Good Vibrations – Hiring Chair of the Board of Trustees

Job description

Good Vibrations is an award-winning, national arts organisation that changes lives through music. We work with some of the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people in the UK, including in prisons, secure hospitals, and in the community. We are best known for using the Indonesian gamelan, a magnificent set of bronze gongs, xylophones and drums. We use communal music-making to support vulnerable people in challenging circumstances to develop transferable life and work skills and to forge fulfilling, constructive lives.

Our work currently involves a range of projects across the UK, including long-standing weekly music sessions at Bethlem and Lambeth hospitals, projects in around 12 prisons a year in England, and our Resonate programmes in Glasgow, Sheffield and Nottingham, which focus on those with disabilities and mental health issues in the community.

The Board of Trustees upholds the best interests of Good Vibrations, ensuring that we achieve our charitable aims whilst abiding by charity law and other relevant regulations.

Good Vibrations wishes to appoint a new Chair to our Board of Trustees who is experienced in organisational leadership, with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.  The Chair supports and empowers the Board and CEO to lead the charity so that we achieve our vision, mission and aims, whilst remaining sustainable and ethical.


The Board of Trustees

Good Vibrations is a registered charity in both England & Wales (1126493) and Scotland (SC048860). The charity is governed by the Board of Trustees, which currently numbers five following the standing down of some long-term members.

The Board is vital in Good Vibrations’ governance and is responsible for setting directions in strategy and maintaining oversight over all activity. Trustees also play an ambassadorial role in raising awareness of our work.

The current board includes expertise in arts and culture, legal and charitable affairs, finance and academia, helping to ensure that we extend our knowledge of the issues and challenges we face.

Good Vibrations is regularly in receipt of funding from Arts Council England and Creative Scotland, as well as from the National Lottery and several other Trusts and Foundations. The Board is currently involved in creating the organisation’s next 5-year Business Plan. You can see our most recent Annual Report and Accounts here.


What are we looking for?

The position has become available following the standing down of the current Chair Nick Jolliffe, who has been with the organisation since 2018. The organisation has recently appointed a new CEO, and this is an exciting time of development for the organisation.

As our new Chair, you will help shape the next exciting phase of our future development as we commence our new strategic plan, and embed our newest Trustees within our established Board. Your leadership and commitment will ensure we continue to provide and extend our range of much-needed support and services to our beneficiaries.

The role of the Chair is a voluntary, non-executive appointment. The role requires a commitment of approximately two hours a week, with the capacity to flex upwards should the need arise.


We are looking for someone who has:

  • Strong leadership skills that engage, inspire and motivate the Board, staff, freelance team and other external stakeholders.
  • Genuine interest and commitment to social justice issues and improving outcomes and opportunities for marginalised people in our society.
  • A proven track record in developing strategic initiatives and steering an organisation toward success
  • Previous experience on the Board of a UK charity, or operating at a senior strategic leadership level in previous roles
  • Knowledge about UK charity governance and commitment to maintaining high standards of governance and risk management in all areas including finance.
  • Excellent communication skills and networking capabilities, and able to act as an ambassador for the charity and cause.
  • Ability to commit time, interest and effort to conduct the role well.


How our Board works

Trustees meet quarterly at Board Meetings, either in person in London or online from 5.00pm – 7.30pm.  There is also an annual Strategy day in London.

In addition, a Finance sub-committee meets quarterly, looking in-depth at finance and other matters, before putting recommendations forward to the Board.

Trustees do not receive remuneration or other benefits, but all expenses can be claimed including those required to cover access needs such as sign language, interpretation, captioning or travel expenses. The full legal framework for Trustees is laid out in the Articles of Association, which were recently revised in 2022.

Trustees serve for an initial term of three years and will have the opportunity to be re-appointed for a second and final term (maximum of nine years).


What Responsibilities will you have?

Trustees ensure the good governance and smooth running of the charity, supporting the Chief Executive Director, the wider staff team, and our team of freelance facilitators.

ow there are lots of ways that someone can gain experience and insight, not just through professional experience. Having trustees with lived experience of the settings in which we work is essential to our work.

All Board members can have access to training and charity networks to benefit not only the charity, but individual’s personal development.


All Good Vibrations’ Trustees have responsibility for the:

  • governance of the organisation in line with legal and financial requirements of the Charity Commission, OSCR, other regulatory bodies, and funders;
  • appointment, including the approval of job descriptions and pay levels of members of staff; agreeing terms & conditions and employment procedures;
  • recruitment of new Trustees;
  • approval of Good Vibrations’ strategy, its business, and artistic plans, and use of resources;
  • approval of budgets, annual accounts and financial strategies;
  • approval of all policies ensuring that they are updated in line with law and best practice.


The Chair, as the leader of the Board of Trustees, has some additional responsibilities including:

  • working with and line managing the CEO to develop the direction and strategy of the charity;
  • conducting annual performance reviews for each trustee and the CEO;
  • ensuring high standards of governance, risk management and strategic direction
  • ensuring that all Trustees have the information available to carry out this task and monitor progress;
  • leading and developing the Board of Trustees and CEO including induction, training and succession planning;
  • support of the CEO in their role, including developing external relations with key agencies;
  • working with other members of the Board to organise and populate sub-committees and short-term working groups;
  • planning the cycle of Board Meetings and working with the CEO to set agendas and plan meetings;
  • chairing and facilitating Board meetings effectively, encouraging discussion, summarising key points and ensuring decisions are made fairly;
  • acting as a principal ambassador for the organisation at Board level and developing external relationships for the benefit of Good Vibrations


Before you apply

Good Vibrations is committed to becoming an organisation that reflects society and promotes diversity of thought and experience and inclusion of those who are historically underrepresented in leadership roles. We would particularly welcome applications from people with lived experience of the contexts in which we work, including from people with a previous conviction.

For an informal conversation about the role prior to application, please contact us through details on our website.

Please note this post will require a Disclosure & Barring Service check (DBS) and references.


How to Apply

We welcome all applications but particularly those from individuals with lived experience of the criminal justice system, disability, including physical disabilities, sensory impairments, long-term health conditions, mental ill health, and autistic and neurodivergent people. We also encourage applications from those protected under the 2010 Equalities Act due to age, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

We are interested to hear from those who may not consider a position like this due to social or financial disadvantage. Those with caring responsibilities and on low incomes are encouraged to apply, and we will work to make provision where possible.

To apply for this role, please submit a CV and cover letter detailing your interest through Charity Job.

We will also accept applications in any preferred format (including audio or video).

The closing date for this position is 14th May 2024 with interviews to be held on the week of 20th May.  Any access requirements will be met.

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