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Chair of Trustees Gingerbread

Are you passionate about driving positive change for single parents and their children? Do you have the vision and leadership skills to help shape the future of the only national charity dedicated to supporting single parents to overcome disadvantage, inequality, and injustice? Gingerbread is looking for a dynamic and experienced leader to join as Chair.

  • Location: London
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: Monday 19th August

About Gingerbread.

Gingerbread is the leading charity working with single parent families. With single parent families making up 25% of all families in the UK, our mission is more critical than ever. Increasingly, these parents and families face significant challenges during the cost-of-living crisis, including poverty, housing instability, high childcare costs, and an inadequate welfare system. Single parents tell us they feel forgotten by policymakers or even discriminated against, and in the run-up to the General Election, we are hearing political parties offer various solutions, but it is crucial that the voices of single parents are heard. We provide expert advice and practical support and campaign for policy changes that improve the lives of single parents. Our vision is a society where all single parents and their children can thrive.

Our strategic priorities.

Our strategy for 2022-2030 focuses on several key areas identified through extensive research and engagement with single parents. These include addressing the cost-of-living crisis and ensuring single parents can access adequate income and financial support. We want to provide mental health support and tackle issues of isolation and loneliness through wellbeing. We are advocating for flexible employment opportunities and affordable, accessible childcare. We are challenging discrimination and negative attitudes towards single parents and influencing policy changes.

Approximately a quarter of households in the UK are single parent families. This figure has remained for over a decade. ‘The 25 Percent’ is an ongoing project aiming to raise awareness for and empower parents who do it alone, and help to break down the negative stigma that often surrounds one-parent families.

Why this role matters.

Single parents face unique challenges and are disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination, and social isolation. At Gingerbread, we are committed to addressing these issues through direct support, advocacy, and systemic change. By joining our Board as Chair, you will play a pivotal role in guiding our strategic direction and ensuring that we can continue to provide vital services and support to those who need it most whilst campaigning for change.

Key qualities we are looking for.

We are looking for a visionary leader who can inspire and guide our Board and team to achieve our goals and ensure our charity is sustainable for the future. Our new Chair will provide robust support while offering constructive challenge to drive our charity forward. Our Chair will have a proven ability to lead and manage change, adeptly guiding us through transformative periods. The Chair will bring solid knowledge and understanding of the charity sector, valuable experience in governance, ensuring organisational integrity and accountability.

We are looking for a Chair who demonstrates strong commercial acumen, balancing financial sustainability with our charitable mission. Strategic thinking is crucial, alongside a collaborative spirit and strong interpersonal skills to work effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders.

This is a unique opportunity for a leader who is passionate about making a difference in the lives of single parent families and is ready to take our organisation to new heights.

Time commitment.

The Board meets quarterly for 2-3 hours, usually in central London, with an annual strategy away day. The overall time commitment, including engagement with the CEO, Trustees, and other key stakeholders, preparation for meetings, regular conversations with the chairs of the committees, ad hoc discussions and potentially attending events is expected to be the equivalent of 2-3 days per month.

Join us at Gingerbread and help us create a world where no single parent faces disadvantage, inequality, or injustice.


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Jennifer Horan | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070497

Jennifer-Horan-Trustee-Recruitment-Agency

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Jennifer Horan

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We are Gingerbread.

We are fighting to create a world where all single parents and their children don’t just survive. They thrive.

We challenge. We support. We connect.

We are brave, ambitious, trustworthy and inclusive.

Approximately a quarter of households in the UK are single parent families. This figure has remained for over a decade. ‘The 25 Percent’ is an ongoing project aiming to raise awareness for and empower parents who do it alone, and help to break down the negative stigma that often surrounds one-parent families. “At times, my heart aches for someone to talk to or collapse on in the evenings. When we have days out, I find myself getting emotional when I see the ‘typical’ family: mummy, daddy and children.” "I have learnt so much about myself and my own inner strength." - Melissa Morse Melissa was a single parent to her eldest son for seven years, before she met her youngest's dad. It was only in March 2017, that she became a single mother once again and whilst she does feel the loneliness at times, she takes pride in the new sense of control she feels over her own destiny. Above all, it is the close bond that she has been able to build with her sons that has enabled her to see the good that being a single parent can bring.

Why is our mission to support single parent families?

Life for the 1.8 million single parents in the UK has never been harder.

Despite most being in work, single parents are twice as likely to be in poverty than a parent in a couple. They face prejudice and judgement. And the loneliness and isolation they experience compound things, putting their mental health and wellbeing at serious risk.

That’s why we fight for single parents and their children.

Why?

Disadvantage, inequality and injustice

  • The unique needs of single parent families are often ignored by government, public, private and third sectors.
  • Single parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty as couple parent families.
  • Most single parents work but are often trapped on low incomes that don’t cover basic living costs.
  • Single parents have less flexibility than couple parents and rely on childcare so they can work and progress. Expensive childcare is a barrier to work and means many single parents are forced into debt.

Loneliness, isolation and stress

  • Single parents are more likely to experience issues with their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Financial, emotional and social pressures on single parents make it harder for them to cope with everyday life and life shocks.
  • There are many routes into single parenthood (bereavement, relationship breakdown and domestic violence), and these increase the risk of loneliness and isolation.
Approximately a quarter of households in the UK are single parent families. This figure has remained for over a decade. ‘The 25 Percent’ is an ongoing project aiming to raise awareness for and empower parents who do it alone, and help to break down the negative stigma that often surrounds one-parent families.

How?

We challenge – We campaign against the inequalities and injustices that single parents face every single day. And we challenge the stigma and negative perceptions around being a single parent.

We support – We provide expert advice and information to support all single parents so that they have the tools to support their children and themselves.

We connect – We provide a support network so that, with Gingerbread, no single parent is ever alone. And we work closely with those who share our values and our objectives.

 

Who?

We are brave – We want to change the world for single parents, to do this we need to be brave with our words and our actions.

We are ambitious – We’re a small charity with big ambitions and we frequently punch above our weight.

We are trustworthy – We are experts in our field, we are well known and we have a proven track record spanning over 100 years.

We are inclusive – We are open, accessible and here to fight for all single parents and their children.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Role Description and Person Specification.

    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 response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: Gingerbread – Chair of Trustees” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Jennifer Horan | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070497

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support that needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.

    Timetable

    Closing date: Monday 19th August 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: By Friday 23rd August 2024
    Interviews: Friday 6th September 2024


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Gingerbread 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 will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.


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