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Lay Trustee | The University of Cumbria Students’ Union (UCSU)

We are looking for Lay Trustees to help us build long-term financial sustainability into all our activities to ensure that we can meet and exceed the expectations of our membership. We are open-minded about your background and skills, but it would be helpful to have educational experience of either studying remotely, having been a mature student or completed a postgraduate qualification.

  • Location: Circa 8-10 engagements per year
  • Salary: Voluntary (reasonable expenses covered)

About the role

The University of Cumbria Students’ Union is a £500K turnover independent charity that works to support the students of The University of Cumbria. We have five different campuses, which includes two world heritage sites, and are the only UK University campus set in a national park. Our students are based in locations all across the North West and London, and study a diverse range of courses from forestry, conservation, to fine art and law.

Almost half of our students engage in workplace learning and placements during their studies and are demographically and geographically diverse. Given the diversity of our students, their geographical spread and the challenges that COVID-19 has presented, we need to constantly develop our services and make them accessible to all of our students.

Many of our students do not have an active presence on campuses. We know that those students are not getting the same levels of support and service as those based on our campuses. We want to change this and are excited by the opportunities that we have available to work in partnership with the universities to innovate, digitise and optimise our services.

Who we're looking for

To continue to meet our existing challenges, we need Lay Trustees to help us build long-term financial sustainability into all of our activities to ensure that we can meet and exceed the expectations of our membership.

We are primarily interested in your ability to listen, learn and engage in the diversity of board discussions in a collaborative and supportive way.

We are open-minded about your background and skills, but it would be helpful to have educational experience of either studying remotely, having been a mature student or completed a postgraduate qualification.

Professional experience of having worked at a comparable education provider, having led a small business/charity or having HR/financial expertise will also be valuable to us.

Interested candidates are invited to arrange a call with our advising partners at Peridot.

Bill Yuksel | 07801 897063 | bill@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date: 9am, Monday 5th October 2020

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

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Welcome from Charlotte Wheele, Activities Officer and Chair of the Trustee Board

Hi, my name is Charlotte Wheele.

Alongside leading and chairing the Trustee Board, I am a student representative for the Union as the Activities Officer. My job is to ensure each and every one of our students has access to high quality support, welfare, extra-curricular services, and campaign for change relative to the needs of today’s student population.

The University of Cumbria Students’ Union (UCSU) is a student-led charity, representing the views and interests of over 7,500 members – the students of the University of Cumbria! The demographic of our members encompasses individuals from undergraduates and post-graduates to work-based learners and STEM pupils whom capitalise our unique locations and heritage as a leading provider of Art, Health, Education degrees and a growing number of business qualifications.

UCSU is part of the National Union of Students (NUS) which enables the union to be draw on guidance from a national body. This also means every one of our members is part of this family and provides them with opportunities, support, and a wider platform for students – not forgetting the TOTUM discounts of course!

“Representing and supporting you (our students) to achieve your ambitions,” is at the heart of every action and decision we make. It is our job at UCSU to ensure students make the most of their education and experience; to represent and support their views, needs and interests throughout their time at the university. We do this by making decisions based on student views and feedback and work towards a service which our students want and are proud of. This can be through volunteering, joining or starting a student society or sports team, taking a role as a course representative on behalf of their peers, participating in environmental projects, accessing UCSU support services, or joining in with one of our many campaigns and activities throughout the year.

We would like someone who can openly and actively share their opinions, feelings and experiences whilst also being a good listener, is supportive and is willing to talk about and work around problems our union faces. This individual doesn’t necessarily need to have prior history with the University of Cumbria and experience isn’t essential, but some experience with Student Unions’ – from Sabbatical Officers to CEO’s – would be helpful. We would like this person to positively test, stretch and challenge our team and Union in an intuitive and forward-thinking manor.

We strive to be an effective and forward-thinking union that is as diverse as our membership, and we look forward to welcoming you to our team. This is an excellent opportunity to help develop and influence the student experience for all students at the University of Cumbria – from London to Ambleside, Carlisle to Lancaster and everyone in between.

If you fancy an informal chat, please contact Danny Prescott our Chief Exec, by emailing him on daniel.prescott@cumbria.ac.uk.

Best wishes – Charlotte

About The University of Cumbria Students' Union

UCSU is a student-driven organisation. It exists to meet the needs of the members who are students at the University of Cumbria. We work on issues affecting students and campaign for the change our members want to see.

Our Trustee Board is made up of a mixture of Officer Trustees, Student Trustees and External Trustees. External Trustees are appointed by the Board to ensure a balance of skills and experience. Responsibility is cascaded from the Trustee Board and committee structure of the Union to the management and staff team.

UCSU Values

We have four key values which inform everything that we do.


Enjoying working with and for you

  • We will positively and enthusiastically welcome you to our space.
  • We adapt our tone and body language to be approachable.
  • We try to understand your situation.
  • We think you matter. We will actively listen to you.
  • We are happy to chat.


Relevant to, involving of, and accessible for you

  • We communicate effectively to reach all students by removing barriers to access.
  • We represent all of you and consider all of you.
  • We don’t make judgements/assumptions.
  • We have time for everyone.
  • We let students know about our diverse range of opportunities and services.
  • We actively educate ourselves on current equality issues.


Always striving to do our best for you

  • We challenge others to do their best for you.
  • We welcome and embrace feedback.
  • We shout about your successes and shout about our successes.
  • We seek solutions.
  • We set the highest of standards.
  • We are always learning, improving and striving to be the best.

Member Led

Our services, opportunities and activities are informed by what matters to you

  • We give you options.
  • We encourage students to participate.
  • We tell students what we are doing for them.
  • We ask students what they want.
  • We actively listen.
  • We act once we have listened.
  • We put your needs first.

For information about our services you can view our website here:

UCSU website

UCSU Strategy

Financial Statements 2019

Charity Commission Details

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


If you would like an informal conversation around the role, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel | 07801 897063 | bill@peridotpartners.co.uk

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. It would also be helpful to provide an explanation of your interest and motivation in applying for this position within your supporting statement.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Lay Trustee, UCSU” 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.

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 job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


Closing date: 9am, Monday 5th October 2020
Shortlisting: Friday 9th October
Interviews: w/c Monday 19th October

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and UCSU 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.

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