This is an opportunity to lead the board of a national charity supporting and speaking up for rural communities so that no one is disadvantaged because of where they live.
ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is an independent charity formed in 1987 with the aim of improving opportunities for people and communities in rural England. Today, ACRE works to create thriving, inclusive and economically active rural communities which have the services they need. We are the national body of the ACRE Network – England’s largest rural grouping of community support charities, and our work includes the coordination of national funded projects, programmes, and research.
We work hard and want to maintain close relationships with our members and support them by providing insights into the issues facing rural communities and the changes that are required. With our members and data from across the country, collected through over 35,000 community groups each year, we work with government departments and other national bodies such as the Rural Coalition to ensure policies take into consideration rural community need. We provide nationwide advocacy, and collaborate with our members to support local initiatives and deliver projects and programmes that secure a better future for everyone in the countryside.
We do not want anyone in a rural area to be disadvantaged because of where they live and so, with our 38 autonomous charity members we speak up for rural communities and work together with government. In the wake of the pandemic, we collaborated with our members to develop our new Corporate Plan which sets out our future direction of travel and the areas where we want to bring about change.
We function as a membership body and manage the government’s strategic investment in the ACRE Network. DEFRA committed £1.7million last year to the core network activity of support for rural community projects and to help rural communities in recovery from the pandemic. We have also been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to explore and develop digital solutions that benefit our members and our end beneficiaries.
We are looking for a new Chair to join us who is enthusiastic about rural communities. As our current Chair, David Emerson CBE, comes to the end of his term in November, we are looking for a successor to support in leading our organisation through the next stage of development. We are looking for a chair who is strategic, with strong diplomacy skills, and a passion for and understanding of rural community issues and membership organisations. We are keen that our new Chair is a champion and ambassador for our charity from the local and regional levels to national government. The Chair also plays a key role ensuring engagement and representation of our membership.
The new Chair will also be supported in taking on the role by our current President Margaret Clark CBE.
The board meets quarterly with an annual strategy away day and an AGM. There are opportunities to engage with our membership and government throughout the year, while also being a critical friend and support for our strong executive team. We expect the time commitment to be circa 3 or 4 days per month.
With the growth in online working, we are looking for a new Chair who is both comfortable with chairing meetings in this way but who also is committed to face to face ‘in-person’ meetings as part of the fulfilment of good governance and the development of effective and productive relationships.
We work to create thriving, inclusive and economically active rural communities which have the services they need. We believe no one should be disadvantaged because of where they live.
As the national body of the ACRE Network – England’s largest rural grouping of community support charities – we enable our members to deliver initiatives that equip people with the knowledge, skills, and connections needed to improve their community. This includes the coordination of nationally funded projects, programmes, and research.
And because we have a close relationship with our members, we have excellent insight into the issues facing rural communities and the changes needed to improve opportunities for everyone in the countryside. Using evidence captured locally, we work through government departments and with other national stakeholders such as those on the Rural Coalition to make sure policies take into consideration rural community needs and circumstances.
Our vision describes the changes that are needed to make sure no one is disadvantaged because of where they live. Commitments include a commitment to the delivery of affordable homes, support for village halls, improving connectivity and reducing isolation, as well as supporting groups to take action on climate change.
It is our view that local communities can be the driving force behind this change. But we also know communities need to be backed by government and have the services they need.
By providing nationwide advocacy, collaborating with our members to support local initiatives, and delivering projects and programmes, we are securing a better future for everyone living and working in the countryside.
We do this through:
ACRE is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion among our staff and trustees and to eliminating unlawful discrimination.
The aim is for all ‘our people’ to be truly representative of all sections of society and our end beneficiaries, and for everyone within the organisation to feel respected and able to give of their best.
ACRE – in providing services – is also committed against unlawful discrimination of service users or members of the public.
As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion ACRE will make reasonable adjustments to support candidates applying for the role of Chair. Our accessibility provisions include:
To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.
Please ensure that your application is emailed to email@example.com inserting “ACRE – Chair of the Board” into the subject field.
For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners
Jennifer Horan | Jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070497
Liz Holderness | Liz@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07872 031079
We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.
All applications will be considered solely on merit.
Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.
Closing date: Monday 11th July 2022
Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 22nd July 2022
Interviews: Monday 1st August 2022
Final Interviews at Woodstock: Wednesday 7th September 2022
Peridot and ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.
The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.
The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.