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Chief Executive Officer Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network

If you are a strategic thinker, passionate about human rights (especially that of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants), and with experience motivating and empowering teams to deliver to the best of their ability, we want to hear from you.

  • Location: Hybrid / Deptford, Lewisham (2 days on site)
  • Salary: £62,000
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

For over 30 years, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network (LRMN) has existed to empower refugees and other migrants and to bring about systemic change to remove the challenges they face.

We believe that everyone should be able to live safely in a place where they can thrive and be part of the community. LRMN has helped thousands of people seeking sanctuary to do just that, rebuild their lives and to do so with dignity.

Learn more about the vital work of LRMN

Who we are

We take huge pride in the work we’re doing to create a safe space for people seeking sanctuary. We are proud to be a ‘one stop shop’, offering immigration, housing and welfare advice, mental health support, facilitating access to healthcare, running a thriving Women’s Group and Migrant Hub community, and delivering campaigns that push for improvements to policies and practices affecting the lives of migrants.

We are humbled that one of our recent clients referred to us as a “a fortress for vulnerable people”.

The demand for our support continues to rise, and we have had to grow significantly as a charity to meet this growing demand.

Our overarching objectives are to reduce poverty, increase inclusion and engagement and improve mental health and well-being amongst people seeking sanctuary in London. Last year, we developed a five-year strategy for 2023-2028, focused on building our sustainability and resilience.

 

About the role

Our new Chief Executive will be imperative to us achieving this and will have the following key priorities:

  1. To ensure our own leadership, managerial, financial and governance health are effective, efficient and diverse.
  2. To achieve further growth and expansion of services into existing and new spaces, as well as to continually enhance the quality of existing services.
  3. To develop and sustain effective and relevant partnerships, collaboration and influence.
  4. To bring together a resilient, competent, and compassionate workforce.

You will also be the leading advocate and spokesperson for our advocacy and campaigns work.

Who we are looking for

We need a personable, proactive and resilient leader who can think strategically, effectively manage and empower a multi-cultural and diverse team to reach their full potential and identify and maximise opportunities for sustainable funding and service/advocacy partnerships for LRMN to continue to have a positive impact. You will have relevant experience in leading and motivating teams, including through organisational growth and cultural change. Our staff team is passionate and knowledgeable, and we expect our CEO to contribute to strengthening an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive working environment. You will also be resilient and able to adapt to changing circumstances that may come with running a medium-sized charity in this sector to continue to deliver for our team and clients.

Experience working for a charity or other not for profit is essential (which may include voluntary commitments), while a good knowledge of corporate and charitable governance is highly desirable. Similarly, we expect that the successful appointee will be someone who can evidence a strong commitment to human rights and marginalised communities, ideally including the rights and well-being of refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants.

We are open to candidates considering their first Chief Executive role as well as candidates who bring complementary skills from different sectors.

We know that many excellent candidates considering their first Chief Executive role can experience imposter syndrome. If you would value a conversation to discuss the role in more detail, and how your experience might translate, we would love to speak with you.

We are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion, building a community that removes barriers, embraces people from all backgrounds and provides opportunities for them to rebuild their lives. The Board of Trustees and wider team includes people with lived experience of migration, and we aim for our Board and staff and volunteer teams to be representative of the communities in which we live and serve.


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

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

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If you would like to know more about this role please contact Bill Yuksel

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Welcome from the Chair

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network (LRMN). If you are a strategic thinker, passionate about human rights, and have experience of motivating and empowering teams, we want to hear from you.

Since our organisation was established 30 years ago, LRMN traditionally focused on providing free legal advice and support, supporting our clients to regularise their immigration status, improve their housing situation, access benefits, gain employment and/or other training and volunteering opportunities, and empowering women survivors of gender-based violence. However, today we also have a thriving campaigns function, contributing to public debates by producing accurate and high-quality research, driving change from the grassroots level through community forums, and working with partners to add our voice to local and national initiatives advocating for the rights and well-being of refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants, such as in relation to the Nationality and Borders Act.

LRMN has grown significantly over the last five years, expanding its services (most recently including an access to healthcare project), reach (from Lewisham and surrounding boroughs to London-wide), income (from £327,625 in the financial year ending March 2018 to £1.2 million in the financial year ending March 2023) and people (from a team of 18 staff and 25 volunteers in 2018 to a team of 29 staff -including 5 new vacant posts currently being recruited – and 66 volunteers in 2024).

We are proud to be a ‘one stop shop’, offering immigration, housing and welfare advice, mental health support, facilitating access to healthcare, running a thriving Women’s Group and Migrant Hub community, and delivering campaigns that push for improvements to policies and practices affecting the lives of people seeking sanctuary. Key partners have included Southwark Law Centre, the London Legal Support Trust, Refugee Council, Freedom from Torture, Refugee Women’s Association, Migrant Resource Centre, Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid, the Citizens Advice Bureaus in Lewisham and Bexley, Peabody Trust, St. Mungos, Thamesreach and the 999 Club.

