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Chair of trustees

BS5 0BY, Bristol (City Centre)
Unpaid voluntary role
Closing date
18 Jul 2021

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Contract Type
Consultancy / Strategy
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Job Details

Unseen is a leading UK anti-slavery charity with one aim: to end slavery. We seek to do this through supporting, educating and influencing others.

We believe modern slavery is a heinous crime against those most vulnerable in our society. It is an issue that seeps into all walks of life and requires a collaborative effort to prevent it from continuing to destroy the lives of women, men and children across the UK and beyond.

We are looking for an inspirational and forward thinking leader who can steer a multi-disciplinary board of trustees to lead Unseen in pursuit of our goals laid out in our five-year strategy, ensuring Unseen can continue in its vital work.

Role summary

This is part-time, voluntary work but as chair you will need to think and act as a co-owner.

  • Some of the work of chairing is event based, for example, board meetings or visiting one of our projects. Much of the work is ad hoc – giving advice, connecting with your network, following up on tasks etc. And the role of chairing also involves thinking – about strategy, tactics, financials, people dynamics and problem solving and, as such, can be done whenever and wherever you choose to give it attention.
  • An important element of the role is leading the board team. You’ll be responsible for ensuring dynamics work well and maintaining high calibre recruitment. You will facilitate the board in its role in governance and will chair board meetings. You will draft agenda and ensure the board has what it needs to make sound decisions. You will also help to keep our mission, values and strategy in sight, so they remain alive in our work and decision-making.
  • As a senior leader of the charity, you will have an ambassadorial role that will mean, for example, you’ll need to visit our projects and engage with our teams. You’ll need to attend some staff events, business and partnership meetings.
  • You will work closely with the CEO, providing support and challenge. This relationship, crucial to the charity, also involves you providing a supervisory role and a crucial link between board and executive.
  • You also have an important role in the financial oversight of the charity. You will be a member of the Finance Committee even if you do not have a financial background (its other members do!)

In short, as Chair you will be committed to using your talents, network and drive to further develop the success of the charity.


You will also be a trustee and member of the charity and have to fulfil the legal requirements this involves.


Person description

As an organisation focused on equality and diversity, we welcome applications from survivors of modern slavery, those with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religion, people of colour, and those from the LGBTQ+ community.

  • You must share Unseen’s values and be invested in the charity and its mission to eradicate Modern Slavery.
  • You will be a good fit with the CEO who is a highly entrepreneurial individual and prominent leader in the sector.
  • You are comfortable synthesising financial information but do not necessarily need experience in charity finance.
  • You have experience of leading teams of leaders.
  • You are someone who can create space for debate and discussion. And you know when to move the conversation on to action.
  • You have experience of influencing stakeholders.
  • You have an appreciation of good process and governance. Knowledge of charity governance is helpful but not necessary as this can be acquired.

Please see candidate pack for a full person description.

What's in it for the volunteer?

Chairing Unseen is an exciting and stimulating opportunity that we hope appeals to individuals who enjoy leading and working collaboratively with a strong team of leaders and CEO. The charity is in a good place and will offer you an opportunity to help shape it for the next few years.

Time commitment

The time commitment is not light, but neither is it necessarily onerous. The board typically meets three days per annum (usually on a Saturday) with a fourth meeting taking place on Microsoft Teams on a weeknight. You will also attend the Audit & Finance Committee four times a year. We estimate all the other work could take eight days but, other than a few meetings, much of it can be done around your day job.

How to apply

In order to make our recruitment process as fair as possible and to reduce bias we will be shortlisting based on your response to three questions using ‘blinding’ and ‘chunking’ processes, so please make sure that each of your responses to the questions below stands on its own merits and does not rely on information from your other responses. 

  1. What experiences, skills, qualities and values would you draw on in the role of Unseen’s Chair of Trustees? (500 words max)
  2. Describe a positive strategic development you have taken forward, outlining your contributions to this success and lessons learnt. (max 500 words)
  3. Unseen works with many strategic partners can you describe where you have used your experience to influence key partners? (max 500 words)

We ask for your CV, but will only use this to provide context if you are invited to interview, it will not be used in shortlisting.

Please send your application to

Deadline for applications is 8th September at 5 pm.

Successful applicants will be invited to interview in w/c 27th September.


Reach is the leading skills-based volunteering charity in the UK. We are the single biggest source of trustees for the voluntary sector in the UK. Connecting people, skills and good causes is our mission and our passion. 

What we do

We help charities and other non-profits find the skills they need to thrive. Every year hundreds of charities recruit volunteers through our service. These volunteers share their skills as trustees, advisors or mentors, carrying out short term projects or ongoing operational roles.  

Our goal is to create a step change in the quality, range and scale of skills-based volunteering and trusteeship in the UK. We are proud of our growing impact.

Why we do it

Charities can boost their capacity, increase their effectiveness and innovate / find new ways of doing things when volunteers donate their professional skills. Trustees play a crucial role in leading charities and overseeing their work. When the trustee board of a charity has a good mix of skills and professional experience, it can govern more effectively.

By supporting charities to recruit volunteers and trustees with valuable skills, we help charities increase their capacity and strengthen their governance.

How we do it

Our online community inspires people to use their skills for social good. We help organisations to make the most of those skills, to think through their needs and to attract the right person. We believe that communication is important in recruiting trustees and volunteers, so our service encourages dialogue between organisations and individuals. Our service is free to volunteers and to most charities. Find out more about when we charge.  

For volunteers and charities

Whether you are an organisation that wants to find a volunteer with particular skills or a new trustee, or an individual who has a skill you want to offer, you can:

  • join the community as a volunteer or as a charity and create a profile
  • explore roles and profiles
  • make contact and talk through what you're looking for 
  • make a match.

Our guides and resources help volunteers and good causes make the most of skills-based volunteering.

Other organisations and partners

We also work with other organisations including:

  • businesses, supporting their staff into rewarding volunteer or board positions
  • funders, supporting their grantees.

Read more about our partnerships.

Find Us
020 3943 9901
Reach Volunteering
17 Oval Way
SE11 5RR
United Kingdom
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