Catford, Greater London
Lewisham, Greater London
Unpaid role, expenses paid
Voluntary, 5-15 hours
Job description

About the Organisation:

Refugee Café is an innovative charity seeking to help refugees in Lewisham and surrounding areas into employment, particularly in the food and hospitality sector.  We started in May 2020 and, despite the challenges of the pandemic, we are well established and have expanding sales at local markets and online. We are about to launch our first training programme for refugee chefs. We are also planning to build a physical café in the heart of Lewisham, as a significant new development – you will have a key role in bringing this vision to life. Fundraising has been successful and we enjoy considerable support from volunteers in the area. Following the success of our founder and the original team, we are looking for a new Chair to lead the next stage of our exciting journey. 

About the role:

Refugee Café is seeking to appoint a Chair to lead the Board of Trustees. The Chair will ensure that the charity fulfils its responsibilities for the public benefit, delivers its objectives, and complies with its governing document. This role demands an exceptional individual who can combine strong leadership skills with the ability to articulate a vision and engage people to implement organisational improvement.  

Refugee Café is experiencing unprecedented growth and development.  This demands a Chair who can dedicate a substantial part of their time to lead the organisation effectively.

Please note the role will be a hybrid role where significant parts of it can be done from home but that regular travel to Lewisham will be required. 

Main Responsibilities:

  • Being a strong leader facilitating the Board of Trustees in stimulating well-rounded discussions and considered decision-making.

  • Optimising the relationship between the Board of Trustees and staff.

  • Being a strong spokesperson for the charity both internally and externally.

  • Line manage and work in partnership with the operations manager and other staff. Support them to achieve the strategic and operational objectives of the charity. 

  • Liaise closely with the team of trustees and act as the focal point for matters of strategy, governance, finance, HR & management of risk. 

  • Ensure there are regular progress reports of the organisation’s work and performance.

  • Maintain a clear grasp of the charity’s financial position and ensure full and timely financial transparency and information disclosure to the Board. 

  • Maintain careful oversight of any risk to the reputational standing of the organisation. 

  • Chair and facilitate the monthly board meetings.

  • Represent the organisation at appropriate events, meetings or functions. 

Qualities of a Chair:

  • Commitment to the organisation, its values, mission, and vision, and an enthusiasm for supporting its beneficiaries. 

  • A clear and demonstrable commitment to social justice and diversity.

  • Experience in senior strategic roles, including experience of effective chairing and understanding of how to facilitate debate. You will ensure a balance is struck between time-keeping and space for board discussions. 

  • Sound knowledge of charity governance with a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities of trustees and the legal environment in which charities operate. 

  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills. You will be a confident networker, comfortable at engaging stakeholders. 

  • You must have effective written and oral communication skills, and be a proactive team-player who delivers results.

  • Encourage an inclusive and supportive board culture. 

  • The ability to understand perspectives of others, to act collaboratively and diplomatically, and to secure collective decision-making.

  • The ability to understand complex strategic issues, without losing sight of a vision of positive change.

  • High standards of personal integrity with good, independent judgement.

  • You will need to offer empowering leadership and direction through a high-paced, challenging during these exciting times.

  • You must have a high degree of personal resilience, along with the enthusiasm and commitment to deliver.

  • You will need to be able to demonstrate flexibility in your approach, revising remits and objectives when necessary, and being comfortable with a degree of uncertainty. 

  • Bring new ideas, drive forward our vision, and be a role model for Refugee Café. 

We recognise the role of power and privilege in the charity sector. Therefore, we welcome applications regardless of age, gender, sexuality, socio-economic background, ethnic background or disability. We encourage expressions of interest from people in disadvantaged or underrepresented groups, and people with lived experience of the UK asylum and refugee system. 

Please note a CV and Covering Letter are required. 

More about Refugee Cafe
Refugee Cafe

Refugee Café is an innovative charity seeking to help refugees in Lewisham and surrounding areas into employment, particularly in the fo... Read more

Posted on: 10 October 2021
Closed date: 05 November 2021
Job ref: Chair of Trustees
Tags: Trustees, Governance