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Chief Executive Royal Society for Blind Children

Are you passionate about ensuring that every blind child and their family has the skills and confidence to live their life without limits? If so, come and join us as Chief Executive as we enter a new and exciting chapter.

  • Location: Address: Life Without Limits Centre, 10 Lower Thames St, London EC3R 6EN
  • Salary: c.£100K dependent on skills and experience.
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

Who we are

At the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), we want every blind child and their family to have the skills and confidence to live their life without limits.

We aim to help every young person we work with to find and fulfil their own unique potential. We are there for them from the point of diagnosis, guiding them and their families on their journey through sight loss. We provide them with a combination of support, learning and development opportunities to help them build the resilience, and help with the skills they will need to navigate their own futures.

RSBC offers a range of services across England and Wales, including emotional support and practical advice for families, opportunities for children and young people to build confidence and skills through activities, and a specialist further education college.

We have been on a positive journey over the last couple of years, launching our new strategy ‘Life Without Limits’, winning some substantial funding, increasing our legacy income and gaining greater sector visibility. We are now seeking an inspiring and motivational Chief Executive to build on our success to date and help ensure the successful delivery of our ambitious goals.

We are seeking a senior leader with substantial experience in a health/social voluntary, public or indeed a private sector environment. You will be an outstanding people leader; empathetic, collaborative and able to galvanise multi-disciplinary teams of staff and volunteers.

With a strong background in communications, you will bring experience in raising the profile and brand of organisations through key messaging. You will also be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of charity finances and fundraising.

As our new Chief Executive, you should be an exceptional communicator, and bring a successful track record in representing organisations externally to a broad range of stakeholders. Through outstanding communication, advocacy and ambassadorial skills you will also be able to promote RSBC with confidence and credibility and evidence an ability to develop and retain strong relationships and partnerships across the sector.

Knowledge of vision impairment through experience of working for a VI charity or through lived experience would be desirable but not essential.

Above all else, you will be approachable, willing to meet and listen to young people and be open to their ideas and be motivated to take on board their wants and desires. Evidence of working successfully in co-production will subsequently be critical.


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

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Madeline Blair | madeline@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 812645

Lucy Mavers Head of Not-for-Profit Practice Peridot Partners

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Lucy Mavers

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Welcome from

Dear Candidate,

On behalf of all of my fellow Trustees at RSBC, many thanks for expressing an interest in the appointment of our new CEO for the Society.

We are a national charity with a big mission: to support blind and partially sighted young people (0-25) in England and Wales through the provision of a range of services which are targeted to help them mitigate the obvious (and, sometimes, less obvious) challenges they (and their families) face and are likely to encounter in their lives.

We know that we make a difference: not least, faced with spending cuts in public provision, we are often the only meaningful support available for families facing a tsunami of challenges which come with sight loss, whether at birth, during childhood or in early adulthood. In nearly all cases, the challenge is new to them and initially frightening on so many levels. Their instinct to support their child so easily leads to stress and worry, particularly given what little support is available. That is why what we do matters so much: we have tried and tested experience of what it takes to help families overcome those fears and, importantly, to help everyone in the family focus on the potential positive outcomes which can emerge with love and care and the support we are keen to provide. Just like their families, we want those young people to live rich and fulfilling lives “without limits”:  we know it can happen.

We are now at a key inflection point in our development: in particular, with the benefit of a wonderful and spacious new HQ, the Richard Desmond Life Without Limits Centre, on the River Thames, in the heart of the City of London, we are looking for an exceptional person to lead, to motivate, to energise and, above all, to care about our mission.

We aspire to serve more children, young people and their families through scaling up the breadth and depth of all of our core services outlined in the briefing materials. Further, as the only specialist FE college in London and the South-East for post 16-year-olds with vision impairment, we are keen to explore how we might expand this provision within that region and elsewhere to enable more young people aged 16-25 to access the specialist education provision which is so scarce across the country.

