Chair of Trustees

Job Title: Chair of Trustees
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: London
Salary: Voluntary
Reference: Chair of Trustees
Contact Name: Steven Gauge
Contact Email:
Job Published: November 10, 2020 08:40

Job Description

Would you like to help children who stammer to achieve their full potential? Do you know your way around the charity world and have the leadership skills to help us to achieve even more during these challenging times? 

If so, you could be the right person to become the next Chair of Action for Stammering Children. Join us and you would be warmly welcomed by an active and engaged board of trustees, a small and dedicated staff team and a Charity with thirty years of success. You would be supported by our Vice Presidents including Sir Michael Palin, the Rt Hon Ed Balls and Colin Firth. You would work closely with the brilliant team at the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children which the Charity opened in 1993 and continues to fund to this day. 

Your mission would be to become an enthusiastic and widely respected ambassador for the charity. You will need to ensure that the Charity not only meets all its legal duties, strategic aims and charitable objectives but also finds innovative and creative ways to support even more of the 150,000 children who stammer in the UK.

Chair of Trustees - The Role




The Chair will hold the Board and Executive Team to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity.   The Chair will also support, and, where appropriate, challenge the Chief Executive and ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire Executive of the charity to achieve agreed objectives. He or she will act as an ambassador and the public face of the Charity in partnership with the Chief Executive.


Principal responsibilities:


Strategic leadership


·       Provide leadership to the charity and its Board, ensuring that the Charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries 

·       Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Charity

·       Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives, and provides a clear strategic direction for the Charity

·       Ensure that the Board is able to regularly review major risks and associated opportunities, and satisfy itself that systems are in place to take advantage of opportunities, and manage and mitigate the risks

·       Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the charity, with effective systems in place to ensure financial accountability




·       Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way for the Charity 

·       Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees 

·       Encourage positive change and where appropriate address and resolve any conflicts within the Board 

·       Appraise the performance of the Trustees and the Board on an annual basis

·       Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively, and which also reflects the wider population

·       Work within any agreed policies adopted by the charity 


External Relations 


·       Act as an ambassador for the cause and the charity 

·       Maintain close relationships with Vice Presidents and with key influencers

·       Act as a spokesperson for the organisation when appropriate

·       Represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events

·       Facilitate change and address any potential conflict with external stakeholders


Efficiency and effectiveness


·       Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process

·       Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best, long-term    interests of the Charity and that the Board takes collective ownership 

·       Foster, maintain and ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees

·       Work closely with the Chief Executive to give direction to Board policymaking and to ensure that meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of trustees

·       Monitor that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.


Relationship with the Chief Executive and the wider management team


·       Establish and build a strong, effective and a constructive working relationship with the Chief Executive, ensuring they are held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives

·       Support the Chief Executive, whilst respecting the boundaries which exist between the two roles

·       Ensure regular contact with the Chief Executive and develop and maintain an open and supportive relationship within which each can speak openly about concerns, worries and challenges

·       Liaise with the Chief Executive to maintain an overview of the Charity’s affairs, providing support as necessary

·       Conduct an annual performance appraisal and remuneration review for the Chief Executive in consultation with other Trustees

·       Ensure that the Chief Executive has the opportunity for professional development and has appropriate external professional support


The above list is indicative only and not exhaustive. The Chair will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role.






Person Specification

In addition to the qualities needed by all trustees (see page 8), the Chair should possess:


Experience/ Qualifications - Essential 

  • Experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation 
  • Successful track record of achievement through their career 
  • Experience of charity governance and working with or as part of a board of trustees 
  • Experience of chairing meetings and events 


Knowledge and understanding - Essential 

  • Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together 
  • Understanding of and ability to promote effective governance practices in the context of a registered charity and company limited by guarantee
  • Knowledge of the Trustees Code of Conduct


Knowledge and understanding - Desirable 

  • An understanding of what it is like to have a stammer through personal experience
  • An understanding of the regulatory and commissioning environment in the health sector 
  • Financial management expertise and a broad understanding of charity finance issues 
  • Experience of leading and managing change within organisations and/or the charity sector
  • Experience of charity fundraising


Personal skills - Essential

  • Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the Charity, its strategic objectives and cause 
  • Exhibit strong inter-personal and relationship building abilities and be comfortable in an ambassadorial role 
  • Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively 
  • Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the charity 
  • Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment, and facilitate conflict resolution where required 
  • Time and enthusiasm to dedicate to the role of Chair over a three-year term, including attending meetings and events out of office hours 
  • A commitment to maintaining diversity on the board


The role of Chair is not accompanied by any financial remuneration, although expenses for travel may be claimed


Time commitment:                   

Five Board meetings per year, including a strategy day and at least one meeting with the Youth Panel.  The Chair is also expected to have regular meetings with the Chief Executive, Treasurer and arepresent the Charity at various events and meetings with key stakeholders.


Trustee Term

Trustee term is for three years.  Trustees can be reappointed up to three times, serving a total of nine years.  


Chair term is two years and can be reappointed up to three times, serving a total of six years.  


How to apply

To apply to become the Chair of Action for Stammering Children please send a copy of your CV together with a supporting statement addressing the skills required in the person specification, maximum two sides of A4 to


Please ensure that your application fully addresses the requirements for the role.  


Recruitment Timetable

Deadline for applications:          30 November 2020 


Please contact should you have any questions.