Organisational

Seeking Members for our Board of Directors

ROLLING DEADLINE

Company Drinks is a highly regarded, well-established community space and social enterprise based in Barking and Dagenham. We exist as an expanding network of users, collaborators and partners, who come together to pick, grow, make, learn, unlock and share the resources and knowledge around us.

Like the seasons, Company Drinks changes and adapts, and is shaped by those who are involved. We collaborate and champion the ideas of those around us, encourage each other to re-imagine new ways of working, trading and existing together, through conversation, care and good company.

Company Drinks was set up in 2014 as an art commission through a Create Art Award, and registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2015. Company Drinks sees itself as part of a larger community-focused ecosystem of care, that strives for an equal, just and non-discriminatory world.

Company Drinks is based at the Former Outdoor Bowls Pavilion in Barking Park, where we have a multifunctional and fully accessible building, including a good size club room, a tea kitchen, a training and production kitchen, office, and storage. Our outdoor space has a large lawn area, a wildflower meadow and community growing area with a focus on well- being and community herbalism.

Company Drinks is organised in a cooperative manner by a team of five who work between 1-3 days/week.

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Our continuous programmes include
– Community Growing, Well-being and Community Herbalism
– Wild and Well Programme for families, carers and young people
– Picking Trips and small batch non-alcoholic drinks production
– The Good Food Collective and Food Research
– Creative Opportunities for young people
– Local Social History and Heritage
–  Community Economy and the Arts
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Everything we do is underpinned by our core values, which are
– Be inclusive, our space and workshops are accessible to all, and we welcome everyone.
– Be transparent, we are open and visible with the inner workings of how we run things.
– Be anti – oppression, we are supportive of all marginalised groups, whether this affects race, age, gender or ability.
– Give more than we take – we want people to leave us with more than they came to us with.
– We are all teachers and learners – and respect everyone’s knowledge.
– Being flexible – to change, we want to learn and grow as a community company and are open to changes to help us grow.
– Promote positive community collaboration – we want people to work together collaboratively and in supportive environments.
– Sharing healthy food and growing knowledge, giving people information and hand-on opportunities for healthier food choices.
– Practice an economy that cares about the well-being of our minds, bodies and planet.

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Context for Extending the CIC’s Board of Directors
2023 marks a very exciting year for Company Drinks, as this spring marks our 10th year of ‘going picking’ together, and we are preparing to strengthen and develop the organisation to enter its second decade. Following the pandemic and a revised and remote programme to support and work with our regular user groups and communities, we now operate again from our fully accessible pavilion in Barking Park, and are actively expanding our Well and Wild outdoor programme, and community-led research and initiatives to highlight and address existing food cultures and knowledge in the borough.

A group of regular users of the garden and the pavilion have in 2021 become the Company Drinks Keyholder Group, with the aim to share resources, training and development on a regular basis, and to co- decide on future programmes and spending. With the appointment of a new General Manager in 2022 we started a participatory process of adapting our policies, Anti-Racism Action Plan and Anti-Racism Tool Kit and safeguarding procedures as a matter of organisational care and commitment.

Company Drinks is proud of its achievements so far and is here to stay. We manage and use our resources carefully and are acknowledging the different economic underpinnings and contributions that enable us to exist.

The Board plays an important role in our organisational ecosystem of mutual support, and we are excited to welcome new members who like us believe passionately in the importance of unlocking and fairly sharing the resources and knowledge around us.

The current board exists of Kathrin Böhm (Board and Team), Oribi Davies (Board and Team), Jess Denning (Board), Maddy Gunn (Board) and Jamil Khan (Board). We are looking for new members to the Board to add to the skills and experience of the current Board, who enjoy working as part of a supportive but rigorous team. We would expect you to be familiar with our organisation, and we are looking particularly, but not exclusively, for individuals who have expertise in the following areas:

– Finance and Bookkeeping
– Fundraising and Developing Relationships with Foundations
– HR and Organisational Policies
– Legal Advice (in regards to our site)
– Community Food Sector
– Developing Multi-Stakeholder Programmes and Dialogue

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Company Drinks welcomes all applicants and wants the team to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with. We would like to encourage applications from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic, disabled and LGBTQ+ background as they are underrepresented in the team. We’re interested in the whole person and know that we all develop skills both in and outside of work, so even if there are some boxes you don’t quite tick we’d love to hear from you anyway. We recognise that Company Drinks and the growing/craft food industry does not currently represent the population of the UK, and more specifically, that of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, and we are committed to addressing this in our recruitment process.

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Being a Director of a Community Interest Company (CIC)
As a member of the Board of a Community Interest Company, you will use your experience to help the organisation achieve its full potential as local a cultural and community-focused organisation. This involves:

– Ensuring good governance, policies and management.
– Achieving financial stability, based on our Community Economy Model.
– Using your specific knowledge and experience to provide advice and guidance.
– Supporting the strategic vision and long-term planning of this multi-stakeholderorganisation.
– Legal responsibilities ensuring CD upholds it’s legal obligations.
– Ensuring CD continues to act in the interests of the community.
– Liable for commercial debts up to the value of £1.

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The Board meets four times, and meetings take place on-line and at the Company Drinks Pavilion in Barking. Board meetings are usually held on Monday evenings. The director’s role is currently unpaid, but Company Drinks holds funds to pay members of the board who can’t support the organisation in an unpaid role. The current hourly rate that is paid across all programmes and activities is £16,50 per hour. Reasonable travel expenses can be covered.

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As a Board member you will agree to:

– Attend board meetings (minimum 3 a year).
– Be up to date with the business of the company.
– Be well prepared for each board meeting.
– Offer timely feedback and responses within your realm of expertise.
– Advocate for the company where/when appropriate.

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How to apply

We have a rolling deadline, and you can contact us directly if you would like more information and/or considering to apply. Please send a brief E-mail to contact@companydrinks.info.

For an application please send a max 1 page (approx. 750 words) cover letter or max 5 minutes audio/video:
– Tell us why you are interested in joining Company Drinks’ board of Directors.
– Tell us about the experience and skills you would be bringing to the Company Drinks board.
– Please indicate if you are available for board meetings quarterly on Monday afternoons (generally 4pm-5.30pm).
– Attach a short CV (max 2 pages), as above, this can be written or an audio or video file.
– Please include the contact details of two people we can approach for references, if required.

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For any alternative formats or other access queries, please call 07941 696515 or email contact@companydrinks.info