LRMN was established by a group of refugees and today we continue to be led by the needs of people seeking sanctuary, ensuring that our staff team and Board represent the diverse communities we support. As we developed our strategy and reflected on our values, we ensured that equity, diversity, and inclusion remain at the heart of what we do. You will see this throughout our work, from the migrant-led groups we bring together to our campaigning and advocacy.

Some of LRMN’s recent achievements of which I am most proud include:

  • Driving forward our flagship Borough of Sanctuary campaign, including initiatives in Lewisham and Greenwich to build neighbourhoods that are safe for everyone regardless of their immigration status.
  • Assisting many Syrian and other refugees with resettlement and Ukrainian families under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, ensuring they were quickly connected to the community and able to access services including mental health and well-being support.
  • Partnering with the UK Association of Women Judges in providing vital support to women judges fleeing Afghanistan to the UK in the immediate aftermath of the return to power of the Taliban in 2021.
  • Collaborating with Brickwall and Teddy Reiss on a new animation released at the end of 2023 to build public awareness of the issues facing refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants.
  • In 2023 alone:
    • providing 809 people with immigration advice, directly and through initiatives such as the Greenwich Migrant Hub through which we also distributed 1,530 food parcels, held employment workshops, campaigning spaces and provided financial literacy support and
    • supporting 163 survivors of violence against women and girls to rebuild their networks, develop their confidence and exercise their rights through the Women’s Together project.

The new CEO will drive forward the implementation of our five-year strategy 2023-2028, focused on ensuring the sustainability and quality of our service provision and partnerships and strengthening a positive and inclusive working culture with our trustees, staff, and volunteers. You will also be the leading advocate and spokesperson for our advocacy and campaigns work. In the short-term, we are working on a new legal aid contract for immigration advice which requires effective management, while in the medium-term (the current lease is until 2027) we are keen to find new or additional office premises, making use of our healthy reserves to invest in the future.

If this excites you, please do apply.

Claire Morris
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Join a respected London-wide charity enabling refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to know and exercise their rights, thrive, integrate and engage in activities to bring about change for a better future.

About us

LRMN is a medium-sized charity serving refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant (RASM) clients who mostly live in South and South-East London boroughs including Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley, and Southwark, though many of our services are offered London-wide.

Formed during 1991/1992 from a community of refugees and migrants, LRMN has since grown into a multi-focus organisation which offers services across a range of needs. It is a registered charitable company, with an annual income of around £1.2 million.

In today’s complex and global society, LRMN provides access to expert advice whilst meeting basic practical and emotional needs for one of the most marginalised populations in our communities — who otherwise would struggle to navigate the system because of language barriers, lack of knowledge of the systems, mental health issues, displacement, trauma, poverty and a hostile political environment.

LRMN is focused on welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, supporting them to understand and access services that help them feel safe, integrate and settle in the UK. We are both a frontline delivery service and an advocacy and campaigning organisation.

We lead local campaigns including the Borough of Sanctuary campaign, as well as join and support national and international organisations with their campaigns on matters affecting our clients.

We have built a strong network of partners in the migrant and refugee sector to make our advocacy voice stronger. Our services are holistic, independent and free of charge.

Regardless of their immigration status, many of the clients we prioritise for support are vulnerable, destitute, digitally isolated, unemployed or in low skilled and low paid employment. Many are homeless, sofa surfing, in inadequate accommodation and/or living from one friend or stranger to another.

Many have experienced abuse, trauma, discrimination and exploitation which affects their confidence, self-esteem, mental health, and well-being and have difficulty accessing health services and other services including immigration advice.

Vision

People from all backgrounds belong and thrive and are treated with respect and dignity in a just and welcoming society.

Mission

To enable refugees, asylum seekers and migrants (RASM) to know and exercise their rights, thrive, integrate and engage in activities to bring about change for a better future.

Organisational Values

Collaborative – We know we are stronger together. We will involve the people we serve, our team and our partners in designing and delivering our work.

Refugee and Migrant Justice – Rights and justice primarily for refugees and migrants are at the heart of everything we do.

Integrity – We will be honest and do the right thing.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – We are committed to building a community that removes barriers, embraces people from all backgrounds and provides opportunities for them to rebuild their lives.

Building a sanctuary with LRMN's impact.

Accessibility

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities. We offer the following amenities:

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Further information

We have a hybrid working policy and require full-time staff to work from the office at least two days a week. We have core working hours (10.00-12.00 to 14.00-16.00) which staff can work around.

Applicants with a disability 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.

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job 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 “Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network  – Chief Executive Officer” into the subject field.

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

    Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

    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 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 26th February 2024
    First stage interviews: Thursday 14th March 2024
    Final interviews: Friday 22nd March 2024


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network 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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