First Steps (Bath)
First Steps (Bath) is a charity and company limited by guarantee set up by the community in Twerton, over 20 years ago. The aim is to provide high quality education and care for children under five and to develop community partnerships to ensure the best outcomes for children. This is done by running day nurseries that are inclusive and staffed by well qualified people who understand the complexity of children’s lives in addition to building partnerships with families, local professionals and the community. The Nurseries are run as social enterprises with any surplus used to benefit children. First Steps also employs a team of family support workers to enable children and families to achieve their potential and remove barriers to successful and joyful parenting.
First Steps (Bath) has a board of trustees who oversee organisational leadership and management. Royds Withy King provided time for a solicitor (Jacqui Lazare) with experience of charity law to join the board of trustees. Jacqui was selected as she was able to challenge and support the board as a parent as well as bringing her legal knowledge as illustrated below. Jacqui took on the role of linked Trustee for one of our nurseries and was able to advocate for the service through a particularly difficult time of change.
First Steps (Bath) has a contract to deliver services from a prefabricated building leased from the local authority. The lease came to an end and after some time a new lease was drawn up. However, Trustees were not mindful to sign the lease as the building was in a state of disrepair and the obligations within the lease were considered too onerous. For the last two years First Steps have been occupying the building, running a day nursery and Children’s Centre with no lease.
Jacqui was able to give the Trustees advice, enabling them to understand the legal position with regard to the lease. This supported the trustees to make an informed decision on how to proceed.
Jacqui continues in her role as Trustee of First Steps (Bath) and has developed a close relationship with this charity.