Why become a Governor?
Fred Leatherbarrow has been a Public Governor for Manchester for the last 12 months. Having lived in Manchester for most of his life, he explains why he wanted to become Governor and what he appreciates about the role. He says:
I wanted to become a Governor to make a difference to the care and services delivered by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. It still feels like early days and there is still a great deal to learn but by attending the Council of Governor meetings and speaking to staff and service users and carers I am learning how the organisation works. I will then know how I can work with my fellow Governors to make improvements.
The role is challenging and surprising so it is definitely never dull! However, the support I get from my fellow Governors and from the Trust means I can work on these challenges and overcome them.
My advice to anyone considering being a Governor is to learn as much as you can about the organisation and find out where you passion lies to make improvements. Then go for it!
Who can stand for election?
Governors provide an essential link between the Trust, its members and the communities we serve. Governors are asked to contribute their passion, experience and enthusiasm to our work, whilst holding the Board to account for the Trust’s performance. Some of the statutory duties of governors include giving views on the Trust’s forward plans; approving significant transactions; appointing the Trust’s Chair and Non-Executive Directors and approving their remuneration and other terms and conditions of office; approving the appointment of the Chief Executive; and representing the interests of members.
Elections are usually held each year and at the start of the election process, a formal notice is published, inviting eligible members to stand for election to the Governor seat(s) that are open. The formal notice includes the contact details of the external company who facilitates our election process (to request a Nomination Form). Ballot papers are then sent to members who in turn vote for the candidate(s) that they wish to be elected to our Council of Governors.
To be able to stand for election you must be a member of the Trust in the constituency for which you wish to be elected. We want as many people as possible to be members of our Foundation Trust (members of the public, service users/patients, carers, staff, colleagues from other organisations, friends and family of our existing members etc.) so that we can fully represent the views and opinions of the people in our local communities and provide the services people need.
The Trust is keen to represent all areas of the community on the Council of Governors, and welcomes interest from anyone within the various constituencies. We provide a comprehensive induction programme and ongoing support for our Council of Governors.