Darlington Association on Disability Logo showing the letters D.A.D. breaking through a wallDarlington Association
on Disability
Centre for Independent Living


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Governance of DAD

Governing document

The Charity is controlled by its governing document, a deed of trust, and constitutes a limited company, limited by guarantee, as defined by the Companies Act 2006.

DAD has been a registered charity since 1986. In June 2008 Members agreed to transfer the assets and liabilities of the unincorporated Charity to a Company Limited by Guarantee, as defined by the Companies Act 2006, and a Registered Charity.

As a user led organisation DAD consulted and involved members, people who use our services, staff and volunteers in developing the Memorandum and Articles that now govern the organisation. The charity is controlled by its governing document that ensures the organisation is user led, requiring a minimum of 75% of Trustees to be disabled people.

The current legal structure provides a strong basis to secure tenders for services and ensure that disabled people and carers can govern, develop and run the services they identify are needed to ensure independence, choice and control.

Recruitment and appointment of new trustees

The Trustees are appointed on a three year rotation to govern the business of the association. Members at the Annual General Meeting approve the appointment of Trustees as Directors of the Company. The general membership includes individual disabled people and carers, representatives from local groups and the local authority. The Chairperson or the Vice Chairperson and either the Secretary or Honorary Treasurer must be a disabled person. The Memorandum and Articles allows for up to nine Trustees, there are currently seven.

Induction and training of new trustees

Trustees, as Directors of the Company, regularly discuss their responsibilities as Company Directors and understand them. As new Directors are recruited they receive an induction to the organisation, including a copy of the Charities Commission guide for Trustees, information on charity accounting and the organisation's policies and procedures. All Trustees undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check. Trustees undertake additional training as appropriate throughout the year including Health and Safety and Child Protection training.

Organisational structure

The Trustees meet at least six times a year and various sub committees including policy, finance and health and safety, meet between those meetings and report to the Trustees.

To ensure the Association has the capacity to develop and address the many changes the organisation faces, operational responsibility is delegated to a Senior Management Team led by a full time Chief Executive. The team are highly skilled in Human Resources, Financial Management, Quality Standards, Training and Development and Resource Management and all have personal experience as disabled people or carers. This ensures that the structure, as a user led organisation, influences the day to day operation. The majority of the staff and volunteer team also have personal experience enabling them to provide peer support when appropriate and act as role models to others. Ensuring people with personal experience are involved at all levels makes DAD unique and sets it apart from other similar organisations.

Risk management

The Trustees  examine the major strategic, business and operational risks facing the organisation and systems have been established to monitor and review these risks. Trustees purchase a professional and qualified external advisory and insurance service to ensure Health and Safety and Personnel risks are minimised.

Finance systems and reporting are regularly reviewed to ensure compliance. Specialist advice is sought from DAD's accountants when required. Reports identifying risks are also considered by Trustees at their meetings throughout the year. The organisation uses the leading payroll software to ensure a high quality payroll service is provided for employees of the organisation and approximately 1000 people employed as Personal Assistants across the Tees Valley, via Direct Payments. All risks in relation to Data Protection have been identified to ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulations 2018.

A full review of insurance requirements is conducted regularly and the necessary cover purchased with support from a specialist broker.

Reporting

Trustees produce an Annual Report for the Members, The Charity Commission, Companies House, stakeholders and funders, to report on the performance of the organisation and demonstrate the difference that makes to the lives of disabled people and carers. Trustees are currently investing in enhancing outcome reporting and a bespoke framework has been developed that will be embedded into a new Management Information System to ensure the quality of reporting.

The latest Annual report can be seen here