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Trustees with lived experience (2 roles)

Seeking two Trustees with lived experience of the refugee and / or asylum system.

One role with insights into housing and accommodation for people seeking asylum and refugees, and one role with insights into legal rights and justice.

Salary: N/A These are unpaid volunteer roles

Location: UK-based. Meetings are held in Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and London

About Refugee Action

Refugee Action exists to work with refugees and people seeking asylum who’ve survived some of the world’s worst regimes. We are a national charity with more than 40 years’ experience of empowering people who’ve survived some of the world’s worst regimes to secure the protection and support that they need to live with dignity and respect and build a new life in the UK. We do this by providing expert advice and casework, building the capacity of partner organisations and campaigning on the policies that affect them.

As a trustee of Refugee Action

You will be responsible for developing and guiding the strategic direction of the organisation and steering the long-term stability of the charity. You will need to persuade, influence and communicate effectively with the rest of the board.

We are interested in talking to anyone who can demonstrate the ability to think strategically and the integrity to take on this important role.  Please don’t be discouraged if this isn’t something you’ve done before, or if you don’t meet all elements of the role specification; we will provide mentoring and training to support new Trustees to understand their role. Please do consider applying if you have the courage and enthusiasm to encourage, challenge and support us to be the best we can be.

All our trustees are committed to being actively anti-racist and removing the barriers to power for people with lived experience. You will need to be committed to and demonstrate an understanding of shifting power to people with lived experience, anti-racist practice and decolonisation.

Trustee with lived experience and insights into housing and accommodation for people seeking asylum and refugees.

  • Support, guide, challenge and inspire Refugee Action’s Executive team and Board as it develops and delivers work relating to housing and accommodation.
  • Support the Exec team with network opportunities, relevant sector developments, where relevant.
  • Maintain positive, productive working relationships and open communication channels between Executive and Board.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience

  • Personal lived experience of housing or accommodation provided for people seeking asylum and refugees
  • Commitment to Refugee Action’s vision, purpose and values and to act in a manner consistent with these. Including being committed to shifting power to people with lived experience, anti-racist practice.
  • Sound independent judgement with the confidence and insight to make positive contributions to board discussions.
  • An interest in and some understanding of charity governance, the role and expectations of trustees.
  • An ability to work collaboratively and effectively as a member of a team.
  • Ability and willingness to positively represent the organisation.
  • A willingness to learn and to enable us to learn from you.
  • Commitment to prepare for, travel to and attend 5 Trustee meetings, per year including Board awaydays. (Whilst occasional board meetings can be joined remotely. We meet face to face whenever possible).
  • Willingness to meet with lead staff online in between Board meetings (where relevant) and visit programmes 1/2 times per year in addition to Board meetings.

Desirable

  • Experience of working in the UK housing sector
  • Experience of strategic thinking and of setting monitoring and reviewing plans
  • Ability to read and understand financial information, review organisational policies and practices and identify key areas of risk (Training also offered in these areas if needed)
  • Understanding of the role of Trustee and the legal duties, responsibilities, and liabilities this involves. (Training also offered in these areas if needed)

Trustee with lived experience and insights into legal rights and justice.

  • Support, guide, challenge and inspire Refugee Action’s Executive team and Board as it develops and delivers work relating to legal rights and justice.
  • Support the Exec team with network opportunities, relevant sector developments, where relevant.
  • Maintain positive, productive working relationships and open communication channels between Executive and Board.

Essential

  • Personal, lived experience of making asylum and/or immigration applications and therefore insights into the hostility of the UK’s asylum and immigration system and the huge practical and emotional challenges of securing your right to remain in the UK
  • Commitment to Refugee Action’s vision, purpose and values and to act in a manner consistent with these. Including being committed to shifting power to people with lived experience, anti-racist practice.
  • Sound independent judgement with the confidence and insight to make positive contributions to board discussions.
  • An interest in and some understanding of charity governance, the role and expectations of trustees.
  • An ability to work collaboratively and effectively as a member of a team.
  • Ability and willingness to positively represent the organisation.
  • A willingness to learn and to enable us to learn from you.
  • Commitment to prepare for, travel to and attend 6 Trustee meetings, per year including Board awaydays. (Whilst occasional board meetings can be joined remotely. We meet face to face whenever possible).
  • Willingness to meet with lead staff online in between Board meetings (where relevant) and visit programmes 1/2 times per year in addition to Board meetings.

Desirable

  • Experience of working in the field of UK asylum and/or immigration law
  • Experience of strategic thinking and of setting monitoring and reviewing plans
  • Ability to read and understand financial information, review organisational policies and practices and identify key areas of risk (Training also offered in these areas if needed)
  • Understanding of the role of Trustee and the legal duties, responsibilities, and liabilities this involves. (Training also offered in these areas if needed)

Overall duties of Trustees

  • To actively contribute to the Board of Trustees who are responsible for the strategic direction of Refugee Action, set overall policy, define key goals and priorities, set targets, and evaluate performance.
  • To ensure that Refugee Action complies with its governing documents, charity law, company law and other relevant legislation, regulations, codes and guidance. (Refugee Action will provide training to help members of the Board to understand what is expected of them).
  • To commit to Refugee Actions vision and values
  • To safeguard the good name and reputation of the organisation.
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation and its efficient administration.
  • To act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Senior Leadership Team, offering guidance, support, and constructive challenge.
  • Represent Refugee Action internally and externally, and be a positive ambassador for the charity and the sector.
  • Keep up to date with Refugee Action’s work through reading and engaging with clients, staff and volunteers when the opportunity arises.
  • Read and scrutinise board papers before meetings to be able to contribute fully.
  • Occasional participation in relevant working groups, staff interviews, disciplinary or grievance panels etc
  • Ensure that Anti-Racism and the removal of barriers to power for people with lived experience are deeply embedded across all activities.
  • Interest in and understanding of the issues and challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
  • Sound independent judgement with the confidence and insight to make positive contributions to board discussions.
  • An interest in and some understanding of charity governance, the role and expectations of trustees.
  • Commitment to prepare for, travel to and attend 6 Trustee meetings, per year including Board awaydays. (Whilst occasional board meetings can be joined remotely. We meet face to face whenever possible).

For the full person specification detailing the skills, knowledge and experience for these roles, please contact us at recruitment@refugee-action.org.uk

If you wish to apply for either Trustee role, please email us recruitment@refugee-action.org.uk  explaining:

Your experience via paid work or volunteering

How you meet the skills knowledge and experience outlined in the person specification – remember, don’t be discouraged if this isn’t something you’ve done before, or if you don’t meet all elements of the role specification; we will provide mentoring and training to support new Trustees to understand their role.

We ask that you provide information using a maximum 3-4 A4 pages – you are not required to use 4 pages.

We welcome applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives from all communities and groups.

Closing date: 23:59 on Sunday 21 January 2024

Interviews: Provisionally Friday 2nd February 2024 (on Zoom)

Refugee Action only operates in the UK, so all roles are UK-based.

Applying for this role – Please read:

Applications for role are open to people who identify as having lived experience of forced displacement due to war, invasion, persecution, or human rights abuses.



Apply now