The role of Active Stirling is to provide:
  • Strategic leadership by using the experience, knowledge, and skills of its members to guide the company’s activities. This includes strategy development, the allocation of resources and approval of major projects.
  • A governance role to monitor the performance of the company. This assures prudent control of resources and accountability to stakeholders including Stirling Council and local communities.
  • Develop and influence the company’s strategy.
  • Consider and approve major projects over £200,000.
  • Approve the allocation of the company’s resources through the annual budget.
  • Monitor the company’s performance through receipt of regular monitoring reports.
  • Represent the company externally, including working with local partner organisations, such as the local authorities, the area tourist board, the University of Stirling and the colleges of further education.
  • Challenge and question the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in a positive way.
  • Help influence the values and culture of the organisation.

It is useful to note how the Institute of Trustees’ Guide for Trustees (1995) describes the role of a Board. It states that a Board faces ‘a uniquely demanding set of responsibilities and challenges’ that are in ‘seemingly contradictory pressures’. In particular, a Board:

  • Must simultaneously be entrepreneurial and drive the business forward while keeping it under prudent control.
  • Is required to be sufficiently knowledgeable about the workings of the company to be answerable for its actions, yet to stand back from the day-to-day management and retain an objective, longer-term view.
  • Must be sensitive to the pressures of short-term local issues and yet be informed about broad trends and competition.
  • Is expected to be focused on the commercial needs of its business while acting responsibly towards its employees, business partners and society as a whole.
  • The members of the Board must do what is best for the charity.
  • Operate in a manner consistent with the charitable purpose.
  • Act with care and diligence.
  • Comply with relevant acts and legislation.

The Board of trustees has ultimate responsibility for the company’s finances. Members of the Board of trustees will include representatives acting on behalf of Stirling Council and the local community and businesses. Any personal or business interests that may conflict with their responsibilities to the company should be declared and recorded in the Register of Interests.

Their financial responsibilities are:

  • to ensure the solvency of the company
  • to safeguard the company’s assets
  • to ensure the effective and efficient use of resources
  • to ensure that suitable controls are in place for the financial systems, which are working effectively and that a statement of assurance is produced by the internal auditor annually
  • to ensure that the company complies with all company legislation and requirements of regulatory bodies
  • to approve annual and longer term budgets and approve the annual financial statements
  • to approve any significant borrowing in respect of, or refinancing of, the company
  • forming any subsidiary of the company
  • the purchase of shares in any other company, or the acquisition of business or interest in a joint venture, legal partnership or similar undertaking
  • to approve a proposal to effect administration, liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of the company
  • to approve a material change in the nature of the business of the company, or the discontinuance or termination of the business of the company
  • to approve the sale of all or substantially all of the business assets of the company.
Health and Safety
  • The Board accepts their collective role in providing strong and active health and safety leadership in the organisation.
  • Each member of the Board accepts their individual role in providing health and safety leadership.
  • All Board decisions will reflect a commitment to achieving the objectives set out in this health and safety policy statement.
  • The Board will seek to engage the active participation of employees in improving health and safety.
  • The Board accept that effective two way communication is essential including reviewing health and safety performance and achievement of strategic targets.
  • A member of the Board is nominated as the health and safety trustee who will liaise with the qualified health and safety advisor and the Chief Executive to oversee the day to day management of health and safety in the organisation.

Independent trustees have an individual and collective responsibility to make sure Active Stirling, as a charitable trust, does what it was set up to do.

The trustees as leaders of the business are required to support the implementation of Stirling Council’s strategy for Sport, Physical Activity and Wellbeing, whilst also ensuring that Active Stirling is run in an efficient and innovative way. Being in the independent trustee role means that you will be involved in decisions that will impact on the lives of the people of Stirling.

Independent trustees will bring a range of skills and experience to support Active Stirling and Stirling Council to achieve their objectives and to meet the needs of their communities.

Benefits of becoming an independent trustee

In volunteering to be an independent trustee of Active Stirling you are in essence, being provided with a fulfilling way to give back to your community.

You will be entrusted to help improve the lives of the people of Stirling and transfer the community’s enthusiasm for being active and healthy. It will also provide you with a perfect platform to build your local profile / network whilst enhancing your CV.

Many independent trustees find working as part of a leadership group to be hugely energising and satisfying. They will also come from varied background; they can be retired, full or part time workers. A trustee’s work can fit around their work, home and other commitments.

What personal qualities do I need?
  • A passion for Stirling and its communities.
  • An equal passion for sport, physical activity and wellbeing.
  • Personal integrity.
  • Commitment to the organisation and its objectives.
  • Understand and accept the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of being a trustee.
  • Strategic vision.
  • Independent judgement.
  • An ability to think creatively and innovatively.
  • Willingness to speak your mind.
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team.
What skills do I need?

Independent trustees will have different skills, background and experiences that, when brought together, will provide Active Stirling with a truly rounded board.

Some directors will have specific professional or business skills, such as financial, IT, legal or entrepreneurial skills, whilst others will bring softer skills such as customer care, team working, problem solving or resolving conflict.

Everyone, however, must bring a social awareness and a strong desire to take Stirling forward and to enhance the community being served.

