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Trustees x2 Next Chapter

Influence our strategic direction, helping us extend our reach and impact of providing life-changing support to survivors of domestic abuse.

  • Location: Essex
  • Salary: Unremunerated, with reasonable expenses paid

Approx 8-10 2-hour meetings plus two strategic away days.

Next Chapter, based in Essex, is a charity dedicated to providing life-changing support to survivors of domestic abuse. Annually, 5.5% of people report that they have been victims of domestic abuse, with women twice as likely to be victims. It is a staggeringly high percentage of people and based on just those who felt safe enough to report the abuse they have faced.

Our vision is for life without Domestic Abuse with our mission to provide rapid responses to domestic abuse that increase safety for all victims, enabling them to rebuild their lives & create lasting change. We believe in raising awareness through education, training & partnerships in our community.

In recent years, we have experienced significant growth, with our team expanding from 16 people to 72. We support over 4,000 people who are currently experiencing or have previously experienced abuse and provide emergency shelter to 70 women and their children per year.

With our support, survivors of domestic abuse can reclaim their lives and choose the future they want.

In the coming years, we want to support more survivors of domestic abuse.

As we are targeting further growth, we want to bring in additional experience to our board of Trustees. We are open-minded about skillsets, although we are primarily looking for values-driven people who can donate their time and engage with the board.

We especially welcome candidates who could bring any of the following:

  • Experience in commissioning: ideally within local authority or health care sectors.
  • Experience in human resources: to help us ensure we have the highest standards of employment practice and effective HR strategies.
  • Experience of domestic abuse: Having the voice of survivors is important to us, and we will help ensure that the voice of survivors is encapsulated into all our strategic discussions and decisions made at the Trustee board.

As a Trustee, you’ll influence our strategic direction, helping us extend our reach and impact. Your knowledge and experience will not only guide our organisation but also significantly impact individuals and families grappling with the challenges of domestic abuse.

At Next Chapter, we embrace diversity and encourage applications from individuals of varied ethnicities, genders, ages, and professional backgrounds. Diversity of thought is also critical to us and will be important to us within this process, as we believe a diverse board is crucial for providing inclusive and comprehensive services.

We also welcome applications from first-time Trustees and will provide an in-depth induction and robust support for all new Trustees.

We are aware that many brilliant, talented people also experience ‘Imposter syndrome’ which can lead to disbelief in one’s accomplishments and self-doubting their legitimacy. Often the people with this feeling do possess the necessary skills and would be an ideal fit for the role.

We will support our new Trustees to ensure they also receive professional development in this role, and will also provide you with a buddy from our current Trustees to ensure you are well supported.

So, if you are considering this opportunity and have a feeling that you are not enough – please don’t let it put you off!

Reach out to our recruitment partners who can talk to you.

Please read our helpful blog post on overcoming imposter syndrome.

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

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

Clare Chesworth | clarec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 158737


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

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Welcome from the Chair

You have taken a small step towards making a big difference.

The fact that you are considering becoming a trustee with Next Chapter demonstrates your willingness to help others, your natural good intent and your investment of your personal time to worthwhile causes. We thank you for your interest and considering what part you could play.

In the 12 months to March 2020, 5.5% of 16-74 year olds in England and Wales reported being a victim of domestic abuse (source). Women are about twice as likely to be victims as men, and it breaks down to 1 in every 14 women and 1 in every 28 men in one year alone. It is a staggering figure, and that is just those who felt safe enough to state it, so it could be an underestimate.

Domestic abuse can take many forms. It isn’t always about physical violence or the threat of it. Coercion and abuse, emotional or financial (and many other ways of controlling the victim) have a huge and devasting impact. You don’t need to have suffered to understand and empathise. The oppression and fear survivors face is very relatable, even for those of us who have never directly experienced it.

We know you get it. We also know you may have been impacted by it, or your sister has, a friend, or maybe even people you’ve been close to but don’t know this has happened to them. Such experiences might drive your passion to participate but they aren’t required. The main factor in choosing to become a trustee at Next Chapter is a desire to help domestic abuse victims take their lives back into their own hands, empowering them to take the early steps of their journey with us.

It’s important you have a good idea of what you are taking on, and that’s why we have created a handbook which we will share with shortlisted applicants. It describes what matters to everyone at Next Chapter, the roles people play, and what we ask of you when you become a trustee. Being a trustee isn’t for everyone, it needs you to give up some of your time, it needs you to share our values and it needs you to play your part. It certainly needs to feel right for you, because you won’t be in it for the salary (there isn’t one). If you are shortlisted, we encourage you to read all the way through what we share with you and let us know if you have any questions.

We look forward to welcoming you to our group of passionate and dedicated trustees, where you’ll be part of something that makes a real difference to the lives of those affected in Essex.

Cate Cussell
Chair of Board of Trustees

History and Background

Next Chapter (East of England) (formerly known as Colchester & Tendring Women’s Refuge) is a domestic abuse charity working across Tendring, Colchester, Maldon, Chelmsford, Braintree & Uttlesford. We provide free and confidential services to support people who are currently experiencing or have previously experienced domestic abuse.

