Our charity is led by members, people who are all affected by epilepsy. Their views are at the heart of everything that we do. That’s why Council, our dedicated body of decision-makers, is made up of people just like you.
Council members come from all walks of life. They have many different backgrounds, skills and experience. The only thing you really must have is a desire to improve the lives of people affected by epilepsy.
What is the Council of Management?
The Council of Management is the governing body that constantly improves the way we work at Epilepsy Action. Council members represent the views of people affected by epilepsy when it comes to creating new policies, priorities and strategies and much more.
They make important decisions and share ideas about all aspects of our work. They are there to make sure that Epilepsy Action stays on track and achieves its goals.
Who can be on the Council of Management?
You can be nominated if you are over 18 and have been a member of Epilepsy Action for at least 12 months. If you’re not a member, here’s how you can become one.
We welcome different skills, experiences and areas of knowledge, but above all, the drive and vision to improve lives.
Epilepsy Action encourages nominations from members of all backgrounds. It’s important that the Council of Management is as representative as possible. That’s why nominations from people from black and minority ethnic groups and from people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender are especially welcome.
We can make reasonable adjustments to ensure trustees can be an active part of Council. This includes creating accessible meeting venues and video conferences. If you would like to know more about what it’s like to be a Council member, or if you’d like to discuss anything such as access needs before you submit your nomination, please contact the chief executive Philip Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being a member of the Council of Management carries certain duties, responsibilities and obligations that you need to be aware of. You should be confident and comfortable about accepting and carrying out these commitments before you decide to stand for election. Being a Council member can also bring you immense personal satisfaction and the opportunity to influence the lives of people with epilepsy.
What is Epilepsy Action?
British Epilepsy Association (BEA) is a registered charity and a private company limited by guarantee. It was founded in 1950 as a direct response to the problems facing people living with epilepsy. During its lifetime it has been responsible for many major improvements, but there is still much to be done. In 2002, BEA adopted the ‘working name’ Epilepsy Action. This is the name that most people are now familiar with. However, the charity and the company still keep the official name of British Epilepsy Association.
Epilepsy Action is the leading organisation for epilepsy in the UK because of the number of people it has contact with, because of its unique services and because it is the only UK-wide membership organisation for people with an interest in the condition.
What is the Council of Management?
Epilepsy Action is a charity made up of individual members. Every year the members elect people to be the trustees of the charity. The trustees are the people who look after the charity. They decide its long term plans and watch over what the charity does on behalf of all the members. The trustees are very important to the charity.
The name we give to all the trustees together is the ‘Council of Management’, or just ‘Council’ for short. The name we give to individual trustees is ‘Council member’. Since the Association is a limited company, Council members are also company directors.
Who are the Council members?
The Council is made up of a maximum of 16 elected members of the Association. A term of office normally lasts three years. People can be re-elected to serve further three year terms.
Council members come from all kinds of backgrounds and have a wide variety of experience. Some are people with epilepsy themselves, some are carers, some are health or education professionals, some are volunteers for the charity and some are local branch or group members. The one thing they all have in common is a desire and a commitment to serve Epilepsy Action.
Please contact the Chief Executive if you would like to be put you in touch personally with an existing Council member who can tell you first-hand about what it’s like to be a Council member.
Can I stand for election to the Council?
There are four conditions that you have to satisfy in order to be nominated to stand for election to the Council.
- You must be aged 18 years or older.
- You must not be legally disqualified from being allowed to be a company director or a charity trustee.
- You must not be incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering your own affairs.
- You must have been a member of the Association for at least 12 months at the date when nominations for the election close.
How does Council work?
Council acts as a single body. Decisions are made on a majority view. Individual Council members are bound by the concept of collective responsibility. Please note that the business of Council meetings is confidential to the Council.
The Council usually meets six times a year and these meetings are now a combination of remote, via Zoom, and face to face meetings at our Leeds office.
You will need to commit to attending as many of these meetings as possible and be able to put time aside to read papers and reports before the meetings.There are currently three Council committees to support the organisation with specific areas of work. They are: the Finance and Strategic Policy committee, the Standing committee and the Corporate Governance committee and they are usually held remotely.
Even in normal conditions, the effective running of the Council does require its members to have suitable IT equipment, a basic level of IT literacy and access to the internet. Much of the Council’s business and communication is conducted digitally by email and by a secure intranet website.
Will it cost me anything?
Council members are all volunteers. No one gets paid for being a Council member. However, you can claim reasonable expenses for attending Council meetings and all other relevant functions of the charity in your capacity as a Council member.
If you require a carer to attend with you, their costs are also covered. The charity also provides every Council member with personal liability insurance to cover their role as a trustee.
If you are elected as a Council member you will receive a comprehensive induction to help you become familiar with all the essential things you need to know.
The next step...
If you want to stand for election to the Council you should first of all make sure you meet the four conditions mentioned earlier. If you do, then you need to be nominated by two other subscribing members of the Association.
Don’t worry if you don’t know two other members. We have a panel of people we can put you in touch with. Just let the Chief Executive know if you would like to use this panel.
To stand for election all you have to do is fill in the nomination form – it will automatically go straight to the Chief Executive at Epilepsy Action. You have to sign the form to show you are willing to be nominated. The details of the two members supporting your nomination should also be on the form, if you know them.
The Chief Executive will be in touch with you to request any further information that might be needed, such as a short personal history for your election address. The election itself is by secret ballot of the members of the Association at the Annual General Meeting. You will be told the result as soon as possible after that meeting.
Please feel free to contact the Chief Executive, Philip Lee, at any time if you have any other queries.
Telephone: 0113 210 8800
Address: New Anstey House, Gate Way Drive, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7XY.
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