Diverse and contrasting perspectives are therefore vital and a Board that reflects the people and communities of Stirling will help improve its effectiveness.

what is the composition of the board
Board member
Graeme Fotheringham
Recently retired but worked initially with NHS Forth Valley then in the pharmaceutical sector in various senior manager, accounts roles and latterly in health economics, working with senior NHS management across many NHS health boards to support elements of their strategic plans.
Martin Kenny
A community champion with extensive service volunteering in
development posts for Bannockburn Rugby Club and St Modan’s Sports / Community Club, also a former company trustee.
Dave McCann
Currently in a senior sales and marketing position in a Scottish telecommunications company. Previously worked in engineering and software support and has experience in working for several Global IT companies in executive positions.
Gillian Dow
Currently Corporate Banking Director, Barclays Bank PLC; with 20+ years working in Banking
Councillor Brian Hambly
SNP Councillor for Bannockburn Ward. Spokesperson for Housing. Junior Convenor for Stirling County Cricket and Club Vice-Chair of the Western Division Junior Cricket Union.
Lynn Ratcliff
olice Chief Superintendent with Police Scotland. Significant strategic leadership, community planning and compliance experience.
Martha McKenzie
Works for BHR Biosynex with extensive experience of health care diagnostics and community sport and physical activity engagement
Councillor Margaret Brisley
Labour Councillor for Bannockburn Ward. Convenor of Stirling Council’s Children & Young People Committee, Vice Convenor of Community Wellbeing & Housing Committee.
Councillor Robin Kleinman
Conservative Councillor for Dunblane and Bridge of Allan. Chartered CIPD Fellow with Post Graduate qualifications in HR Management, Employment Law, Teaching Further Education and Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Dave Calder
Commanding Officer for the 22 Engineer Regiment. Enormous strategic leadership and board governance level experience

We keep a register of possible trustees. We use this when we need to find a new member of the Board. We find people to include on the register in the following ways:

  • our trustees or SLT may suggest that someone is included;
  • when vacancies occur, we seek recommendations from partner and representative organisations inviting them to apply and suggest possible trustees (in the past we have also placed an open advert in the press for people to put themselves forward to be put on the register).

When a vacancy arises on the Board, the Board’s Nomination Committee reviews the register and tries to match the selection against the current needs of the Board. These needs are defined as particular skills, experience and knowledge which in part reflect the strategic challenges and priorities facing the company. The Committee's recommendation is then endorsed by the whole Board.

How people resign/stand down from the Board?

Trustees may resign from the Board by informing the Chair in writing of their decision. In addition, trustees may be asked to stand down if deemed to have brought the company or its objects into disrepute. Any such decision will be confirmed in writing from the Chair of the Board.

The Board works through three main processes:

1. Working as a team

For the Board to carry out its duties effectively, it is important for trustees to operate as a team. This allows all the individual qualities, skills and knowledge to be brought together to address the core purpose of the business.

As in all teams, tensions within the Board will arise as a consequence of different views. Such tensions are considered quite ‘natural’ and are to be expected. However, there is an expectation that the Board assumes ‘cabinet’ responsibility for decisions it makes.

To enhance team working we encourage all trustees to attend Board meetings, lunches and workshops as well as any company social events. At these we discuss strategic issues affecting the company and they provide an opportunity for members to get to know each other and discuss issues of mutual interest in an informal setting.

2. Working in partnership with the Senior Leadership Team

Critical to the success of the company is a strong ‘partnership’ between the Board and the SLT. This partnership must be based on mutual trust, understanding and confidence. Whilst the SLT has responsibility for running the company, the Board and individual trustees have a crucial role to play in using their expertise, knowledge and networks to determine and achieve the strategic priorities for the company.

To develop the Board/SLT partnership and keep trustees in touch with the company’s activities, we ask trustees to identify areas in which they have a special expertise. Members are then invited to contribute to project development in these specialist areas of interest/experience and knowledge.

Board member specialisms are listed below.

Graeme Fotheringham
Health promotion

Martin Kenny
Sports clubs and volunteering

Dave McCann
IT and systems

Gillian Dow
Finance and Governance

Councillor Brian Hambly

Lynn Ratcliff

Martha McKenzie

Councillor Margaret Brisley

Councillor Robin Kleinman

Dave Calder

3. Working with partners and external contacts (stakeholders)

An important part of a Board member’s role is to promote the company externally through their own networks or when representing the company. This also involves providing ‘feedback’ to the company about its activities and changes in its operating environment which might include new opportunities.

The main opportunity for trustees to influence and contribute to the workings of the company is on the day of Board meetings and through using their expertise in helping influence the development of new projects.

There will be four full Board meetings per year and four Audit & Governance group meetings.

The main Board will formally review the company’s performance against business plan, Stirling Council contract and charitable objectives.

The scrutiny group will be convened to cover any essential business that requires to be addressed outside of the normal cycle of Board meetings.

Meetings are held in the evening normally commencing at 6.30pm and lasting until 9.30 pm. Sometimes this can be extended depending on the agenda.

A typical Board meeting will involve:

  • Minutes;
  • Action points from last meeting;
  • Approval papers (for major projects);
  • Discussion papers (focusing on strategic issues);
  • Information papers (about the performance of the company);
  • Any other business.

Trustees receive the papers for the Board meeting a one week in advance including quarterly financial updates. Trustees are encouraged to speak to or meet in advance with staff involved in any of the projects to be discussed at the Board meeting if this might help their understanding of the issues. This of course applies to all aspects of the company’s business at any time. If you are not sure who to contact, the author named at the bottom of the relevant paper will be able to help.

Sub Committees

Sub committees will be created and called as and when required to support with projects.

Nominations Committee

Nominations Committee meetings will be called as the business requires.

Board Meetings Schedule

At each Board meeting there will be a monthly update on finances, operational activities and partnership work in addition to the key topics highlighted in the schedule below:

See meeting date/s and times here