Women’s Theatre Company Clean Break seeks new Trustee – legal skills sought
Clean Break is a women’s theatre company, founded in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed in the power of theatre to transform lives. Its vision is of a society where women can realise their full potential, free from criminalisation. It pursues this vision by producing ground-breaking theatre which puts women’s voices at its heart and creates lasting change by challenging injustice in and beyond the criminal justice system. Through theatre workshops and projects in prisons and the community which build confidence, resilience and wellbeing, Clean Break transforms the lives of women who have experienced the criminal justice system or have been identified as at risk of entering it.
For over 40 years, Clean Break has been the only women’s theatre company of its kind, and it continues to inspire playwrights and captivate audiences with its ground-breaking plays on the complex theme of women and crime. Clean Break has long sought to break down barriers to entry for women in the arts and across society and is looking at new ways to strengthen its role in creating long-lasting change for women in the UK workforce. It uses theatre to keep the subject of women in prison on the cultural radar, helping to reveal the damage caused by the failures of the criminal justice system. Through its unique work, it raises difficult questions, inspires debate, and helps to effect profound and positive change in the lives of women with experience of the criminal justice system.
Clean Break’s women-only identity is crucial to its rationale. The treatment of women by the criminal justice system is one of the clearest demonstrations that our society is still unequal and that women are judged by different standards to men. Its vision is of a society where women are neither unjustly criminalised nor unnecessarily imprisoned, and it believes that theatre enables women to challenge their oppression by society in general and by the criminal justice system in particular.
Trustees are responsible for ensuring the charity delivers its mission to fulfil the objects in its governing document within the resources it has. This is achieved by agreeing strategy together with the other Trustees and senior staff. Clean Break’s objects or purpose is defined as advancing education for the public benefit through the promotion of the arts, with particular but not exclusive reference to imprisonment of women and helping to rehabilitate and re-integrate women ex-prisoners and offenders by promoting and developing the creative, artistic and practical abilities of such persons.
Key duties of Trustees include:
- Ensuring that Clean Break complies with its governing document (memorandum and articles of association), charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
- Ensuring that Clean Break applies resources (being income, the building and other staff) exclusively in pursuance of achieving the purposes listed above for the benefit of the public
- Helping to define Clean Break’s goals and ensuring performance is evaluated against agreed targets and safeguarding the good name and values of Clean Break
- Maintaining the effective and efficient administration of Clean Break, including having appropriate policies and procedures in place and the financial stability of Clean Break
- Supporting the succession planning, appointment, supervision, support, appraisal and remuneration of the Leadership Team (as joint Chief Executives, this is the Executive Director and two Joint Artistic Directors)
The Trustee will also support Clean Break in setting out its post-Covid shape, and contribute to developing strategy around how the charity will sustainably support women who are its beneficiaries, and continue to tell their stories on stages going forward.
Clean Break is looking for new Trustees to join the Board who embody its purpose and mission, who can demonstrate an understanding of the work of the charity and who will be willing to get actively involved in discussions. To ensure it has a range of experience, perspective, and skills within its Board, Clean Break is looking for new Trustees with experience or knowledge in any of the below areas:
- Financial acumen (finance / fundraising) Candidates should demonstrate strong financial skills and experience to be both a Trustee and a member of the Finance Committee. Although a good understanding of finance is required, alongside the ability to clearly articulate financial information, this could come from a background in any sector. The new Trustee should bring an entrepreneurial perspective, and will provide support on Clean Break’s objectives with regard to converting intangible assets and intellectual property into sustainable revenue streams. An understanding of charity finance or experience of finance management in a charity or arts organisation would be beneficial.
- Criminal justice sector experience (criminal justice / legal) Clean Break values insight and connection to those with experience of or working in the criminal justice sector, to ensure that its advocacy work remains current and relevant. Candidates could bring a legal background, or have worked in a charity within the criminal justice sector. Clean Break is also open to appointing candidates with a lived experience of criminal justice, and currently has several Trustees with lived experience.
- Leadership experience in the arts (theatre producing / arts management) As a theatre company, Clean Break would value having a Trustee who can bring experience and provide insight from the professional arts sector. Candidates should demonstrate experience of producing theatre, commissioning new work or arts venue management (this could be from a touring or venue-based perspective), for example producers, general managers, or executive directors in theatre or arts centres.
Desired for this role (candidates should bring one of the following)
- Financial acumen In-depth experience of working directly with financial issues. Experience could be either in a financial leadership role or in an advisory capacity. Candidates will be able to provide counsel on complex financial matters.
- Criminal justice sector experience Demonstrate previous experience within the criminal justice sector.
- Leadership experience in the arts Experience in a leadership role within the professional arts sector, either as an artist or in a management or production role. Candidates should have a good understanding of producing theatre, commissioning new work, or arts venue management (either from a touring or venue-based perspective).
Alison Frater, Chair
Tanya Tracey, Deputy Chair
Sabba Akhtar, Chair of the Finance Committee
Alison Jefferis, Chair of the Development Committee
Clean Break welcomes applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability. As Black, Asian and ethnically diverse women, women from lower socio-economic backgrounds and women who identify as deaf or disabled are currently under-represented on the Board, applications from those candidates would be particularly encouraged. All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process. In line with the Equality Act 2010, however, the organisation may employ positive action where diverse candidates can demonstrate their ability to perform the role equally well.
Clean Break is open to appointing women with personal experience of the criminal justice system (including those having spent time on remand or as sentenced prisoners, probation clients, and/or women cautioned by the police).