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The Cares Family is seeking new trustees

Posted by The Cares Family on 22nd December 2019

The Cares Family is a group of community networks of younger and older neighbours hanging out and helping one another in our rapidly changing cities. We do this because while our big cities are amazing – full of cultural and economic opportunities and hotbeds of innovation – they can also be anonymous, isolating and lonely. In fact, the UK is considered to be the ‘loneliness capital of Europe’ – with our biggest cities the very most isolating.

This is especially the case for older people whose social networks may have frayed over time and whose communities are transforming faster than ever before due to globalisation, gentrification, digitisation, transience and housing bubbles; and for young people in their 20s and 30s facing work and social media pressures and living far from friends and family. The result is that our generations are experiencing a dual ‘loneliness epidemic’, with severe implications for individuals, communities and society at large.

Two women smiling at each other

Over the past eight years, The Cares Family has grown from a small grassroots project into a national leader helping to reduce loneliness at both the community and systemic levels. All told, North London Cares (opened 2011), South London Cares (2014), Manchester Cares (2017), Liverpool Cares (2018) and East London Cares (2019) have now brought 17,000 older and younger people together to share over 400,000 interactions, 3,600 social clubs and 19,000 one-to-one hours, and to feel closer to their communities even at a time of division.

Over the past four years in particular we have undergone accelerated growth, supported by a number of national partners including Nesta, The National Lottery Community Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Tudor Trust. In 2018, the former Prime Minister launched the government’s first ever loneliness strategy, which we helped shape, at a Cares Family event, and our Founder/CEO was named one of the inaugural 20 Obama Foundation Fellows, bringing new attention to our issues and our model. Our work has been featured in The Economist, The Guardian, The Telegraph and on BBC1’s News at Ten, and been supported by Stewart Lee, Florence and the Machine and Russell Howard.

Now, as we look to the future, we know we have redoubled potential. We are scoping the possibility of further expansion and we are also broadening our mission to ensure that our model meets its moment of potential, with plans for new pilots, projects, partnerships and campaigns to bring different groups together to tackle broader ‘disconnection in a connected age’.

Wearing Christmas hats

To achieve that, we need to consolidate our progress over recent years and get ready for the future. That’s why we are looking for two or three new trustees to help bring new skills and perspectives to the organisation. We are particularly looking for trustees with deep experience scaling national charity organisations, with legal experience, and with roots in Manchester, Liverpool and east London. And we are looking for diversity – to help us make better decisions and to better represent the communities we work in.

You will need to attend four board meetings plus one strategy away day per year, and to work with our Chair, Chief Executive and the rest of our Board of Trustees to help The Cares Family meet its strategic objectives over a four-year term.

To apply, please send a CV and cover note to alex.smith@thecaresfamily.org.uk, explaining why you think you are right for the role(s) and what you can contribute over the coming years. Successful candidates will initially be invited to meet The Cares Family Chair and CEO.

Wearing Christmas hats

We are looking for:

Trustees with legal experience who will:

  • Have at least five years’ experience in charity, corporate, employment, data or tort law;
  • Bring a good understanding of changing charity regulation;
  • Support our team(s) with guidance on partnership agreements, SLAs, staff contracts, sponsorships, leases, and other agreements;
  • Proactively identify areas of legal risk and take actions to manage those risks;
  • Manage relationships with specialist pro bono legal providers;
  • Develop processes, guidance and training to support our staff team(s) to make decisions;
  • Lead on data protection compliance.

Trustees with charity leadership experience who will:

  • Have at least five years’ experience of leadership in the charity and community sector, particularly in an organisation that has scaled quickly;
  • Help the board to understand the context in which we work, particularly as we grow The Cares Family to new locations and to work on new issues;
  • Have a commercial approach to opportunity and risk and be able to balance risk and value against practical constraints and organisational goals;
  • Act as a representative of The Cares Family in the wider charity and community sectors, bringing experience to our internal procedures and influence to our external development.

Trustees with roots in Manchester, Liverpool and east London who will:

  • Bring further insight to The Cares Family board about the communities in which we work, particularly the new branches opened in the past two years: Manchester Cares, Liverpool Cares and East London Cares;
  • Help us to connect with new partners and funders in The Cares Family’s newer locations;
  • Support our staff teams in Manchester, Liverpool and east London.

Trustees from diverse backgrounds who will:

  • Bring better thinking, insight and experience to the group to improve The Cares Family’s collective decision making;
  • Help The Cares Family at the board level to more fully reflect the communities we work in and with;
  • Bring specific skills and experience from your working life to improve The Cares Family’s programmes and sharpen our strategic direction;
  • Come with a breadth of work experience that may include any of the above or wider skills of use to a growing charity.

All trustees will:

  • Work collectively to set the strategic direction of The Cares Family;
  • Scrutinise operational and delivery decisions;
  • Support the organisation to achieve the best value for funders;
  • Ensure good governance;
  • Carry out all fiduciary duties;
  • Bring their own time, energy and networks to the table to support The Cares Family’s objectives.

The Cares Family seeks to live our values (kindness, community, trust, bravery, learning) in everything we do. We are proactively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds for these trustee positions.

Please note that all trustee positions are voluntary positions.

To apply, please send a CV and cover note to alex.smith@thecaresfamily.org.uk, explaining why you think you are right for the role(s) and what you can contribute over the coming years. Successful candidates will initially be invited to meet The Cares Family Chair and CEO.

Group photo after a workshop

Donate today

Thank you for considering a donation to The Cares Family. Your gift will help to tackle loneliness and build connection and community in a disconnected world. Our work is powered by people – so please chip in if you can.

The Cares Family is a UK registered company (10236615) and registered charity (no. 1180638). North London Cares is a UK registered company (07737818) and registered charity (1153137). South London Cares is a UK registered company (8757344) and registered charity (1157401). Manchester Cares is a UK registered company (10893107) and registered charity (1176902). Liverpool Cares is a UK registered company (11166325) and registered charity (no. 1177749). East London Cares is a UK registered company (11809555) and registered charity (no. 1186012).

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