Unpaid role
Permanent, Part-time
Job description

The Board of Trustees of our impactful refugee charity is seeking a new Chair of Trustees to join them in 2022. This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about the treatment of refugees. 

We are looking for someone with the skills, experience, energy and time to commit to our vital work. The Chair oversees our Board of Trustees. The Board does not directly manage the day-to-day work, but provides oversight, shaping organisational strategy and supporting our staff and volunteers. We are more hands-on than most charity boards. 

Previous board experience is beneficial but not required. There will be a flexible handover period with the current Chair, who is stepping down as planned after five years. 

We support and encourage diversity. We are especially interested in hearing from people with lived experience of migration. 

About Refugee Info Bus

Our mission is to support refugees and displaced people on the move, or who have just arrived in Northern France, with multilingual, accessible information, as well as phone charging, access to Wifi, basic mobile phones and battery packs. We are a small organisation with a turnover of less than £100,000 / year and a team of 6-8 volunteers.

Being a member of the Board

Board members are unpaid, but expenses are reimbursed. Meetings usually take place online over Google Meet. All trustees are expected to attend a 1 hour meeting every two weeks. 

In addition to attending Board meetings, Board members usually commit to undertaking small pieces of work in-between meetings, including (but not limited to) various committee work, reading meeting minutes and supporting the info bus team.

We have a messenger chat group for trustees to stay in contact, and each trustee is provided with a Refugee Info Bus email address. 

Responsibilities - As the Chair of Trustees

  1. Recruit, induct and maintain a Board of Trustees who have appropriate experience, skills and motivation

  2. Provide leadership to the Board, ensuring that Trustees understand and carry out their governance responsibilities in accordance with Refugee Info Bus’s charitable objects and the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries. In particular, ensure that trustees oversee proper management of strategy, risk, staff/volunteers and finances. Carry out periodic reviews to assess whether the Trustee Board is carrying out its duties properly.

  3. Organise and chair regular, productive Trustee meetings. Encourage collaborative team-work, well-judged decision-making and collective ownership of decisions. Ensure that the Trustee Board is sufficiently well-informed by arranging for regular operational reports, accounts and other documents to be made available. Ensure meetings and other trustee activities are properly minuted and decisions taken are implemented.

  4. Supervise and support the Director or lead staff member or lead volunteer to discharge their responsibilities for the operations of the charity and delivery of its mission, fostering open communication and mutual trust. Conduct an annual appraisal of their performance and of other team members as required.

  5. Delegate to the Vice Chair where necessary and agreed, seeking their advice on wider strategy in particular. 

  6. Act as the lead representative of Refugee Info Bus in its relationship with the Charity Commission and other regulatory bodies.

  7. In partnership with the Director or other staff/volunteers, act as a public representative of Refugee Info Bus, for example at high-level meetings and events or in media interviews.

  8. In exceptional or emergency situations, take urgent action to safeguard the charity.

Responsibilities - As a Board Member

  1. Understand and comply with the legal responsibilities of a charity Trustee as set out by the Charity Commission, including the filing of annual reports and accounts. Demonstrate personal integrity and uphold the Refugee Info Bus values and code of conduct and preserve its reputation.

  2. Ensure that everyone involved in Refugee Info Bus understands and complies with its governing document, charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.

  3. Maintain an understanding of the needs of the charity’s beneficiaries, its services and operations, the external environment and the charity’s risks and opportunities. Use good judgement and creative thinking to support the review and development of strategic plans and evaluate performance against agreed plans, policies and targets.

  4. Ensure honest and efficient management of the charity’s finances and fundraising and ensure Refugee Info Bus uses its resources to pursue its charitable objects. Keep and regularly review accounts to maintain oversight of financial sustainability.

  5. Hold regular, collaborative and inclusive board meetings, helping the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions. Work effectively as a team, with each Trustee evaluating or offering advice on areas in which they have particular expertise. Ensure that proper records are kept of board meetings, decisions and actions, and promote efficient administration of the charity.

  6. Engage with Refugee Info Bus staff and volunteers as well as colleagues on the Board. Be a supportive presence and a good listener to the staff and volunteers of Refugee Info Bus and promote best working practices. Follow and promote the Safeguarding Terms of Reference, engage with Refugee Info Bus' work on safeguarding to create a positive safeguarding culture and help us keep people safe.

  7. Take an active role in promoting and representing Refugee Info Bus effectively to other stakeholders, including donors. Take part in events. Contribute specific interest and contacts in support of Refugee Info Bus communications, fundraising and external engagement work.

Role Requirements

The Chair has an important role in leading the organisation and should bring integrity, experience and credibility. They should have an understanding of the legal requirements of a charity board and broad management skills including a good working knowledge of charity finance management.

The role of Chair carries a substantial time commitment – approximately 20-24 days a year – and requires the ability to cope with wide-ranging challenges typical of a small voluntary organisation.

Knowledge and Experience

  • An interest in the work of Refugee Info Bus 

  • Experience of leading a team, ideally a management team

  • Knowledge of the UK charity sector

Key Skills

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, being able to engage with all staff/volunteers as well as colleagues on the Board.

  • Personal integrity – sharing Refugee Info Bus’s values.

  • Incisive and insightful thinker able to contribute to creative thinking.

  • Good communication and listening skills.

  • Collaborative, inclusive and persuasive.

  • Fundraising knowledge and know-how desirable but not required

How to Apply

Please send us the following:

  • Cover letter expressing your interest in the role

  • Current CV

Apply by midnight, 24 January 2022. 

Refreshed on: 17 January 2022
Closed date: 17 January 2022 at 23:59
Tags: Intl Development, Governance

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.