We have held our new Your Voice forums three times this year, to give our members an opportunity to meet with our senior management team. The forums are listening communities where we can listen to members priorities, and talk about the work we’ve been doing. The minutes for the latest forums are available in the members’ area of the website.
The first meetings have been run by the Chair of our Board of Trustees, Richard Jones. But now, it is time to elect forum chairs, from the membership. The Chair of each forum will have a place on the Board of Trustees and their role will be to make sure Shared Lives member voices are heard and considered in every decision that is made.
Nominations to chair the Your Voice forums opened this week after the Shared Lives carer member, and scheme member forums. Members who are interested in the role have until September 2nd to submit their nomination.
The voluntary role has two aspects, chairing the forum and becoming a trustee for the charity. All expenses are re-imbursed.
The chair will manage the meetings, so they run smoothly and to time; ensuring all carer voices are heard and everyone has an opportunity to give their opinion. They will need to be a good listener, with good organisational skills. Your Voice runs online so that carers from around the UK can attend.
We will provide support for the new chair, including providing external training. Richard Jones, who chairs the Shared Lives Plus Board of Trustees, will also co-chair the Your Voice forum for the first year for support and guidance.
The forum meets every three months, for two hours and the chair will need to be available for some planning time before each forum and some de-briefing afterwards. They may also be needed between forum meetings to liaise with members, give and receive feedback, and work with the Shared Lives Plus team to set the agenda and topics for future meetings.
The chair of the forum will also sit on the Shared Lives Plus Board of Trustees to ensure members’ voices are heard across the organisation, including at Board level. Trustees are required to attend four Shared Lives Plus board meetings a year, and provide some support to the wider organisation, based on their experience and knowledge.