Chair of trustees

Job Title: Chair of trustees
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: London
Reference: Chair
Contact Name: Chris Paterson
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 24, 2018 08:03

Job Description

Chair of Trustees 

Context and purpose 

GivingTime is a professional coaching and volunteering charity, working with state secondary schools, young people and commercial organisations in the UK.  Since its inception in 2015, the GivingTime programme has established firm partnerships in West London and developed a solid reputation for making a positive impact on the lives of adolescents and others in the wider community.  

Our purpose is to support young people make the transition from education into the workplace. We do this by partnering with state secondary schools to provide young people with free professional coaching sessions, in return for volunteering hours. We pair young people (aged 14-24 years old) with experienced professional coaches who volunteer their time to provide one-to-one coaching sessions in a workplace environment.  We partner with commercial organisations to obtain coaching space free of charge. In return for the coaching, the young people volunteer their time to a cause that matters to them and their community.  

Since the pilot programme in 2015, GivingTime has successfully partnered with 5 secondary schools in west London and delivered over 220 hours of coaching to over 60 young people, who in turn have delivered over 340 hours of volunteering to their local communities.  

We are aligned and committed to an ambitious long-term aim to deliver the GivingTime programme in +90% of all UK state secondary-schools by 2037.  

Role Summary 

Provides leadership and direction to the board of Trustees and enable the Board to fulfill their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation. 

Ensures that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document, charity law, company law and other relevant legislation/regulations. 

Works in partnership with the administration volunteers, helping them achieve the aims of the organisation; and to optimise the relationship between the board of Trustees and the staff. 

Facilitates the board of trustees in stimulating excellent, well-rounded and carefully considered strategic decision-making. 

Key responsibilities  

In relation to the board 

  • Formulate strategic plans and regular review of long-term strategic aims of the charity. 

  • Develop organisational policies, define goals, targets and evaluate performance against agreed targets. 

  • Approve the annual cycle of the board meetings, meeting agendas, chair and facilitate meetings, monitor decisions taken at meetings and ensure they are implemented. 

  • Liaise regularly with the administration volunteers to maintain a clear grasp of the charity’s financial position and to ensure full and timely financial transparency and information disclosure to the Board. 

  • Lead and mentor other Board members to fulfil their responsibilities and enable access to training/coaching/information to enhance the overall contribution of the board. 

  • Annually review the Board structure, role, staff relationships and ensure implementation of agreed changes/developments are carried out. 

  • Encourage team working among Board members and encourage them to identify and recruit new trustees as required. 

  • Create a strong, profitable and fulfilling working relationship with trustees and the Chief Executive through review and self-reflective evaluation of contributions and effectiveness of the board. 

In relation to the administration volunteers 

  • In participation with the board, appoint the administration volunteers and lead the process of appraising and constructively guiding the performance of the administration volunteers. 

  • Assume guardianship of the legal and financial integrity of the organisation. 

  • Consult with administration volunteers on matters of strategy, governance, finance and HR. 

  • Oversee the administration volunteers’ activities in the context of the implementation of Board’s strategy and policies. 

  • Maintain careful oversight of any risk to reputation and/or financial standing of the organisation. 

  • Receive regular informal progress reports of the organisation’s work and financial performance through the administration volunteers. 

In relation to the community and code of conduct 

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

  • Protect and manage the property of the organisation. 

  • Lead the Board in fostering relations with potential clients and potential funders/donors. 

  • Act as final stage adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required. 

  • Facilitate change and address conflict within the Board of Trustees, within the organisation and liaise with the administration volunteers to achieve this. 

  • Undertake review of external complaints as defined by the organisation’s complaints procedure. 

  • Ensuring adherence and compliance around key policies to e.g. Equality and Diversity, Health & Safety and in all decisions and discussions of the Board and its sub-committees. 

  • Attend and be a member of other committees or working groups when appropriate in role as Chair. 

  • In order to perform the above role, the Chair should have reasonable access to all staff and information, in line with the board’s fiduciary duties.  

Knowledge, skills and experience 


  • Senior leadership experience gained over at least 20 years of working in business, charity or education 

  • A depth of experience of managing teams and people including a broad range of HR/ people and business scenarios 

  • Experience of chairing meetings and committee work 

  • Commitment to the charity’s objects, aims and values and willingness to devote time to carry out responsibilities. 

