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Trustees YMCA DownsLink Group

Bring your voice to the Board of the largest charity in Sussex and Surrey working to prevent youth homelessness, and supporting children and young people’s emotional and mental health. 

  • Location: Sussex and Surrey
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 3rd June

Who we are

YMCA DownsLink Group operates across Surrey and Sussex helping children and young people have a fair chance to be who they want to be. Each year we support thousands of children and young people up to the age of 25, providing a safe home, increasing life skills and self-confidence, and improving emotional and mental health and well-being.

Children and young people are at the heart of our thinking, and we are acutely aware of the challenges they face in our post-pandemic and economically uncertain world. Our services are needed now more than ever before, and our current three-year strategy will see us focus on ensuring we are strong, agile and responsive to meet their increasingly complex needs.

About the roles

As we continue to focus on supporting positive change for children and young people, we seek two new Trustees to join us and actively contribute to this stage of our journey.

Bringing your expertise and values that align to our own you’ll be energised by our strategic priorities of delivering psychologically informed services, amplifying youth voice and leadership and continuing to ensure we are a great place to work.


Who we are looking for

We are looking for two trustees; one who brings experience in a regulated housing environment and the other who is a strategic finance professional and financially qualified.

Alongside your professional expertise, you will be committed to ensuring children and young people’s voices and experiences help us in decision-making at all levels, are committed to learning, will ensure we continue to be an effective and financially sustainable organisation and are equitable, diverse and inclusive.

We welcome people of all faiths and those of none, although applicants must be prepared to respect and promote the founding Christian principles of the organisation.

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

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

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

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Clare Chesworth

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Welcome from the Chair of Trustees and Chief Executive

We are so pleased that you are looking at this chance to join our Board of Trustees.

At YMCA DownsLink Group we are committed to doing the best for the children and young people we support. We know that access to safe and secure accommodation is a critical part of the journey for young people facing homelessness and those leaving care, and we take the management and upkeep of our supported accommodation very seriously. Another key part of our service offering is our emotional well-being and mental health provision, and our specialist information advice and support. In all ways, we support children and young people to have a fair chance to be who they want to be.

The last 10 years have seen a period of strong growth for us, of which we are proud, as this has allowed us to impact the lives of so many more children and young people than ever before. However, in recent years we have seen, as have many organisations like ours, an increase in the needs and complexity of issues presented by those we support. In response, our recently released strategy for 2023-2026 sets a clear vision that will help us focus as we respond to the challenging operating environment.

In 2023 we began a programme of transformation designed to reinvest in our core mission of supporting young people and children. Our staff and volunteers are hugely committed, and we have been working hard to harness the immense skills and experience that exist across our organisation. We will value your input on this, recognising that what we do as a Board is hugely influential, and your voice will be an important addition for us.

One last thing. We’re striving to build an inclusive workplace where all employees and volunteers feel valued and respected. We particularly welcome applications from People of the Global Majority, people who are LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities because these groups are currently under-represented in our workforce.

We hope you will be inspired to consider joining us to play your part in helping to ensure that all young people in Sussex and Surrey can belong, contribute and thrive in their communities.

Very warm wishes,

Fran Beckett
Chair of Trustees

Emily Brock
Chief Executive

About YMCA DownsLink Group

YMCA England and Wales

YMCA DownsLink Group is a member of the federation of YMCA England and Wales. The YMCA is the largest and oldest youth charity in the world and a global movement responding to the needs of young people and communities.

We are proud to be part of the wider YMCA federation. Whilst we are self-governing, we contribute to the federation’s vision and purpose: an inclusive Christian movement transforming communities so that all young people can belong, contribute and thrive.

YMCA DownsLink Group

We are the largest charity in Sussex and Surrey working to prevent youth homelessness and support children and young people’s emotional and mental health. We employ 370 people and have 80 volunteers.

With a turnover of approximately £17 million, 53% of our income is from rent and service charges, with the remaining 47% largely from commissioned contracts with some fundraising and other income streams.

We help children and young people have a fair chance to be who they want to be. We do this by providing a safe home, increasing life skills and self-confidence, and improving emotional well-being and mental health. Each year, we support thousands of children and young people up to the age of 25 across Sussex and Surrey. You can find out more about the impact of our work here.