We are passionate about ensuring that every person has the opportunity to live their life free from domestic abuse.

Our vision is for Life without Domestic Abuse with our mission to provide rapid responses to domestic abuse that increase safety for all victims, enabling them to rebuild their lives and create lasting change. We believe in raising awareness through education, training and partnerships in our community.

We take the values of our organisation very seriously – it’s the way we set our own expectations about how we work with our service users, partners and each other and how we hold ourselves to account.

Key Next Chapter Services


Next Chapter has two Refuges, a Family Refuge and a Recovery Refuge. A refuge is a specialist accommodation where women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse can live in safety. Currently, our refuges are women-only spaces, which means that we can provide safe temporary accommodation for any woman and her children (boys up to the age of 16) at risk of harm from domestic abuse.

Family Refuge

Our purpose-built accommodation provides specialist safe accommodation for up to 12 women and their children who need to leave their homes as a result of the risk of imminent harm from domestic abuse. The flatlets are modern and well-equipped.

Recovery Refuge

For women who experience domestic abuse along with using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism or as a result of the abuse they have experienced, finding crisis accommodation to enable them to escape domestic abuse is almost impossible. As one of only a handful of specialist complex needs refuges, we are delighted that we are able to offer the combined specialist domestic abuse support and substance misuse support in our specialist Recovery Refuge. We are proud that this helps to build a more equal society for women where everyone has a safe roof over their heads regardless of their circumstances.

“The refuge to me was the life jacket that stopped me from drowning and kept me safe through recovery. I have self-worth and a future that’s bright and it’s all thanks to them.”

Community Support

The community outreach team are here to be the voice for our clients – we walk alongside and support our clients to explore all the options available to them in their situation and to support each client to become empowered and confident to choose how they want to proceed in their recovery from domestic abuse.

IDVA Service (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor)

The main purpose of independent domestic violence advisors (IDVA) is to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children. Serving as a victim’s primary point of contact, IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans. They are proactive in implementing the plans, which address immediate safety, including practical steps to protect themselves and their children, as well as longer-term solutions. These plans will include actions from the MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) as well as sanctions and remedies available through the criminal and civil courts, housing options and services available through other organisations. IDVAs support and work over the short to medium term to put clients on the path to long-term safety. They receive specialist accredited training and hold a nationally recognised IDVA qualification.

Community DAP Service (Domestic Abuse Practitioner)

The main purpose of the role is very similar to an IDVA but DAPs work with clients deemed to be currently at medium and low risk where the priority will always be the safety of our client. Additional advocacy & support is provided to assist clients on their recovery journey, including access to our bespoke group recovery programme RISE (Resilience, Independence, Strength and Empowerment). Our practitioners all complete a specialist accredited qualification, Skills for Justice – Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence.

Children and Young People Service

Family DAP Service (Family Domestic Abuse Practitioner)

Our Children and Young People (CYP) service offers practical and emotional support, information, and education for CYP who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse. Our specialist team support young people to explore their feelings and help them understand what they have been through, know they are not to blame, help them to stay safe and let them know where they can turn if they need more help. Our FDAPs work with children and young people up to 13/14 and utilise our bespoke group programme, Tribe, to help them work through the trauma they have experienced. Our team also offer support to the non-abusing parent and help them understand the impact that the domestic abuse has had on their children, as well as assisting with parenting tools and techniques to help them support their children in recovery. Our bespoke group programme, Hand in Hand, provides the non-abusing parent with a safe space to explore the impact of domestic abuse on their children and learn how to best support them. Our practitioners receive a bespoke package of training across a range of topics and approaches to ensure that they can offer the wide range of support required by our families.

YPVA Service (Young Persons Violence Advisor)

Our YPVA’s offer a very similar service to our IDVA service, offering support to young people aged 14-19 or slightly older who are a high risk of harm from domestic abuse arising from their own intimate relationship or family setting. Working with the young person directly, our YPVA’s support them from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans. They receive specialist accredited training and hold a nationally recognised YPVA qualification.

Learn more about Next Chapter

Accessibility information

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief, or sexual orientation. In addition, during the various stages of recruitment, specific measures can be taken to ensure equal opportunities for candidates with disabilities or special needs.

We are committed to promoting an inclusive environment for our team; working to oppose and challenge all forms of discrimination, inequality, and injustices to create a fairer and more equitable experience for people. We aim for our team to be truly representative of the areas we work in and the people we support and for each person in our team to feel respected and able to be their best.

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

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.

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

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

Clare Chesworth | clarec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 158737

    To access a full job description and application details,
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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 “Next Chapter – Trustees x2” into the subject field.

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

    Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

    Clare Chesworth | clarec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 158737

    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.

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    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 29th January 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Thursday 1st February 2024
    Interviews: Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Next Chapter 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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