Whilst knowledge of the sight loss sector would obviously be an advantage, it is not a pre-requisite: indeed, neither is experience of having worked in the charity sector. The Trustees are absolutely committed to finding the right person for this role and have an open mind regarding who our next CEO should be. What I do know is that they will need to have bags of energy and enthusiasm,  a proven track record of success, be able to motivate a great team of individuals who work for us, be a skilled communicator and advocate and, above all, have the potential to care about taking on a role which, for the reasons I have outlined,  is likely to have such a positive impact on those we support.

I, therefore, encourage those who feel they have what we need to submit an application so that we might at least consider whether you could be the person we are looking for.

Patrick Plant
Chair


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

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Madeline Blair | madeline@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 812645

Why what we do matters…

  1. Numbers – There are approximately 37,000 blind and partially sighted children and young people in England and Wales. Every day, four more children will be diagnosed with sight loss. Blind and partially sighted children and young people frequently live wonderful and fulfilling lives.
  2. Challenges – However, a lack of regular support for parents, fewer opportunities to learn vital life skills, and limited access to positive social experiences mean that blind and partially sighted children and young people can be at a serious disadvantage when it comes to their emotional well-being, social development and ultimately, employment and life prospects.
  3. Statistics – They do not look good:
    • 90% of those who lose their sight in youth will never have a long-term job.
    • two-thirds of blind people are living on, or below, the poverty line.
    • most will never have a meaningful relationship.

What we do…..

  1. Support – We help families access practical and emotional support from the moment of diagnosis.
  2. Friendships – We bring blind children and young people together to build friendships and develop skills for life.
  3. Education and Employability – We provide education and help blind young people get qualifications and jobs.
  4. IT Skills – We champion the use of new and existing technology.
  5. Partnerships – We work with local partners and networks to make sure that blind young people and their families can equally access services wherever they live.
  6. Fundraising – We fundraise passionately to support our work.

How we do it…

  1. Families First – our core service provides practitioners in the field to deliver therapeutic support for parents and the wider family: they will do what it takes to support the child and the family including working alongside a child in a home or school environment and acting as a bridge between the families and statutory services.
  2. Advisory Service – this offers an advice service for parents and young people to help them understand what they have a right to and supports them to access benefits and financial support.
  3. Connect Service – brings young people together, in person or online through a number of activities including Supper Groups, Creative Sessions, Health & Wellbeing sports groups, audiobook clubs, Gaming and Assistive Technology sessions, Open Mic evenings to express their talents, encouraging them, in particular, to socialise and reduce feelings of isolation.
  4. Further Education Service – is delivered through Dorton College, the only specialist college supporting blind and partially sighted children in London and the South East, and provides our students with an individual programme of academic learning and skills development.

We want to do so much more…

Our services have never been in greater demand: austerity, Covid, spending cuts, and the cost of living crisis of all taken their toll.

However, rather than using these challenges as an excuse to scale back our mission, we are determined to buck the trend and grow across all of our services in order that we might reach more families with more support and to provide educational support for more young people.

Our current strategy is ripe for a refresh: our Trustees are determined to support a growth strategy across all of our services, to make far better use of our new city of London HQ, and to communicate all of what we do, and intend to do, with greater alacrity and imagination.


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

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Madeline Blair | madeline@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 812645

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs, and have made some modifications to the way we do business in order 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

We work on a hybrid basis with a minimum of 3 days in the office. As we are a VI charity we have a range of assistive technology available and use Access to Work to provide equipment or support when required. Whilst we do not have hearing loops in our meeting rooms we can use Teams or Zoom which provide live captions.  We can always source a sign language interpreter if necessary. Our building is fully accessible with an external and internal lift to travel from the Thames Path to our building down to our floor.  We work to Disability Confident guidelines.


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

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Madeline Blair | madeline@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 812645

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    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Royal Society for Blind Children – Chief Executive” into the subject field.

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

    Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

    Madeline Blair | madeline@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 812645

    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.

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    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 12th June 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: by 5 p.m. Friday 16th June 2023
    Preliminary interviews: Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st June 2023
    Shortlist decision: Tuesday 27th June 2023
    Final Interviews: Thursday 13th July 2023


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