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General Manager | Switchboard LGBT+

Do you aspire to a society where all LGBT+ people are informed and empowered? Are you motivated to support our community by creating a safe space for any discussions around sexuality, gender identity, sexual health, and emotional wellbeing? If so, this leadership role could be for you.

  • Location: Central London
  • Salary: £40,000 - £50,000

About the role

Switchboard has been providing support and information to millions of people for over 40 years. We are a listening service that caters to the LGBT+ communities and beyond. We provide an information, support and referral service for anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. We strive to provide a non-judgemental and inclusive environment for all our callers.

We are proud to be a volunteer-led charity with over 200 volunteers and two members of staff. We are nothing without our committed volunteers, coordinators and Trustees who are our lifeblood, heart, and ambition – both on the phone and behind the scenes who all contribute to our continued success and our future.

Part of what makes Switchboard not just unique but successful is the heavy emphasis we have on being run by volunteers. There are such positives to our model but, after a full on year for Switchboard of growth and evolution, we find ourselves in a position where we need to increase our full-time staff so we can improve our quality of service and meet the increase in demand. Being volunteer led has meant that a lot of tasks within the organisation are carried out by our volunteers and a committed Board of Trustees.

We have recently experienced generous legacies and continued to grow our corporate partnerships with Accenture, Mars, Skittles, Costa Coffee and Unilever. We are looking to have a long-term plan for Switchboard and answer questions such as what could we do with these generous donations? What other services should we provide? How might we use this funding for us to be a more inclusive and responsive organisation, and invest back into our community?

Who we're looking for

We are looking to appoint a new General Manager who can work with our amazing volunteers and hard-working Board to take us to the next level of impact. You will line manage our two admin staff, while contributing strategic advice to the Board and implementing the Board’s vision. We work incredibly hard to create corporate partnerships and we envisage our new General Manager to provide support to build on these relationships with our Trustees.

You will be an empathetic, supportive, collaborative, and person-centred leader with experience of working with voluntary or public sector organisations. You will bring exceptional communication and organisational skills and have the ability to forge strong relationships with staff, volunteers and the Board – being consistently proactive and managing independently as required.

Our General Manager will be aligned to our values as an LGBT+ organisation, and be comfortable embracing speaking and hearing about wide ranging topics of our calls. From family problems, relationship advice, and issues at work and college through to sexual health and safe sex, coming out, gender identity, and advice about LGBT+ social and support groups; nothing is off limits on these calls. We want our General Manager to be inclusive and supportive towards our volunteers who dedicate time and a kind listening ear to our community in their time of need.

This is a fantastic opportunity to support the continued development and growth of Switchboard while nurturing staff and volunteers to achieve the best quality of service and outcomes for our callers and community. This will include everything from managing our two admins, arranging schedules (so our helpline is always covered), building relationships with our volunteers and supporting them, managing our building facilities to helping to build corporate relationships and innovate the way we deliver our services and implement our strategy.

As a volunteer organisation, our membership is exclusively made up of people who identify as LGBT+, many of whom also contribute to the running of the listening service through additional work to recruit, train and develop volunteers as well as helping to maintain our infrastructure. This role is open to anyone – whatever their sexual or gender identity and/or disability.  The successful candidate is expected to be sympathetic to the charity’s goals and values and would need to respect the diversity of all through demonstrating inclusive behaviour.

To arrange a confidential chat, please contact our executive search advisers at Peridot Partners:

Jennifer Horan | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070 497

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935 068

Closing date: 9am, Wednesday 21st October 2020

Trustee and board recruitment in the charity sector with Jennifer Horan

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

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Welcome from Co-Chairs, Peter Zacaroli and Tash Walker

Dear Applicant,

We are delighted that you have expressed an interest in the role of General Manager of Switchboard. This is a pivotal time for our organisation.

We have had a full on year of growth and change at Switchboard; moving to remote working for the first time in our 46 years, receiving generous legacies, and continuing to grow our corporate partnerships. With this in mind, we are looking to have a long-term plan for Switchboard and explore how we might use our funding to be a more inclusive and responsive organisation.

As a volunteer led organisation and after this amazing year, we find ourselves in a position where we need to increase our full-time members of staff so we can improve our quality of services and so we are looking to appoint a new General Manager.

We are looking for an effective, collaborative leader who can utilise the skills and knowledge of volunteers, staff and trustees to ensure that Switchboard continues to be a welcoming and safe space for our community.

We hope you feel inspired to apply for this fantastic opportunity and thank you for your interest in becoming our General Manager.

Best wishes,

Peter Zacaroli (He/Him)

Tash Walker (She/Her/They/Them)

We are Switchboard, the LGBT+ Helpline

We are a safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health, and emotional wellbeing.

We support people to explore the right options for themselves.

We aspire to a society where all LGBT+ people are informed and empowered.

Our values:

  • Non-judgemental
  • Inclusive
  • Committed
  • Empowering
  • Supportive
  • Informed

We have provided support and information to millions of people since our phone started ringing in 1974. Throughout our history, we have been at the forefront of supporting our communities in facing the issues of the day.

Founded on March 4th, 1974 Switchboard’s information and support helpline operated for five hours every evening in a small room above a bookshop near Kings Cross Station.

Our Promise:

  • To talk things through. We don’t finish a call until you tell us.
  • Everything is confidential. You can trust us.
  • We are you too. All our volunteers self-define as LGBT+.

Our calls:

Here are some of the things people might call Switchboard for:

  • Information about support groups for someone who is struggling with their gender identity.
  • Support for a man who has been the victim of homophobic abuse but has previously had a bad experience going to the police.
  • Contact details for an LGBT-friendly therapist.
  • Support for a lesbian teenager thrown out of her home by her parents, and who needs somewhere to stay.
  • Information on how to get to local gay pubs for someone with mobility issues.
  • Times and places for a local bisexual social group.
  • Listening to some of the concerns a mother has about her child who is trans.

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


If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

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

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

To apply, please submit a CV and a supporting statement (a maximum of two sides of A4). The supporting statement should clearly outline your suitability against the essential criteria in the person specification with an explanation why the role is of interest and relevant to you.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Switchboard – General Manager” into the subject field.

We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please contact Oliver Gardner on oliver@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07807 014772 or Kerry-Ann Charles on kerryann@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 398905.


Switchboard is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We celebrate diversity and applications are actively encouraged from individuals from diverse backgrounds.

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 can be taken to overcome any operational difficulties.


Closing date: 9am, Wednesday 21st October 2020
Longlist review: Monday 26th October PM
Preliminary interviews: Wednesday 28th – Friday 30th October
Informal staff/trustee meetings: w/c Monday 2nd November
Final interviews: w/c Monday 9th November

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and Switchboard 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 form.

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.

We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, and making decisions using selection criteria which do not discriminate. We will take every possible step to ensure that employees and volunteers are treated fairly, with the aim of creating a culture that respects and values each others’ differences, that is free of discrimination and promotes dignity, equality and diversity.

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