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Trustees The Children’s Trust

The Children's Trust logo for charity board recruitment by Peridot

Join a leading charity for children with acquired brain injury at a time of significant change by supporting the executive team in delivering their 18-month recovery plan to future-proof our valued organisation.

  • Location: Tadworth, Surrey
  • Salary: Unremunerated
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

Who we are

The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to providing services and neurorehabilitation for children with acquired brain injury.

The Children’s Trust employs c.600 staff members and over 1000 volunteers dedicated to providing the best care for children with acquired brain injury.

Operating from a 24-acre site in Surrey, we offer a wide range of services including rehabilitation, medical care and special education including a non-maintained special school. We also provide support for children with ABI and their families throughout the UK through our Brain Injury Community Services and support via our braininjuryhub.co.uk.

We are unique, with an international reputation for the work we undertake to improve the lives of the children and families with whom we work. We provide information and support to thousands of children with brain injury and their families annually, through education, care, therapy and research. We provide expertise and experience in meeting the needs of children and young people with acquired brain injury, neuro-disabilities and complex health needs.

Similar to many care organisations, The Children’s Trust is working through a period of change and uncertainty and has embarked on an 18-month recovery plan to enhance organisational resilience and sustainability.

This recovery plan has seen us secure a loan from Charity Bank and restructure our workforce and service delivery model, as well as review our pricing models and operational costs.

We have been highly transparent with the Charity Commission, Charity Bank, NHS England, the CQC and Ofsted about this recovery plan. In particular, our CQC and Ofsted inspections and monitoring visits continue to be extremely positive, and the outcomes delivered for children and young people are extraordinary.

The standards and quality of care and support remain exceptionally high, and our team of staff and volunteers are highly motivated to continue providing our unique range of services to some of the UK’s most vulnerable children.

About the roles

We are looking for people who can support us to develop our future strategic direction whilst we develop as a financially sustainable organisation that can continue to provide excellent rehabilitation, care and education for all children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability across the UK.

We have conducted a governance review and board skills audit. As a result of this and matched with our future needs, we want to continue to develop our Board to address emerging skills gaps and capitalise on the opportunity to broaden the range of experiences and diversity of the board. We have been fortunate in attracting some new Trustees to the Board in recent times, but now wish to focus on the expertise available specifically relating to Safeguarding, Clinical and SEND Governance:

Safeguarding: We would be interested in hearing from people who have had responsibility for safeguarding at a senior level. Of particular interested would be those with either an educational or clinical background who have a good understanding of the national agenda for safeguarding.

Education: We would be interested in hearing from professionals from the education sector, who have had senior-level experience in special educational needs and who have a good understanding of regulatory requirements and school governance.  Perhaps, as important is the desire to drive excellence, and we would be interested in talking to mainstream education professionals whose interest for SEN provision is clear

Clinical: We would be interested in hearing from senior professionals who have had experience in the field of child health or neuro disability/rehabilitation as an AHP, Medical Practitioner or Registered Nurse and who, importantly, will have had considerable success in leading clinical and quality governance.

Our Trustees will be strong communicators and relationship builders and they will have a continuous improvement mindset. We are very open to first-time Trustees joining the board.

We know that different voices, ideas and perspectives will enable us to support children with brain injuries to live the best possible lives. There are some areas of diversity which we have identified we are lacking, for this reason we are especially interested in people who have:

  • Experiences of living with the impacts of a brain injury, neurodiversity or a disability
  • Childhood or adult experiences of life on a lower income, or the care system
  • Migration
  • Part of a racialised community
  • Part of the LGBTQIA2S+ community

We believe this diversity will help us see things we might have missed, and/or bring a unique perspective, so that we can deliver the best experience and care for our beneficiaries and their families and become a truly inclusive organisation for which to work and volunteer.

If you like the sound of this role but believe you don’t quite meet all of our criteria set within our role profile we would still encourage you to apply.

The time commitment for Trustees will be one to two days per month, depending on extent of committee membership. The board meets 6 times a year for 3-4 hours on-site at Tadworth, but there will be flexibility in regard to joining remotely. Trustees will join one subcommittee.

We have a number of committees including:

  • Educational Governance Committee, of which one of our new Trustees will chair.
  • Clinical Governance & Safeguarding Committee
  • Finance, Fundraising and General Purposes Committee
  • Audit & Risk Committee
  • Investments Committee
  • Remuneration Committee
  • Appointments Committee

This is an opportunity to lead through a period of significant change and to make your mark to support a leading national charity that supports children and young people affected by acquired brain injury.


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

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

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Jennifer-Horan-Trustee-Recruitment-Agency

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

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Welcome from the Vice Chair

Dear candidate,

From the first moment I visited The Children’s Trust, I knew I wanted to be part of its future. It makes an extraordinary difference to the lives of children and young people affected by brain injury and neuro-disability. The teachers, therapists, carers, support staff and volunteers work their magic tirelessly every day to enable our children and young people to recognise and to fulfil their potential. Our services are in great demand and we are all driven by the ambition to be able to help every child and family who needs us.

It’s not an easy operating environment though. There are big external challenges, a complex regulatory landscape and organisational growing pains that you will play a key part in working with us to tackle.

As a Trustee of The Children’s Trust, you will be joining at a pivotal point in our development. You will work with the board, our new CEO and the leadership team to support the refreshing of our strategy and priorities, to develop the culture and capabilities that will underpin its delivery and will build and lead a high-performing team. All in order to extend more of our magic to more children and families today and in the years to come.

If you relish the chance to make a lasting difference to these lives, we’d love to hear from you.

Fiona Sheridan
(Vice Chair)

About The Children’s Trust

The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury and neurorehabilitation.

