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People generously support Framework in many ways including our volunteers who selflessly give their time and talents. Chief among this army of unsung heroes are the members of the Framework Board who guide the direction of the charity and are accountable to the Charity Commission, the Regulator of Social Housing and other bodies for ensuring that our work meets the required standards.

We have a Board of experienced, motivated and dedicated individuals which we are strengthening with the appointment of a new Chair. We are now recruiting to this important position.

Framework Board member Ruth Hawkins (pictured above in conversation with Framework Chief Executive Andrew Redfern) is currently Interim Chair and reflected on the requirements of the job:

“Last year we celebrated our 20th anniversary. We hope our new Chair will be with us for at least five years to take Framework on the next stage of its exciting journey. This is a very significant opportunity and I sincerely hope that people will want to come and work with the Board, with the Senior Leadership Team and particularly with the Chief Executive to take Framework forward.

The ambassadorial role of the Chair and Board members should not be underestimated. It’s an opportunity to explain the valuable work that Framework does, and its importance, and to increase the charity’s visibility. It’s also an opportunity to articulate the voice of the service user since we look after some of the most marginalised people in society and somebody needs to speak out for them.

So I would like a Chair who stands with our Chief Executive and bangs the drum for Framework locally, regionally and nationally and also gives a voice to our service users: they can’t lobby our MPs or government ministers for instance but we hope that our new Chair, working with our Chief Executive, will have the confidence to knock on those doors and the networks which give access to places we might not otherwise reach.

In addition to that external facing role the job is to chair the Board and lead the Board members: we have a particularly strong group of Board members from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. The Chair also works with the Senior Management Team and especially the Chief Executive to do the best for our staff as well as our service users. The relationship between the Chair and Chief Executive is so important for the effectiveness of the Board and Senior Leadership Team and it is vital that this relationship works well.

We don’t have a fixed view on the background or profession of our new Chair: we are more concerned to find somebody who will fit in and ideally has Chair experience, but definitely Board experience. It may be somebody with experience of working in a regulatory environment: they will at least understand what that means for an organisation. Some charity experience would be useful but not essential however it is important that the Chair has an appreciation of the service users we work with and is accustomed to working in a complex and uncertain environment.

We are looking for someone with the time and capacity to perform the role of Chair which will require a commitment of about half a day a week. This is certainly something that can be done on top of other roles and responsibilities however the person we are looking for will recognise the times when they need to be available during the day.

The new Chair will be well supported. In the short time that I have been Interim Chair the support I have received from the Chief Executive, from the Senior Leadership Team, and from other colleagues has been impressive.”

So if you are looking for the chance to ‘give back’ and make a difference, or looking for an opportunity to use skills, experience and connections in a voluntary capacity to improve the life chances of homeless and vulnerable people, you can apply for the Chair of the Board role here.