by Author Catherinecarter

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Fairbeats Chair of Trustees

Job description



Role description and application information – Fairbeats! Music Chair

Introduction to the role

Fairbeats works with young refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants and their families through music. Our history of delivering music workshops goes back to 2009, but we became constituted as a charity (CIO – Charitable Incorporated Organisation) on 10 November 2014. Our output has steadily increased over the years and we have now reached an exciting point in our growth with increased need and demand for our services. Fairbeats has a bright future with significant potential to increase its positive impact on the lives of children, young people and communities. We are looking for a new Chair to work closely with Fairbeats’ two Directors and board of trustees to drive the future of the charity.

Introduction to Fairbeats! Music

The Fairbeats mission is to build musical skills and a culture of music making with children and young people from refugee, asylum seeking and new migrant families and the community groups that work with them.

Our aim is to enable young refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants and their families to access, enjoy and benefit from high quality music activities and progression routes that are relevant to their needs and interests.

At Fairbeats projects, all children are given the opportunity and skills to express themselves and connect with others through music. Fairbeats enables children and families to overcome the barriers they face to participating fully in music and the arts, and wider society, in the UK.

The Fairbeats strategy is divided into three strands:

1. Grassroots

Fairbeats runs inclusive music projects in grassroots community settings with children aged 3-16. The projects provide access to instrumental skills and experience in song-writing and composition. Currently grassroots activity takes place at:

  • Action for Refugees in Lewisham, Rainbow Club supplementary school (Saturday school and holiday activities)
  • Refugee Action Kingston (holiday clubs)
  • Love To Learn homework club at the Katherine Low Settlement in Wandsworth (after school club)

2. Progression

All Fairbeats participants are also supported to progress in ways that are relevant and tailored to their needs. This happens through financial, personal and practical support enabling participants to attend music lessons and clubs locally, and opportunities to get involved with arts organisations across London.

Examples of current progression partners are: Midi Music, Opera Holland Park, Blackheath Halls, Animate Orchestra

3. Practice sharing and training

Fairbeats is committed to training and workforce development for its own team and beyond. The training programme includes two annual paid traineeships and annual training sessions opened to the public. Fairbeats also works with other organisations to develop their practice around working with refugee, asylum seeker and new migrant communities, offering consultation and training to partners keen to develop a relationship with the communities we have built relationships with.

Key facts include:

  • We work with around 120 children and their families
  • Fairbeats sessions are delivered by a team of about 10 leaders, trainees and volunteers
  • We are in the process of finalising our business plan for 2018-2020, which includes financial growth to enable work with a greater number of locations, partners and participants

Legal and governance structures

Fairbeats is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). You can find our latest accounts via the Chairty Commission:

We currently have a small but very active and supportive board:

Max Glazer – with a focus on accountancy and finance
Irene Ogunseitan – with a focus on education, learning and safeguarding (previously Chair)
Corinne Bass – with a focus on strategic partnerships and the arts

We are hoping to appoint a fourth trustee in the near future, as well as a new Chair.

Fairbeats is managed by two Directors who are also the charity’s Co-Founders:

Catherine Carter – Creative Director
Jennifer Raven – Development DIrector

Role description

We are looking for a Chair who is committed to Fairbeats’ mission, and is keen to work closely with existing Fairbeats Directors and trustees to move the charity into its next phase of life. We would like to agree the role description with the Chair appointed but anticipate that the role will include:

General trustee responsibilities:

  • Have the legal responsibility to ensure that grants and donations are used in line with Fairbeats’ charitable objectives
  • Be collectively responsible for the success of Fairbeats and setting the strategic aims of the organisation, ensuring that necessary resources are in place to meet its objectives and monitoring performance
  • Define the values and standards of Fairbeats
  • Monitor and support strategy and policies
  • Scrutinise the performance of management in meeting agreed goals and objectives and ensure that Fairbeats’ controls and systems of reporting are robust.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability in Fairbeats’ activities being mindful of the support from public funds 
  • Review and approve the risk management policy once a year to ensure that it reflects changes inside and outside the organisation
  • Work with Directors to review and approve the business plan

Specific roles and responsibilities of the Chair:

  • Planning and chairing quarterly board meetings
  • Supporting and supervising the Directors and acting as a channel of communication between board and staff
  • Acting as a figurehead for the charity (eg representing it at events and meetings)
  • Leading on the development of the board and ensuring its decisions are implemented
  • Taking urgent action (but not decision making unless authorised) between board meetings when it isn’t possible or practical to hold a meeting

Essential skills, experience and qualities of the Chair

  • Commitment to music and the arts
  • Commitment to working with refugee, asylum seeker and new migrant communities
  • Understanding of social justice
  • Strategic thinker
  • Excellent at building networks and connections
  • Strong management and leadership skills
  • Experience of being on a charity board
  • Well-developed knowledge of charity governance
  • Collaborative, proactive and sensitive character

Desirable skills and experience of the Chair

  • Knowledge and experience of charity fundraising
  • Experience working with refugee, asylum seeker and new migrant communities

Time commitment

The main time commitment is preparing for, chairing and following up after four x 2-hour quarterly board meetings. In addition it will be necessary to commit time to annual audits, reporting, and administration of the board in line with Charity Commission requirements.

We are also keen for the Chair to commit some additional time beyond board meetings, though are open to discussing what is feasible with applicants. This might include:

  • Meeting with Directors in between meetings to support with tasks such as strategy and business planning
  • Attending relevant events and meetings (eg funder meetings)

Length of appointment

The Chair will be appointed for a 3-year term.

Application process

If you are interested in the role of Fairbeats Chair and would like to discuss it, please contact the Fairbeats Directors (Catherine Carter and Jennifer Raven) via and we will arrange a suitable time for a phone conversation.

To apply please submit a CV and covering letter of no more than two sides of A4 detailing your interest in Fairbeats, and relevant experience and attributes.

We are committed to equity, diversity and social justice. As such we encourage applications from people of any background. Please let us know if you have any access requirements and we will make reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Applications will close at midday on Friday 23 February and we aim to meet with shortlisted candidates during w/c 26 February.

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