The charity provides rehabilitation, medical care, special education, community services and expert information. Our key services are:

  • Rehabilitation for children with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
  • A non-maintained special school, with associated residential houses for children with complex education, health, therapy and care needs
  • Support for children with ABI and their families in the communities across the UK, through our Brain Injury Community Services
  • Online information and support via our publications and braininjuryhub.co.uk

Our residential services based at our national specialist centre in Tadworth, Surrey, work in partnership with the NHS and local authorities to provide a step-down pathway of care between hospital and home. The centre is entirely child and family-focused to ensure that their needs are appropriately supported.

In the community, we provide clinical support to complement local services and give children and young people with ABI the best chance of succeeding at home and in school.

We are the only paediatric centre with a national specialised commissioning contract (through NHS England) to provide brain injury rehabilitation for children with severe brain injury. Our other services are funded through local health commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups), social care and education authorities, together with the millions raised through voluntary fundraising.

Thanks to the generosity of The Children’s Trust’s supporters, our 24-acre Tadworth site features a modern hydrotherapy pool, accommodation for parents, specially adapted equipment, and soft play areas.

We run a non-maintained special school for children with complex education, health, therapy and care needs with associated residential houses. The Children’s Trust School supports children and young people from 2 – 19 years old and is dual-registered with the Care Quality Commission (the school residential houses) and Ofsted Education.

The Children’s Trust is a charitable organisation with approximately 595 committed staff and 560 volunteers with a range of expertise across nursing and care, education, therapy, operations and centralised support functions such as finance, HR, fundraising and communications. A number of these staff are based off-site around the UK as part of our community work or in our charity shops.

Our current situation

Similar to many healthcare organisations, the Trust is working through a period of turmoil and uncertainty and has been dealing with multiple challenges. These have included:

  • The Covid pandemic, which had an impact for an extended period due to the complex clinical needs of the many of the vulnerable children in the Trust’s care.
  • Challenges with recruitment and retention of nursing and care staff, resulting in closed beds which has impacted on income. At the same time the Trust is experiencing increased people costs and inflation is impacting on other cost categories.

To address these challenges we have instigated an 18-month recovery plan and Phase 1 is in progress. This includes a restructuring of the overall workforce which has led to a c15% reduction in the headcount, restructuring of the service delivery model, re-financing, which has included a loan from Charity Bank, reviewing pricing and negotiating with funders, reducing cost and cutting back on operational and capital expenditure.

Despite these challenges recent CQC and Ofsted inspections and monitoring visits continue to be extremely positive and the outcomes delivered for children and young people are extraordinary. The standards and quality of care and support remain exceptionally high.

Safeguarding

The Children’s Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. To achieve our commitment, we will ensure continuous development and improvement of robust safeguarding processes and procedures that promote a culture of safeguarding amongst our workforce.

The Children’s Trust has policies on safer recruitment, ex-offenders’ recruitment and criminal record checks.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

At The Children’s Trust, we recognise how important it is to have leadership that reflects the children, young people, and families that we support. We also recognise that staff, comprised of a range of skills, backgrounds and experiences will help us to better understand the needs of those we support, and how we can best represent their interests.

We, therefore, particularly welcome applications from people with disabilities, individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds and those from other under-represented groups.

The Children’s Trust is committed to achieving equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) across all levels of the organisation. Click here for further information.

Our Promises

Our Promises capture our strengths and aspirations. They guide the way we act, interact, and come together to achieve our goals. The journey we took to reach our Promises has been an important one. A highly collaborative and iterative process that has seen each word shaped by our people – our volunteers, employees, partners, trustees, and suppliers. Perhaps most importantly, at the core of this process are our children, young people, and their families. This journey has given us a critical opportunity to give children and young people a voice. As a result, our Promises have been genuinely enriched by them. That’s because how we work and carry out our role is as important as what we do, and that’s why as part of The Children’s Trust, we all need to live by our five Promises.


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

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

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Accessibility

Our accessibility provisions include:

  • All floors of the mansion are accessible, save for one floor the lift does not go to.
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcomed.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for an interview.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

We are proudly part of the Surrey EDI Network.

We know that different voices, ideas and perspectives will enable us to support children with brain injuries to live the best possible lives. There are some areas of diversity which we have identified

we are lacking, and for this reason we are especially interested in people who have:

  • Experiences of living with a brain injury, neurodiversity or a disability
  • Childhood or adult experiences of life on a lower income, or the care system
  • Migration
  • Part of a racialised community
  • Part of the LGBTQIA2S+ community

We believe this diversity will help us see things we might have missed, or bring a unique perspective.

We have made significant development in our EDI practices in recent years and this has included achievements such as:

  • Launching our first EDI strategy.
  • Developing 2 EDI working groups to keep us on track
  • Conducting our first race and ethnicity survey.
  • Including a face-to-face EDI training session as part of mandatory induction.
  • Delivering a range of inspiring talks on topics such as neurodiversity, black history month and trans inclusion.
  • Launching pride rainbow badges, and distributed these to 300 staff.
  • Giving staff the option to include pronouns as part of their email signature.
  • Launching 2 staff networks for LGBTQIA2S+ and ethnic diversity.
  • Launching “courageous conversations” training to provide a safe space to discuss EDI topics.

If you have any further needs around accessibility, please get in touch with the advising consultants for a confidential chat on how we can best fulfil your needs:

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

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role 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  “The Children’s Trust – Trustees” into the subject field.

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

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

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

    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.

    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.

    Timetable

    Closing date: Monday 25th September 2023

    We are in the process of confirming interview dates and will update the site when confirmed and contact those who have applied.

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and The Children’s Trust 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 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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