Trustee x 2

September 9, 2021

Speakers Trust mission is to empower young people to speak and be heard. We do this by developing education and skills training focusing on building young people’s confidence and skills to speak in public and by creating opportunities for young people to share their ideas and perspectives with others.

We currently seek two new Trustees who share our passion for developing this fundamental life skill in young people, and a desire to support us through contributing their time and skills in those areas we have identified as important to the next stage of our success: (1) Digital transformation of our offer and in particular the development of education technology; (2) experience developing life skills including oracy skills in young people, either as a teacher or involvement in education or through participation in our programme.

About Speakers Trust

Speakers Trust is an education and skills charity that helps young people become better communicators. Our vision is that every young person has the skills and confidence to speak and be heard.

The current reality is that too many young people leave school without the communication skills they need to succeed in higher education, in the workplace or to be an effective voice in society. This is particularly acute for young people who face multiple disadvantages.

This is the challenge Speakers Trust is tackling, and it is these young people whom we primarily aim to help.

We do this by working with those who share our mission to make training and resources available as widely as possible. We work with almost one in every five state secondary schools in England, and increasingly with other charities to support programmes in employability, access to Higher Education, social action and more broadly in youth development. These include NCS Trust, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Premier League Community Foundation..

Speakers Trust measure success, not only by the numbers we reach but the impact our work has. Over 75% of participants increase their confidence, with an average increase of over 60%. Over 9 in 10 believe the skills they have developed will be valuable for their future and 100% of teachers involved recommend working with Speakers Trust.

The pandemic challenged us to transform our face to face offer into the development of a range of digital resources and to become ever more effective in working remotely and streamlining our operations.  We have emerged from this period with greater capabilities and new opportunities, as well as a strong financial position, having reached break even through the pandemic period.  Confirmed funding for programmes to run during 2021/22 ensures the viability of the charity for the coming year and an opportunity to develop our strategy for the changes we are seeing in education.

Income comes from individual and corporate donors, as well as trusts and foundations. We also operate as a social enterprise, providing high-quality training in an affordable format to employers and individuals across the country. Income from social enterprise activities brings sustainability and resilience to the charity.

Where to next?

Speakers Trust is ambitious about how we will grow the reach of our work and the positive social impact we can have. The opportunity is large and the environment we work in is challenging, with funding pressures in both the education and youth sectors. Our strategy is to respond to this by:

Delivering high-quality communications skills training with measurable impact, focused on solving the challenges faced by the most disadvantaged young people, and offering them opportunities to have their voice heard, building on our strengths, and developing strong complementary partnerships, to scale a sustainable charity, becoming a thriving national social enterprise, expanding our evidence base to demonstrate the value of communication skills to individuals and society and what works in developing these skills and platforms.

By doing this, Speakers Trust will be able to continually develop our work and make a tangible difference to the lives of tens of thousands of young people and their communities annually.

This strategy will also enable the charity to raise the importance of our mission, contribute to the debate on systems change and to build the charity’s reputation in tackling this societal challenge. In turn, this will help to engage more people with our work and increase the difference made. 

Role specification

Speakers Trust expects trustees to fully contribute within and outside of the trustee meetings in the following ways:

Strategic leadership

  • Work with the board and leadership team to ensure that there is a clear, sustainable strategy for the organisation
  • Contribute skills, contacts and expertise to influence, and support Speakers Trust to deliver our strategic goals
  • Review progress against strategic goals

Governance

  • Work with other board members to ensure that Speakers Trust functions within the legal and financial requirements of a registered charity, and our constitution
  • Ensure effective governance procedures are in place and ensure that we have the right systems and culture to ensure that these are followed
  • Take responsibility with other trustees so that the organisation has effective practices to safeguard the people it works with

Other

  • Act as an ambassador and spokesperson for the charity and our work
  • Advocate and support activities to develop the profile and income of the charity
  • Attend Speakers Trust programme activities (ranging from workshops to events) to support that ambassadorial role and to gain further perspective on the work delivered and the impact it has

Person specification

Speakers Trust is looking for people who value the potential of all young people and understand the barriers that many young people face to achieve success.

Individuals will be passionate about how better communication skills can have an important role both for young people’s prospects and their ability to play a full role in society. They will also want young people from all backgrounds to have their voice heard to shape the world around them.

To further strengthen the board, they are seeking trustees who have specialised knowledge, skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Digital / digital education development
  • experience developing life skills including oracy skills in young people, either as a teacher or involvement in education or through participation in our programme.

Our Commitment to Diversity

Speakers Trust prioritises equality, values diversity and aims to foster an inclusive culture.  We welcome applications from across our community.  We seek to offer equal opportunities and ensure that make sure that discrimination does not occur because of ethnicity, race, socio economic background, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, or pregnancy and maternity.

Because of the current make up of our board and the young people we seek to reach, we particularly welcome applications from those groups which are underrepresented at board level, including those with an ethnic minority background and those with a disability.

Structure of Speakers Trust

Speakers Trust is a charity that works in the UK. Legally, they are a UK Company, limited by guarantee and registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Charity Commission for Scotland. All the income made by the charity is reinvested in their charitable mission.

Details about who is currently on our board, in our core team and our ambassadors, are available here.

The Board

The organisation is governed by a voluntary Board of Trustees, chaired by Fiona Wilkinson  The primary role of the Board is to agree the strategic direction of the organisation and to govern the organisation (ensuring that good practice is followed by both the trustees and the executive team across a range of areas, including financial management and safeguarding).

Additionally, the Board act as advocates of the charity to support our mission and contribute to the fundraising and stakeholder engagement aspects of our work.

The Board has two sub-committees covering finance and governance.

In addition, Speakers Trust’s founder, Sue Warner remains actively involved with the charity.

The core team

Speakers Trust has a core team of eight staff based in Central London. Led by Chief Executive Russell Findlay, this team is responsible for achieving our strategic ambitions. They do this by building partnerships, generating income, designing and developing resources and activities to ensure high quality and strong outcomes, and through the effective management and co-ordination of programmes.

Trainers

Speakers Trust works with over 50 trainers to deliver workshops across the country to the curriculum that is developed centrally. These trainers are recruited for their capabilities to successfully deliver our work to young people, as well as their commitment to the mission and values of the charity.

Expectations and entitlements

Trustee roles are voluntary. In line with Charity Commission Guidance, reasonable travel expenses can be reimbursed.

Speakers Trust asks anyone applying to commit to the following:

  • Attend five Board Meetings a year (with scope for one of these to be via conference call) and the AGM
  • Attend Speakers Trust programmes or events on at least three occasions a year
  • Consider joining a sub-committee
  • Attend various internal / external meetings
  • Serve for a term of four years (after a 6-month review period by both parties)
  • Work with the Chair to review performance periodically

New trustees will be supported with:

  • Induction programme
  • mentor

Application Process

We would like to hear about your reasons for applying and the expertise that you feel you can bring to the charity.  To this, please apply by completing this application form by the closing date of 28th October