Like all charities, Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) is governed by a board of trustees. The role and responsibilities of the trustees is extensive; in essence it is to ensure that TVAA has a strategy with a clear and appropriate sense of direction, that it operates within all external regulation and guidance, and that the executive team is properly constituted and fit to successfully run the charity on a day to day basis.

TVAA has a Board made up of 10 trustees who collectively bring a real strength of experience and knowledge in all the various facets of our operation: legal, financial, medical, aviation, marketing and fundraising. The Board also has excellent diversity as it seeks to represent the views and interests of our supporters across the community we serve.

In setting our strategy we have to remember that our entire life-saving service is dictated by the demand from the NHS; we only respond to calls from the 999 network. The direction of the NHS itself is strongly influenced by availability of funding, and it is not easy to predict what the service will look like in 10 years’ time, as we shape the future for TVAA. However, we can see where the pressure points are likely to be and, therefore, where we will be able to help. As well as planning to provide extra, and enhanced, capabilities, we also seek to shape the future by investing in research and training.

The last two years have seen an increasingly intense spotlight being focussed on the way charities behave and operate; there have been high profile cases in which it has become clear that governance had failed. At TVAA we have always placed an emphasis on ensuring that we behave in a way that is totally committed to high standards, is honest and open, is respectful to all of those we deal with, and is fully accountable. Those key elements make up the Promise that we have made to all our supporters.

We have not only always operated within the regulatory framework of the Charity Commission and Fundraising Standards Board, but have also gone well beyond that in setting out our own extensive and demanding protocols for our partners and service suppliers. We are not complacent, are constantly seeking to improve, and actively encourage inputs from all we deal with. We have put on record that we have not, do not, and will not engage in the kind of poor governance and poor practice that has caused the public to lose faith in some charities.

- Sir Tim Jenner