Chair of Trustees for Small UK Muscular Dystrophy Family Charity

Posted on April 2nd, 2024

The Muscle Help Foundation charity is looking for a Chair of Trustees who is passionate about our cause but also keen to get involved and help lead and drive the charity’s strategic direction. The Chair will work closely with the trustees and the charity’s founder and CEO.

‘Post the pandemic transition, there is a new cohort of Chairs emerging, shaping their board leadership skills. This emerging cohort is increasingly diverse, modern in its outlook, challenging, agile and dextrous. Many offer multi-sector experience’ (SOURCE: Starfish Board Practice – Charity Non-Executive State of the Art Update, Report from Starfish Search About the 2024 Landscape for Trustee Recruitment)

Experience and charity governance:

As MHF moves into its 21st Anniversary year and closer to realising its 657 mission, we have an exciting opportunity for someone to bring their leadership and communication skills to the fore. Previous trustee experience and charity governance are essential. 

Through dynamic and compassionate leadership, the Chair will have the ability and confidence to champion the Muscle Help Foundation’s work through personal networks and other channels. A can-do attitude, your inspirational approach and open style of leadership will attract and bring others along with you on the charity’s journey.

Main duties for MHF’s Chair: 

You will work closely with the charity’s founder and CEO but also you will lead the trustees in strategy, good governance, and policy development. As part of this engagement, the Chair will provide support to the CEO, including supporting his wellbeing and ongoing professional development.

Other duties will include:

  • When necessary, ensure the Chair and Trustees challenge the CEO constructively and only in the best interests of the charity as ‘critical friends’.
  • Liaising with the Charity Secretary, and the CEO with drafting agendas and supporting papers for Trustee meetings, ensuring provision of timely information and sharing with all.
  • Ensure charity business is covered efficiently and effectively in meetings.
  • Undertake a leadership role to ensure that board members fulfil their governance responsibilities and that trustee decisions are acted upon.
  • Maintain trustees’ commitment to board renewal, succession planning and trustee performance reviews, in line with MHF’s governing document.
  • Ensure board and trustee performance is reviewed annually.
  • Ensure the performance of the CEO is reviewed annually.

The Chair will also ensure that Trustees make an effective contribution and are engaged, fully involved and invested in the charity in discharging their responsibilities. Additionally, the role of the Chair will be to:

  • Ensure that whenever practicable, Trustees commit to attending some of MHF’s Muscle Dream programmes, providing opportunities to not only meet the CEO but also the charity’s beneficiaries, their families, and the incredible volunteers that support MHF’s ongoing work.
  • To ensure that major risks to which the charity is exposed are reviewed regularly, as required, and systems are established to mitigate these risks.
  • Working with the CEO, the Chair will develop policy proposals wherever appropriate for Board discussion and decision.
  • The Chair will support and promote MHF’s fundraising objectives wherever possible e.g. through networking with potential funders and/or attendance at any fundraising events.

Who is the Chair accountable to?

The Chair, together with the board of trustees are accountable to stakeholders including beneficiaries, funders, the Charity Commission and other regulatory bodies.

Chair skills, qualities, and experience:

MHF is looking for a Chair who not only has experience of being a charity trustee or someone who has held a senior management role, but also an individual who has a keen sense of strategic purpose, underpinned by an inclusive and compassionate style of leadership.

  • Ability to inspire and support everyone to participate on an equal footing.
  • Ability to maintain confidences and a relationship of trust with the CEO.
  • Ability to foster a collaborative board environment.
  • Advocate MHF’s work through personal networks and other channels.
  • Being responsive – as a small charity, things sometimes ‘come up’ that require the Chair to advise, support or authorise. MHF is seeking a Chair that’s available and responsive.
  • Understanding of the context in which MHF works and a commitment to its values, which adds to public confidence and trust in the charity.
  • Understanding of commercial and non-commercial issues.
  • Intellectual capacity to grasp issues outside personal experience.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically.
  • Strong communication, listening and interpersonal skills.
  • Professional or relevant business-related experience and knowledge and/or the ability to demonstrate the necessary skills needed to support MHF’s professional interests.
  • Passion, enthusiasm, and time to dedicate to the role of Chair of Trustees.

What time commitment are we looking for? 

  • The time commitment required to fulfil the Chair role will be somewhere between 2-3 days per month
  • MHF’s Trustee Board meets once every 2 months, for 2 hours, within the financial year (1st Mar – 29th Feb)
  • The Chair & trustees are encouraged to attend and engage with one Muscle Dream programme per year
  • The Chair will conduct an annual review meeting with each trustee, outside of any other trustee meetings

The Associationof Chairs (AoC) are an independent association of Chairs of social purpose and not-for-profits – formed in order to help Chairs with their unique task to lead the board in delivering the organisation’s aims – the AoC offer some excellent resources including Chair Training (if required)

Diversity, equality, and inclusion:

Our greatest strength as a board and as a charity is in our community’s diversity. We are interested in hearing from applicants with diverse skills and experiences that reflect the diversity of our beneficiaries.

Interested – Reach Out And Let’s Have A Conversation:

The Muscle Help Foundation is open to applications from those with relevant senior level charity experience. We would love to hear from people with experience of income generation, small charity or small business leadership experience as well as experience of governance in a small charity.

MHF’s recruitment process is open and inclusive. Applicants will be communicated with in advance, so they know what to expect as the process unfolds.

In the first instance, why not reach out, say hello and let’s have an informal chat – contact the charity’s founder and CEO by emailing – alternatively, feel free to get in touch with us so a mutually agreeable time can be arranged to discuss your interest with our current interim Chair or one of our Trustees.

If you would like to progress your interest forwards, we’ll send you the full application pack and a link – please be sure you let us know how we may be able to support you through the application and recruitment process. We look forward to hearing from you.

Safer Recruitment Statement:

The charity is committed to safeguarding and ensuring the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The charity expects all Trustees, employees and volunteers to share this commitment. The suitability of all prospective Trustees, employees or volunteers will be assessed during the recruitment process accordingly.

And finally…

Click here to discover more about our work and the purity of our impact. We look forward to hearing from you.

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