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Trustees | VSO

Together we want to create a fair world for everyone and create lasting change through volunteering. What could be a better way to volunteer than to be a Trustee of VSO?

  • Location: Meetings held in Kingston upon Thames, London UK and online
  • Salary: Unremunerated

About the role

In just the last year, VSO volunteers and partners have reached over 1,000,000 people worldwide. As one of the leading international development organisations worldwide, we bring inspiration, energy and vital practical skills to help achieve community goals such as better healthcare, more valuable education and broader opportunities in over 24 countries.

We know that people in developing countries have the power, courage and desire to help themselves. That’s why we use a Volunteering for Development approach that puts the most marginalised people first. From initial design through to final evaluation, our programmes are designed with individuals and communities by empowering them to lead their own change. They tell us what their needs are. We do not see them as ‘beneficiaries’. These people are ‘primary actors’, change makers and not passive recipients of aid. They are at the heart of our work, working with us to support people through various programmes.

The act of volunteering often inspires our primary actors to then become volunteers themselves. We support these people by creating spaces and opportunities for them to influence change in their own lives. Our programmes are varied and tailored to the people we work with and include improving access to education, better healthcare, food, income and access to inclusion, resilience and social accountability programmes.

We are not about delivering quick fixes. Instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change that will impact generations to come. In the face of humanitarian crises, lack of education, healthcare, gender inequality and the climate emergency, our approach builds more resilient households, institutions and societies. It changes policy and practice at local, national and global levels.

Who we're looking for

We are looking to appoint four new Trustees who can help us work toward our vision of a fair world for everyone. The culture and diversity of our board is key to our success and we are looking for broad and well-rounded Trustees who are curious, strategic, collegiate, and reflective people who bring innovation, diverse thinking and fresh ideas. We are at a critical point in the development of VSO, and it is key that our board membership reflects the skills, experience and knowledge that our organisation needs now.

We want to attract people from a range of backgrounds including, but not limited to, strategic finance professionals who understand complex international business models, strategy gurus with experience in governance, fundraising professionals, and people with organisational development and change management experience. Our board currently does not reflect the work we do in Asia, and we would like to invite someone with experience either in international development (contract management or evaluation) or international business experience in Asia to come forward.

We expect an average time commitment to be about one day per month. The board currently meets three times per year at our offices for up to two days of meetings and sessions. All Trustees will join a sub-committee which meets virtually three times throughout the year, and we expect every 18-24 months for our Trustees to visit our programmes and projects in country.

Together we want to create a fair world for everyone and create lasting change through volunteering. What could be a better way to do so than as a Trustee at one of the leading international development organisations?

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential conversation, please contact the executive search team at Peridot Partners:

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

Grant Taylor | 07958 690184 | grant@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date: 9am, Monday 4th May 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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Dear Candidate,

We’re delighted that you are considering putting yourself forward to be a trustee of VSO. At a time when the world is struggling to combat the coronavirus, it may be tempting to see the sort of development work in which VSO is engaged as a lower priority. On the contrary, the current crisis reinforces both our belief in the importance of our work and  our commitment to it.

Our purpose of creating lasting change through volunteering – based on our programmes in education, health and livelihoods – is served in large part by helping to develop resilience in the most marginalised communities. That resilience is key to building communities that can cope with the shocks that will always confront them – whether from a pandemic, the consequences of climate change or conflict.

The future facing VSO is exciting and challenging in equal measure. Our volunteer community is incredibly diverse. The bulk of our volunteers are national and community.

Last year, our international volunteers were drawn from 66 different countries, the majority from the Global South. Our ability to win the funding to deliver programming of real scale and impact is growing, as is international awareness of the importance and potential of volunteering in addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We have been at the forefront, in particular playing the lead role in developing Global Standards for Volunteering, which were launched at a major conference in Rwanda in October last year. At the same time, we face major challenges in securing funding in a highly competitive environment; in constantly refreshing and improving the quality and relevance of our programmes; and in ensuring that we live up to our values of Collaboration, Knowledge, Inclusion and Integrity.

We hope that, having read this pack, you will want to pursue your interest in joining us. We are a relatively small International Board which works closely and collaboratively with the Executive team seeking to combine scrutiny and challenge with support and encouragement. If you believe you can make a contribution to our work at a strategic level and in any relevant area of expertise and experience you bring, we would love to hear from you further.

Sam Younger

Philip Goodwin
Chief Executive

Sam Younger

Philip Goodwin

About VSO International

VSO fight poverty not by sending aid, but by working through volunteers and partners to create long-lasting change in some of the world’s poorest regions.

Our areas of work:

Inclusive Education

Making sure everyone gets the skills they need to live a fulfilled, dignified life.

Over the past five years VSO have supported almost 3,500,000 children to access the quality education they deserve.

Healthy Communities

Improving health services for all and empowering the most marginalised to exercise their right to quality care.

Over the past five years we have helped over 3,600,000 people access better healthcare.

Resilient livelihoods

Ensuring people have the skills and opportunities needed to support themselves and their families.

770,000 people have benefited from our work supporting livelihoods over the past five years.


VSO believe progress is only possible when we work together.

Partnerships lie at the root of all the positive change VSO create. Together, VSO work on programme development and delivery, research, fundraising and influencing decision-makers.

VSO work with:

  • 500+ local organisations in 23 countries;
  • governments at all levels;
  • funders, academic institutions and advocacy platforms;
  • corporate partners.

Research and Evaluation

Evaluating work is essential. VSO carry out systematic assessments of all projects, programmes and policies.

Research plays a critical role in helping understand and improve the work of VSO in reducing poverty.

Influencing and advocacy

VSO influence policy at national, regional and international levels; connecting decision makers to the experiences of volunteers, partners and marginalised people.

VSO’s work around the world, amplifying the voices of the poorest, is making change happen.

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 | 07519 070497 | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk

Grant Taylor | 07958 690184 | grant@peridotpartners.co.uk

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement that clearly outlines your interest and motivation in applying and your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Trustees, VSO” into the subject field.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss any adjustments or support which are required.


Closing date: 9am, Monday 4th May 2020

Interviews: Monday 18th, Tuesday 19th & Wednesday 20th May 2020

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and VSO 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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