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Trustees Durham Students’ Union

We are looking for two Trustees with senior executive leadership experience in marketing and communications, higher education, or membership and charity services to support Durham Students’ Union’s strategic development.

  • Location: Durham
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid

Who we are.

Durham Students’ Union was created by students in 1899 to bring students from across the university together.

We exist so that students can make Durham University better and fairer together, acting as the champion for every Durham student.

We support over 250+ student societies which are run by students to cater to a diverse array of interests. We also lobby and campaign on important issues and elect, train, and guide officers who create the changes they and their peers want at all levels of the university.

We have developed our new strategy to tackle the issues that affect our members. We have prioritised complex long-term goals that will bring benefits to our student’s academic, social, and mental well-being.

We have proudly worked on decolonisation and mental health support and now have a strategic focus set on housing/accommodation, induction, and access — whilst continuing to students provide a high level of service for students.

About the roles.

We currently have a strong level of expertise at the staff level within the Union and have made it a positive place to work.

Our board is welcoming and provides an effective challenge and level of scrutiny for our executive team.

We want your help to ensure we stay on a positive trajectory, whilst ensuring our new strategy and developments for our long-term financial and commercial sustainability are successful.

Therefore, we seek two individuals with senior executive leadership experience to join our board. We are open to numerous backgrounds and especially welcome those with experience in higher education, membership and charity services, and marketing and communications.

Durham SU exists for a purpose: We’re the champion of every Durham student. We’re interested in the things that matter to them. We stand up for their rights. We bring them together. We celebrate their success.

We welcome applications from first-time Trustees and have an excellent annual training programme to develop your experience of Trusteeship and governance. We provide Trustees with tailored development opportunities that can help them become successful members of the board.

We have structured our board so that there are 5 annual meetings and several working groups. Meetings are accompanied by optional social and developmental events – a chance to get to know one another and discuss key issues. We can provide meeting dates 12 months in advance and will pay for reasonable travel expenses.

The time commitment for this role will be approximately 10 – 12 days per year.

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

Jonah Graham | jonah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 756654

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Jonah Graham

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Welcome from the Chair of the Board of Trustees

Dear candidate,

Durham students created Durham SU in 1899 as the Student Representative Council — the first and only thing owned by every single student at our university, no matter what their course or college.

Over one hundred years later, student life is very different but much of what we think is important and the way we work would be recognisable to our founders. We’re still unique at Durham because we belong to every single student, and we’re where every single student belongs. It’s easy to be excited about the future when we remember where we came from.

We’re a leading Students’ Union, working with a world-class university, in an exceptional city, and our foundations and our heritage are strong.

We’re now looking for new members of our Board of Trustees to join us for a term of office lasting three years, and we’re so pleased you may be interested in helping us to bring students together to make Durham University fairer and better.

We are looking for our new Trustees to start when one of our long-serving Trustees completes their term of office. We think this means we can offer a great opportunity for someone to have their first experience of Trusteeship and spend a few months shadowing an experienced Trustee.

We want to make sure you feel welcome and able to shine while you’re involved in Durham SU. Please do get in touch with our advising consultant, Jonah Graham at Peridot Partners, if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely,

Graeme Osborn,
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Durham Students’ Union

About us

Durham SU was created by students in 1899 to bring students from across the university together.

Originally called the Durham Colleges Students’ Representative Council, the aim of the Union was to allow students to work collectively, regardless of their college, on issues affecting Durham students.

The Union was founded when there were only four colleges, so its role as a place for students to come together across the colleges has become more valuable as the university has grown.

The ethos of bringing students from across the university together continues today, and can be seen in the 250+ societies run by students with the support of the Students’ Union elected Union officers in representing students’ views at all levels of the university —  campaigning on topics such as getting more space in the Billy B, and associations for particular groups of students such as trans students and mature students.

Nowadays, the Union has its own building, the officers have specialist support, and a national network of other Students’ Unions to work with but its roots as a place for students to work together are still seen in the things students do through the Union.

Our governance

Durham Students’ Union is a company limited by guarantee (07689815) and registered in England and Wales and is a registered charity (1145400).

The registered address is Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham, DH1 3AN.

Durham SU is a separate organisation to Durham University and its charitable governance is overseen by its Board of Trustees.

Under charity law and the Education Act 1994, both the Charity Commission and Durham University have obligations and requirements to and of Durham Students Union, for which the Trustees are responsible for ensuring are upheld. Durham SU’s governing documents – our Code of Practice, Articles of Association, and Standing Orders seek to this in service of Durham SU’s charitable objects.

Our purpose

Durham SU exists for a purpose: We’re the champion of every Durham student. We’re interested in the things that matter to them. We stand up for their rights. We bring them together. We celebrate their success.

We know how we want to see the future. We’re working to make sure that students have the power and opportunity to transform their time at Durham. Our job is to make our vision into reality. This plan describes the actions we’ll take on our journey to achieve our vision.

We know where we’re heading, but we’ll definitely face new opportunities and challenges on the way. We’ll always be guided by our principles; they’ll ensure we make the right decisions, and help us hold ourselves to account.


We champion students.

  • We’re a student rights organisation. Our collectivism makes us stronger.
  • We know students make the best decisions about things that affect them. We trust our members.

We’re proud of Durham.

  • We always recognise success but we always strive for better.
  • Our collegiate university means we do things differently here. We like that.

We make the future better.

  • We’re a Students’ Union with a purpose. We’re relentless in pursuit of our mission.
  • We make change for students, with students, in their interests.

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


    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Recruitment Pack

    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 recruitment pack and your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Durham Students’ Union – Trustee” into the subject field.

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

    Jonah Graham | jonah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 756654

    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.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 22nd April 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: By Thursday 25th April 2024
    Interviews: Thursday 2nd / Friday 3rd May 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Durham Students’ Union 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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