committee. In addition to these main meetings, our Board has a number of sub-committees which focus in more detail upon areas such as fundraising, Fragile X research, or marketing & communications. These sub-committees keep in regular touch by email or phone and meet once remotely (typically via conference call) between the main meetings. These meetings are scheduled based on the availability of the members.
Our Board have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, our management and administration. Therefore, there are some important duties which our Directors have and need to be aware of. The Fragile X Society is both a charity (No. 1127861) and a company (No. 6724061), which is why we refer to our Board as Directors rather than Trustees. However, the responsibilities of our Directors are highlighted well in the Charity Commission's new "Essential Trustee" guidance:
Ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit
Comply with your charity's governing document and the law
Act in your charity's best interests
Ensure your charity is accountable
Manage your resources responsibly
Act with reasonable care and skill.
Each of these points is explained in more detail in the Charity Commission's guidance.
Once Directors are elected to the board, they may serve for a period of 3 years, after which they will have to stand for re-election. Members of the Board can serve for up to 3 consecutive terms (9 years) before they are required to take at least one year away from the role (after this time they may stand for election again if they wish). The length of commitment to the role depends upon individual availability.
How can I stand to be elected as a Director?
Firstly, if you think that you may be interested in becoming a Director, then you are encouraged to contact our Chair (Kirsten Johnson: , or call the Fragile X Society on 01371 875100 to leave your details for a call) for an informal discussion. This will give us the opportunity to get to know you a little more, as well as answering any questions you may have. You will be sent some further details about the organisation (including our governing document) and about the role.
Our Directors are elected by the members of the Fragile X Society at our annual AGM. Therefore, people who are interested in becoming a Director need to complete a nomination form (or contact us for a copy) and return it to us. All nominations need to be supported by two existing members of the Fragile X Society (you can speak to us about this if you require any assistance). The membership will then be made aware of your nomination and will be able to vote in person at the AGM (which typically takes place in September) or by proxy if they cannot attend.
People may also be temporarily co-opted to the board (by election through the other Directors) between AGMs then stand for election as a full Director at the following AGM, if they do not submit their nomination forms in this time frame.