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Would you like to join our Board of Trustees?

About us

The Irish Elderly Advice Network is a charity supporting older people in London. Our objective is to tackle poverty, isolation and distress. We are an Irish organisation, rooted in Irish culture and within the Irish community. Our services are open to all older people in need of help.

Seeking Trustees and Treasurer

We are recruiting new trustees to add to our Trustee Board. We are seeking people who are passionate about supporting and empowering older people, can bring a range of skills and experience to the board, have a good understanding of the older Irish community in London and value compassion and kindness towards people in need.

We are particularly looking for trustees with experience in the areas of Finance, Legal, HR and Governance. Within the newly recruited trustees, we will be seeking to appoint a Treasurer.

How to Apply

Closing date to submit application: Tuesday 5th March 2024.

To apply for this position please email the Secretary to the Board, Caroline Hetherton, to request an application pack. The pack will be sent by email as standard, but if you would prefer a copy by post, please let Caroline know. Call 02074280471 or email

You will be asked to submit/complete the following:

  • CV

  • Application Form

  • Declaration of Interests

As an Older Persons Charity we welcome all applicants including applicants who are retired. We appreciate your CV may not include contemporary work but will help as an outline of your professional experience, skills and knowledge including other voluntary work.

Interviews will be held in person during March 2024

Please note that this is a voluntary position, but reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

If you would like to discuss the role informally, please contact Caroline Hetherton, Secretary.


The Irish Elderly Advice Network was founded in 1993. It has grown from a small charity supporting older Irish people in one borough – Camden – to a London-wise charity supporting 5500 older people per year.

There are two main parts of our work – 1. Welfare Service and 2. Cultural Programme.

Our Welfare Service provides advice and advocacy regarding pensions, benefits, cost of living support, and other issues relating to tackling poverty. We have a Housing Service, which rehouses older people from unsuitable housing, or homelessness, to secure, life-long housing within sheltered housing schemes across London.


Our Cultural Programme aims to enrich the lives of older people through Irish culture, music and song, and through participation in a thriving community of friends. This work includes a weekly lunch club in the Irish Elders Cultural Centre, Hackney. It includes a monthly Irish Lunch, with live traditional music. It also includes the Irish Elders Theatre project, support for the Irish Pensioners Choir and a partnership with the Irish Pensioners Forum of East London, and their monthly Irish cultural dance. We also run events throughout the year, for example talks by a community historian and collaborate with other Irish and Community Organisations.


Other Key Information

We have a staff team of 3 full time staff members, 3 part time staff members, 6 project-based freelance staff members, and 20 volunteers.

We have two offices, which are in Hackney and Camden, and we run outreach services in Kilburn, Stratford, Islington, Hackney and Camden.

On average, our welfare service raises £2.8million per year in pensions, benefits, and other support and entitlements for older people.

Our most recent annual turnover was £350,000.

Our main funders are:

  • The Irish Government, Emigrant Support Programme

  • The National Lottery

  • City Bridge Trust

  • Hackney VCS

  • ESB

  • Other funders and donors.

For details of the Irish Elderly Advice Network at the Charity Commission, click here.


Role Description – Trustee

Trustees are responsible for making decisions about how our organisation is run, including making sure the charity is fulfilling its legal obligations and working in line with its objectives.

To visit the Government webpage for a comprehensive outline of what it means to be a charity trustee, click here.

Being a trustee for the Irish Elderly Advice Network is a rewarding role, which includes:

  • making a positive impact for older people

  • meeting like-minded people and building relationships with trustees, staff and volunteers

  • building on your own governance, leadership and strategy skills

  • setting the strategic priorities for the charity

  • being an ambassador for the charity, including representing us at key events including at the Irish Embassy

Key Responsibilities of being a Trustee for Irish Elderly Advice Network

  • complete an introduction and training for your role.

  • keep up to date re how Irish Elderly Advice Network is operating.


  • read papers for board meetings and attend meetings, which are held quarterly.


  • be an active trustee during board meetings through discussion and working with other trustees and staff to:

  • decide on policy and strategic direction, setting targets and evaluating performance, ensuring that funder and legal requirements are met,

  • monitoring our financial position; ensuring that we operate within our means and objectives and that all financial controls are in place and complied with to safeguard the organisation’s resources,

  • seek the views of all sections of the community and monitor how well we are meeting the needs of the local community,

  • review the effectiveness of the Board.

Applying to be a Trustee: Person Specification

We are looking for people who will:

  • understand and accept the responsibilities and liabilities as trustees (information and training will be provided),

  • be non-judgmental and respect views, values and cultures that may be different to your own.

  • have good listening, verbal, and written communication skills.

  • be able to exercise good, independent judgement.

  • have good numeracy skills to understand accounts with the support of the Treasurer and Head of Finance.

  • be willing to learn about, and follow our aims, including confidentiality and data protection,

  • be willing to undertake training in your role.

We're particularly interested in recruiting trustees with skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Management experience in one or more of: older people’s projects, welfare, health/wellbeing, advocacy, campaigning.

  • Finance and/or fundraising

  • Legal

  • Governance:  policies and procedures, board governance

  • HR

  • Networking:  Irish community connections, stakeholder liaison. 

  • To be an ambassador for the Charity, influencing and developing community relations.

Applying to be the Treasurer: Personal Specification

In addition to the above Trustee personal specification, applicants for treasurer would meet the below:

  • a professional background in financial management

  • a knowledge of financial management of small organisations

  • ideally a knowledge of charity finance, or a willingness to learn more about this area.

  • the ability to explain financial information to others on the Board who may have less financial expertise.

  • willingness to work closely with our CEO and our Assistant CEO - Head of Finance.


How much time do you need to give?

The Trustee Board usually meets for approximately 2 hours every three months, although you may need to attend other meetings as needed, or if you’re involved in specific projects.  You may meet with volunteers and staff occasionally also. There is also an annual trustee strategic planning day which we ask trustees to attend.

Valuing inclusion

Diversity of background and experience and perspectives strengthens organisations. We encourage applications from older people, people with disabilities, and those with lived experience of hardship and challenge people. We also welcome applications from people who identify as LGBT+ and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

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