Over 2614 jobs live right now. Start searching to find your next job today.

CEO (freelance)

£250/day (equivalent to £65,000 annual salary)
Part-time (2 days per week)
Contract (3 years)
Job description



SALARY: £250/day


HOURS: 2 days/week (16 hours delivered flexibly across the week as needed)


CONTRACT: Freelance


REPORTING TO: Chair of the Trustee Board


LOCATION: Remote (with some travel to meetings and events in London)


DIRECT REPORTS: Outreach Programme Manager, Partnerships Programme Manager and Community Manager




This post offers an exceptional opportunity to develop, manage and lead Lightyear Foundation at an exciting time in our journey. Our new CEO, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees, will implement the strategic and operational direction of the charity. Key activities will include: providing leadership; managing all aspects of our programmes, staff, volunteers and fundraising; and being an effective advocate for the charity and its beneficiaries. You will manage a new core team of three (Outreach Programme Manager, Partnerships Programme Manager and Community Manager), and will be responsible for ensuring financial control and leading on good governance across all aspects of the charity.


About Lightyear Foundation


Lightyear Foundation is a small but mighty national charity committed to breaking barriers to disabled children participating in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Disabled children face multiple disadvantages in education, careers and life skills and are all too often excluded from STEM. We exist to ensure that no disabled child is denied the opportunity to love and learn from these subjects or to go on to contribute to society in these fields. 


We work directly with disabled children in special schools, inclusion pods and community groups, designing and delivering immersive sensory science experiences, deep learning labs and work inspiration visits to exciting STEM venues. We also work directly with STEM organisations through our SEN in STEM Network, a unique national network bringing the sector together to break down barriers to inclusion by sharing best practice and practical solutions, and through training and special projects which help STEM organisations improve access to their materials, venues, processes and activities for disabled children.




Lightyear Foundation is a small but fast-growing charity. We are now at a pivotal point in our growth and have ambitions to increase our reach and to diversify our income, enabling us to play an even more significant role in dismantling barriers to inclusion. We have been awarded a grant to secure our core team roles for three years, which has enabled us to sustainably appoint a small team for the first time. We are looking for an experienced small charity CEO to lead this new freelance team, building on the excellent work of their predecessor and the many exciting opportunities ahead of us.




  • Be the face and voice of the charity – our principal ambassador.
  • Lead, support, engage and motivate all staff: we are a small team of part-time freelancers across the new core team and the wider specialist delivery team, so creating a sense of community and collaboration is fundamental to our success.
  • Seek out, develop and maintain effective working relationships with all relevant organisations and individuals to promote the work of the charity and facilitate the implementation of its strategic objectives.
  • Leverage networks with other charity leaders to share and gain best practices to achieve our mission.
  • Be a role model for staff and partners in relation to work ethics and culture.




  • Liaise with the Board in relation to the development of the charity’s strategic vision and be responsible for leading its implementation.
  • Be responsible for the development and delivery of the charity’s agreed business plans.
  • Identify and assess strategic risks, issues and opportunities and take responsibility for initiating and leading associated changes.
  • Seek out and implement opportunities for innovation and ensure that Lightyear Foundation remains at the forefront of positive change in increasing access to STEM.
  • Establish and implement best practice for the management, development and engagement of staff and volunteers.


Operational Management


  • Be responsible for the implementation of all the charity’s operational plans.
  • Take executive responsibility for all functions including programmes, administration, finance, fundraising, marketing, communications and IT.
  • Ensure that Lightyear Foundation’s programmes, contracts and projects are delivered to the highest standard with due regard for timescales, targets and budgets.
  • Take overall responsibility for the recruitment, management and effective deployment of freelance staff, applying robust HR processes covering recruitment, performance management, appraisal and remuneration.




  • Lead and direct the financial planning, forecasting, control, reporting and management of the organisation's finances and resources, to include support for, and engagement of, Trustees and sub-groups to ensure regulatory compliance and sustainable organisational growth.
  • Take executive responsibility for the financial leadership of the charity, including forecasting and strategic budget leadership.
  • Ensure that the charity’s financial resources are managed effectively and that Lightyear Foundation remains in good financial health, identifying risks and taking appropriate action.
  • Liaise with the Board to develop and lead on the implementation of the charity’s financial plans, including setting budgets, formulating income generation strategies and overseeing all fundraising activities.
  • Maintain effective financial management and control systems; ensure delivery within budgets and to performance targets and oversee production of management accounts, statutory accounts, impact reports and annual reports.




  • Create, own and deliver Lightyear Foundation’s income generation strategy.
  • Diversify income away from a reliance on grants to include greater individual, community and corporate support.
  • Manage our key relationships with funders, including providing timely reports and updates.
  • Proactively identify new funding opportunities, creating and submitting applications or proposals as needed.


Governance and Compliance


  • Liaise with the Board to ensure that the charity’s overall governance structure, policies and procedures are appropriate and effective, taking remedial measures and implementing changes as necessary.
  • Attend all Board meetings (held four times a year, usually on a Monday early evening) and prepare a written report in advance of each meeting detailing matters of interest and concern regarding the charity’s activities during the previous period.
  • Ensure that the Board is made aware in a timely fashion of any matters requiring its attention.
  • Develop and maintain effective operational policies and processes in all the charity’s functions. Review and update scope and content to meet legal, regulatory and best practice needs.
  • Ensure that the charity complies with best practice in all areas of operation, including filing annual accounts with the Charity Commission and Companies House on time.


Health and Safety


  • Oversee the safeguarding of the children with whom the charity works through rigorous DBS procedures and staff/volunteer training.
  • Ensure that collection and protection of personal information complies with current Data Protection regulations.
  • Ensure that all of the charity’s activities are conducted safely and that Health and Safety policies are understood and followed by everyone.
  • Ensure that all major risks are identified and regularly reviewed and that systems and procedures are in place to mitigate all such risks; be responsible for the development and implementation of the charity’s Risk Register.


General Responsibilities


  • Carry out any other duties as may be reasonably requested.
  • Be conversant with all aspects of the operation and willing to cover and provide support across the team should the need arise.




Key Skills


  • Genuine passion for Lightyear Foundation’s mission and values.
  • Proven experience in leading a charity through growth, including a track record of successful fundraising and programme management.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • Financial acumen and budget management skills.
  • Ethical and transparent leadership style.


You’ll resonate deeply with the way we understand disability and our approach to working with children and the STEM sector. You’ll be excited at the possibilities for growth that are now available to us, and you’ll have the confidence and determination to provide us with decisive leadership and drive us through a significant next step in our evolution as a charity.


Even if you don't possess all the listed experience or skills, we encourage you to apply and showcase your unique strengths and capabilities. At Lightyear Foundation we embrace diversity. We’re therefore encouraging applicants from all backgrounds and especially those from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups as well as those with lived experience of disability. 


Practicalities: Possession of a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) Check at Enhanced level will be required. The successful applicant will be asked for details of two referees. As a freelancer, you agree to take full responsibility for the payment of all income tax, assessments and National Insurance.




Please send us your CV and short cover letter explaining your interest in the role to Elle Wilks, Deputy CEO, by 5pm on Thursday 30th November, using the Quick Apply button. Please provide details of your notice period and/or availability to start the role if successful.

Posted on: 02 November 2023
Closed date: 30 November 2023 at 17:00
Tags: Senior Management, Operations

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.