Become a Trustee

Help Charnwood Community Management Association (CCMA)

Become a Trustee and make Charnwood a Community Hub for Hitchin 

Charnwood, a Grade 2 listed building in the centre of Hitchin, was built in 1825 as a family house. In 1935 the then owners gifted the house to the residents of Hitchin for public use. Initially used as a library, it subsequently became the town’s museum 

CCMA was established in 2015 when the Old Hitchin Museum located at Charnwood (next to Hitchin library) closed to the public pending a planned move to a refurbished Hitchin Town Hall site. CCMA wanted to ensure that Charnwood was retained for the use by the Community. CCMA is a Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO)

That move was delayed due to problems with the Town Hall project and did not occur until late 2019. Even now Charnwood has not been fully vacated and, in the meantime, is deteriorating through neglect.

Since its establishment in 2015 CCMA has undertaken a detailed survey of the building, drawn up plans for modifications to make it suitable for community use, prepared a detailed cost plan and drawn up an outline business plan

At a recent NHDC cabinet meeting the Councillors agreed that the building should be used by the community and accepted that the Council would need to pay for repairs to the building. However, CCMA will also need to raise funds to cover the cost of the internal modifications required and work with the Council to ensure the widest possible Community engagement to return Charnwood for use by its residents.

With a change of pace of activity much previous work needs to be reviewed. CCMA needs to strengthen its Trustee team and bring in expertise in several areas. We are seeking people who can give some of their time and have relevant business or charity experience. We need people who are excited about the possibilities offered by creating a community hub at Charnwood and keen to work in a team to make this happen. At this stage we are looking to add four new trustees to our board.

The areas where we need help are:

  • Business Lead. A person with business and business planning experience and used to leading teams. In addition experience within the charity sector would be useful.
  • Fundraising. A person with experience with making successful funding applications to grant making bodies or other forms of fundraising. With the obvious need to raise funds for the modifications required to convert the building from its current use, an applicant will need to approach larger grant-giving bodies as well as local sponsors, businesses, and the general public. 
  • Building refurbishment. A person with experience in the construction/building industry, structural or quantity surveying or architecture who can lead our discussions with NHDC and the Contractors in setting up the contract to refurbish the building and monitor its progress to time and budget. They will also take the lead on the internal modification with the necessary professionals to design, budget and implement the internal modifications.
  • Marketing and Public engagement. A person with a marketing background and a good knowledge of local groups who can liaise with NHDC for local surveys and engagement with the residents of Hitchin and local community groups. It is essential for the success of the project that local organizations and people are involved at all stages to ensure that once completed the facility will be used.

It is hoped that applicants will have some prior experience of working as a charity Trustee or in a Senior Management position, although this is not essential, and any necessary training will be provided. All Trustee roles are voluntary and not salaried.

Since CCMA is an organisation with a generally Hitchin focus, local knowledge would be useful although not essential for some roles.  All the current board are Hitchin residents and are able to provide some local experience.

If you feel you can contribute to the project in any of the roles above then in the first instance please send a letter of interest to John Horton email:-

Closing date for letters of interest is 15th March 2021 and selection will take place in the last week of March