We offer support in three service areas:

  • Supported housing and sustaining accommodation
  • Specialist information, advice and support
  • Emotional well-being and mental health

Our services are inclusive, and we support children and young people who are LGBTQ+, Black and racially minoritised, neurodiverse, have experienced exploitation, are care experienced, young families, young carers, young refugees and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

We offer a mixture of self-contained and shared accommodation and a support pathway from high-support services to independent accommodation. Our supported housing units include 24-hour staffed services, projects which have daytime support staff, transitional housing schemes with visiting support, and move-on accommodation for more permanent, independent living.

We reach young people and their families through our key services, including a wide range of therapeutic services – both directly to clients in the community as well as in schools and digitally; support and advice; family mediation; and specialist services, such as our service for children and young people who have been sexually exploited.

Our Governance

YMCA Board organisation chart

Our Board of Trustees (currently 10) is a professional, enthusiastic and effective governing body which is committed to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance. Trustees, all of whom are non-executive and unremunerated except for the reimbursement of essential expenses, are drawn from diverse backgrounds. They bring a broad range of relevant experience and skills to Board discussions.

There are four committees of the Board, on one or more of which a new Trustee may be invited to serve. All meet four times a year, usually remotely:

  • Audit and Risk, which reviews and monitors the risk management, assurance and internal control frameworks, ensures effective internal and external audit processes are in place as well as full compliance with contractual, regulatory and legal requirements.
  • Impact and Services, which monitors the ongoing quality of our services ensuring the development of a Psychologically Informed Environment and the management of safeguarding risks as well as oversight of organisational impact.
  • People and Remuneration, which reviews the organisation’s People Strategy, workforce planning and remuneration package of the CEO and Executive Team as well as determining the arrangements for the appraisal of all staff.
  • Resources, which reviews the organisation’s annual budgets, Asset Management and ICT strategies as well as stress-testing the organisation’s Business Plan and ensuring that new business opportunities are reviewed prior to making recommendations to the Board.

There is a clear distinction between the oversight role of the Board and the responsibility of senior management for the day-to-day running of the organisation. Matters such as policy and strategic plans are prepared by the Executive Team for consideration and approval by the Board.

Read more about our Trustees here.


Our Executive Team

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate YMCA DownsLink Challenge a 17.5-mile fundraising walk along the Downs Link Pathway from Horsham to Shoreham-by-Sea Saturday 15th July 2023 -

Our Strategy

We launched Our Strategy 2023-2026 in July last year. The strategy, which includes updated organisational mission and values, clearly lays out who we are and what we are aiming to achieve and outlines the three key priorities for our organisation for the coming years, as well as the three key enablers that inform how we work.

Our Priorities – what we will do

For 2023-2026, everything we do will be aligned with our three priorities to ensure we can help young people have a fair chance to be who they want to be:

  1. Deliver psychologically informed services
  2. Amplify youth voice and leadership
  3. Be a great place to work

Our Enablers

To achieve our priorities, we have three enablers which should inform all our activities and ways of working. In achieving our priorities, we will be:

  1. Effective and financially sustainable
  2. Equitable, diverse and inclusive
  3. Committed to learning

YMCA EDI data in a bar chart.

Accessibility information

We are striving to build an inclusive workplace where all staff and volunteers feel valued and respected. We are committed to policies and practices of equity, diversity, and inclusion across everything we do.

We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.

Our accessibility provisions include:

  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Examples of reasonable adjustments include:

  • Flexible working arrangements in relation to hours, location and distribution of duties
  • Disability leave or time off for assessment, rehabilitation, treatment or counselling
  • Making adjustments to work premises to enhance access for individuals with physical or sensory impairments, mental health or neurodiversity needs, or health conditions such as epilepsy or diabetes
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment, e.g. voice-activated software for dyslexia, larger monitor, adjustable height-furniture
  • Providing additional training
  • Providing additional supervision or mentoring
  • Transcribing or modifying instructions e.g. putting papers in accessible formats, or making documentation available electronically via email or on the Internet.

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:

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

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

    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 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 “Application: YMCA DownsLink Group – Trustees” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

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

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

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

    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 3rd June 2024
    First Stage Interviews: Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th June 2024
    Second Stage Interviews: Thursday 20th June 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and YMCA DownsLink Group 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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