  • Strategic and forward-looking vision in relation to the charity’s objects and aims. 

  • Good, independent judgement, political impartiality and the ability to think creatively in the context of the organisation and external environment. 

  • The ability to manage conflict constructively. 

  • Very strong communication and interpersonal skills  


  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship and adhering to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. 

  • Knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation. 

  • A wider involvement with the voluntary sector. 

  • Leadership skills exercised through a period change. 

Time commitment and location 

  • A Trustee will be expected to attend GivingTime Board meetings at least four times per year. Board meetings are held remotely through Zoom or conference call.  

  • The chair is expected to be available for all trustee meetings and to the administration volunteers and other senior staff members on a regular basis 

  • In addition to board meetings, other contact – usually electronic or by telephone – will be necessary 


About GivingTime 


GivingTime is a registered coaching and volunteering charity that partners with UK state secondary schools to provide free professional coaching to adolescent students in return for volunteering hours.  

Our purpose is to support young people make the transition from education into the workplace.  

Our Priorities  

  • Work Readiness - Preparing young people for the world of work, not as it is today but for the world of work tomorrow.  

  • Civic responsibility and community building - Promoting greater connectedness and community building through volunteering and partnerships between schools, young people and charitable causes.  

  • Promoting mental wellbeing - Providing the space for personal expression and developing greater self-awareness in young people to enable improved life choices.  

What GivingTime does 

GivingTime works in partnership with UK state secondary schools to provide young people (aged 14-18 years old) with free one-to-one professional coaching sessions.  

Young people who apply to the GivingTime programme are paired with experienced professional coaches who volunteer their time to provide coaching sessions in a workplace environment.   

GivingTime partners with commercial organisations within the same geographical region of the schools to obtain coaching space free of charge.  

In return for the coaching, the young people volunteer their time to a cause that matters to them and their community.   

The GivingTime programme operates locally, with schools, young people, coaches and organisations based within reasonable commuting distance from each other. Applications and monitoring of the programme is managed online.  

Why GivingTime?  

Mainstream UK state school education focuses on academic achievement, which alone is not enough to prepare an adolescent for further education or the world of work. Schools are under increasing pressure to meet Department for Education academic performance targets. A 2016 study by OFSTED found that just 10% of UK secondary schools were providing sufficient ‘enterprise education’, leaving the majority of students unprepared for employment and lacking the basic skills needed for the world outside of school.   

Students leave school with content knowledge (WHAT) but without the behavioural knowledge (HOW) that is so important in the workplace and also in life.  After leaving formal education there is little focus on self-discovery.  


  • 43% of young people don’t feel prepared to enter the workforce 

  • 88% of businesses believe school leavers are unprepared for the world of work, in comparison to 54% of businesses that think graduates are unprepared for the workplace. 

  • 57% of businesses said a lack of soft skills, such as communication and team working, were reasons why young people were not ‘work ready’ 

  • 72% of workers felt they didn’t have all the soft skills to do well in their role when they first started working 

  • 64% of workers who felt they lacked skills when they entered the workforce stated that this meant they struggled to find a job when they were starting out 
    52% of young people feel their school does not fully support them to develop in these areas (soft skills) 

  • 45% of teachers think that a lack of soft skills is one of the most likely factors to hold students back in life 

  • 27% of teachers think a lack of confidence is one of the most likely factors to hold students back in life 

  • 27% think poor mental health is one of the most likely factors to hold students back in life. 


  • British Chamber of Commerce Workforce survey (July 2014) 

  • Princes Trust Results for Life Report 2017 

Increased use of online communication channels, in particular social chat and picture sharing platforms, encourages young people to develop unrealistic expectations about themselves and others. Advances in technology have increased the speed of communication, information sharing and availability, which in turn creates expectation of instant gratification and young people find themselves under increasing pressure to meet unattainably high expectations. Connections to online social groups are replacing real personal interaction, with adolescents spending as much as 8 hours per day on social media platforms rather than holding face-to-face communication. This has created a reported increase in feelings of loneliness and separation. 

