Trustees' Roles & Responsibilities

Trustees are governors of the charity and also our company directors. They are accountable under both charitable and company law and are well supported in these roles. You can read the detail of our Articles of Association document here.

Trustees meet four times a year. Three of these meetings are on weekdays for around 2 hours each in London.  The fourth meeting, that includes the Annual General Meeting, is longer and is held on a Saturday at the charity’s offices in Stratford-upon-Avon. You can read the minutes of the last AGM here.

Trustees are kept informed about the day to day work or ‘operations’ of the charity. Before meetings they receive a report from the organisation’s Managing Director (MD) updating them on support services activities, access to treatments, any advocacy and campaigning work, progress with fundraising and the organisation’s financial position. The MD, Fundraising Manager and Support Services Manager all attend Board meetings so there is always the opportunity to question and discuss any of these topics.

Every year, based on feedback and community needs, trustees join with managers to review and shape the organisation’s strategy and plans for the year ahead.

Trustees are elected by the members of SMA UK for a three-year term. They are eligible to stand for a further three-year term but after two terms in office must stand down for at least one year before being eligible for re-election. Terms of office are staggered to ensure continuity of knowledge. 

This means that in most years, at least two Trustees ‘step down’ and the membership vote for new trustees.

Interested in becoming a Trustee? Please contact Support Services Manager, Liz Ryburn, on 01789 267520 or email