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Trustee/Director with Academic/Research/Mental Health expertise

Trustee/Director with Academic/Research/Mental Health expertise

Forces in Mind Trust was founded in November 2011 by a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund, now the National Lottery Community Fund. As a member of Cobseo - the Confederation of Service Charities - and a permanent member of its Executive Committee, the Trust works within the Armed Forces charities sector, and much more widely, to support the United Kingdom's Armed Forces Community. The Trust is unique within this sector and puts measurable impact at its core.

  • Our Vision is that all ex-Service personnel and their families lead fulfilled civilian lives
  • Our Mission is to enable them to make a successful and sustainable transition
  • Our Strategy is to use our spend-out endowment to fund targeted, conceptually sound, evidence generation and influence activities that will cause policy makers and service providers to support our Mission, and to strengthen the Armed Forces charities sector through collaboration and leadership, and by building its capacity

The engine of the Trust is the Programmes Committee, which drives the award of £3 million each year to a variety of organizations in accordance with the Grants and Commissioning Plan. The Plan comprises a coherent set of seven Programmes, each with desired beneficiary outcomes and guiding priorities derived from a robust theory of change model, and encompassing an influence and exploitation plan. One of these Programmes is Health, which includes an embedded £5-800k per year Mental Health Research Programme with an independent programme steering group.

The Trust, which is based in rented premises in Victoria, London, has a single corporate Trustee, known as FIM Trustee Limited, and a Board of Directors (in effect Trustees) of up to 14 members, of whom 5 will be Cobseo-nominated members, as well as a Protector who is there to represent the Founder, the National Lottery Community Fund. A small team of 10 full-time employees, led by a Chief Executive, is responsible for the operational delivery of the Trust's Mission. Human Resources, Financial Control, Legal Advice and Facilities Management (including Information Technology services) are outsourced.

Strategic oversight of the Trust's Programmes and approval of individual projects are the responsibility of the Programmes Committee of Directors, as recommended by the executive team after full independent assessment. The endowment (which is held in portfolios by Investment Managers) and financial management are overseen by a Finance and Investment Committee. These Committees meet quarterly, and there is also a Governance Committee, which meets bi-annually. Directors are expected to attend quarterly Board meetings and an annual strategy awayday, and to be appointed to one of the Committees; meetings usually take place at or near to the Trust in London. Directors are appointed for an initial term of 3 years, which may be renewed once. Directors are not remunerated, but are paid reasonable travel and subsistence expenses, including childcare costs when required.

Future direction
To further increase the impact of our grant funding we continue to promote proactive commissioning, better exploitation of the evidence we generate to change policy and service provision, and more robust evaluation. Our 'programmatic' approach to all our work is a clear message that the Forces in Mind Trust intends to build upon its highly successful early years, and deliver the substantial benefit to the Armed Forces Community for which we were originally conceived. Whilst our reputation and ability to influence others have grown, we intend to substantially increase our capacity to lead real change.

This is an exciting time for the Trust, and we hope you will consider bringing your talents to join us on our journey.

Director requirements
The Board is seeking to maintain an appropriate level of skills and experience to support the Trust's development. Specifically, the Trust is looking for expertise in research and mental health to replace a world-leading expert in these fields. It is anticipated that the appointed Director would become a member of the Programmes Committee as well as the Board.

Experience in all or a combination of the following areas would be welcomed:

  • Academia
  • Research
  • Mental health

The Trust is required to have spent out by 2031, and it is not envisaged that fund raising will be undertaken.

All Directors are expected to have strong empathy with the United Kingdom's Armed Forces Community, but direct military experience is not required. Moreover, the nature of the Trust's work means that direct contact with the Armed Forces Community beneficiary population is infrequent.

The Trust operates across the United Kingdom, and applications from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are particularly welcome. The Trust is committed to equality and diversity and we encourage applications from females, and from all sections of the LGBT community and black and minority ethnic communities. Most of the Directors' work takes place in the Trust's offices, which are fully accessible, and so we also welcome interest from those who may have additional needs.

Further information
The Trust's work is extensively described on its website

How to apply
Expressions of interest comprising a cover letter and CV totalling not more than 4 sides should be sent to by Friday 31st July 2020. All applications will be acknowledged, and those with whom the Trust wishes to take forward discussions will be personally informed before the end of July.