The life-stage of adolescence brings a number of challenges; biological, cognitive, psychological, social.  GivingTime uses coaching as a tool to positively impact the cognitive and psychological challenges of adolescence. Through coaching, young people learn about their strengths, the importance of their actions and start to discover their own values and beliefs which enables them to become more self-aware, confident and able to find their own answers in life. 

The GivingTime programme empowers young people to discover their own resourcefulness and priorities. They learn to connect to and relate to others from different generations and backgrounds and, through volunteering, they start to contribute to something that is bigger than themselves, setting themselves up for a sense of work life balance from an early stage in their career.  

Who we work with 

  • Coaches 

GivingTime Coaches are all professionals who have received coach training from accredited and recognised coach training programmes.  All coaches have a minimum of 10 hours one-to-one coaching experience and receive regular supervision as part of the GivingTime programme.   

All GivingTime coaches are volunteers and commit their time to the programme free of charge and are subject to a defined recruitment and induction process. As part of our safeguarding procedures, all GivingTime coaches must have an enhanced DBS certificate and are provided with relevant training on safeguarding and the context of adolescence prior to their first coaching engagement.  

  • Schools  

GivingTime partners with non-selective state secondary schools in the UK. We work closely with the school and share responsibilities in delivering the programme. Throughout the programme, the school retains primary responsibility for the students under its care. The school has full visibility on student applications, coaching engagements and volunteering activity via the GivingTime online portal. 

  • Young People 

GivingTime works with young people (aged 14-18 years old) in full time secondary education, from all walks of life, faiths and backgrounds. GivingTime does not provide coaching sessions for young people who are vulnerable, abused or suffering from a pre-diagnosed mental illness.  

  • Commercial Organisations 

GivingTime partners with commercial organisations, who donate their office space for the coaching to take place free of charge. Holding coaching sessions in a workplace setting enables young people to experience an  

office environment often for the first time and helps to forge links between schools and local commercial organisations.  Every GivingTime coaching venue complies with safeguarding criteria and each venue is assessed for suitability prior to coaching taking place.   

Benefits of GivingTime  

The GivingTime programme is free of charge and delivered by volunteers. Although no money changes hands, each party benefits from the programme; 

Benefits for Young People 

  • Improved awareness of who they are as individuals and what matters to them 

  • Increased confidence in their resourcefulness and ability to make their own choices 

  • Increased self-esteem and identification of a positive internal voice 

  • Learning from volunteering experience 

  • A neutral and safe space to talk and be listened to 

  • Opportunity to spend time in an office environment 

Benefits for Schools 

  • Assisting students to better manage their own lives and priorities 

  • Improve student performance and confidence 

  • Assisting students to be more motivated and resilient 

  • Forge closer links between the school, local community and commercial organisations 

Benefits for Coaches 

  • Stretch and grow coaching skills 

  • Make a real impact with younger generation in a short space of time 

  • Experience in a fully supported programme, including access to supervision & insurance 

  • Log hours for accreditation 




“It was an incredible experience in which I was made to feel extremely comfortable while learning how to deal with my problems and every day issues, by thinking myself - without someone else telling me what to do” Student, Year 12, 2017 


“Thank you so much for the opportunity. I learned so much about myself and now feel like a much happier and content person. For the first time in a very long time I feel excited about what the future holds and also feel in control of my own life - this is all down to GivingTime. I cannot thank you enough” Student, Year 10, 2016 


“The coaching helped improve student’s confidence in approaching exams and studies. It helped them to stay motivated, a positive outlook and focused on the future” School, 2016 


“It gives you an opportunity to speak about what you're thinking inside but have never been able to tell yourself, it improves your understanding of who you are as a person, what you want to achieve and how you can achieve this” Student, Year 12, 2017 


“It’s an eye-opening experience that gives you the skill to be able to ask yourself questions and solve all of your problems more efficiently” Student, Year 10, 2016 


From my volunteering, I can take away the sense of satisfaction that I was and am still able to use myself and my resources to benefit someone else. Student, Year 12, 2017 


“If you want to push your coaching forward, learn more about working with and unlocking the potential of a younger generation and really make an impact, GivingTime is for you. The time commitment is manageable, the supervision support is excellent and the programme makes real progress with the individual in a short space of time”. Coach, 2016