bckr | DreamArts seeks new Chair
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DreamArts seeks new Chair

DreamArts seeks new Chair

Closing Date
18 May 2021
Time Commitment
5 meetings per year + ad-hoc advice, support and Director meetings

DreamArts is an award winning grass-roots charity which transforms young lives through arts and therapy. Since 1999, DreamArts has worked with young people aged 7-25 across Westminster to empower them to build connections to achieve a greater sense of community, and provides an inspiring space for them to express themselves, explore their challenges and build their strengths. DreamArts’ impact has been widely recognised, with the charity having been awarded Christie’s Charity of the Year in 2019, and Mentoring Charity of the Year by Queen’s Park Mental Health Awards in 2020.

Children in poverty are four times more likely to develop mental health problems, and Westminster, where DreamArts has worked for almost two decades, suffers the sixth highest level of child poverty in the UK, despite being one of London’s wealthiest areas. DreamArts is making an enormous difference on the ground to young people’s lives in Westminster, and its projects uncover and nurture young people’s talents, whether in performance, multimedia, or all-important life skills such as leadership and communication, with many going on to a career in the arts thanks to the charity’s links with London’s creative industries. DreamArts is unique in its approach, and works in coordination with the local council and social services to provide more holistic support to young people in the community.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only increased young people’s wellbeing challenges, and to help meet this need DreamArts has a powerful programme engaging those from social and ethnic backgrounds who traditionally don’t engage with the arts or therapy. DreamArts itself is in a strong financial position despite the pandemic, with the quality of its work transforming young lives having been recognised by financial growth of 50% with major three-year grants from funders including BBC Children in Need, City Bridge and John Lyon’s Charity, and is well positioned to continue expanding its reach and impact to support young people in achieving their potential.

Here is a link to a short video where some of the charity’s former participants talk about the impact DreamArts has had on their lives.


Role specification

DreamArts is looking for a Chair of Trustees to help guide the Board and executive team in its vison for the charity and ensure that DreamArts continues to meet the needs of young people during the challenges ahead.

The Chair will lead the Board as the charity seeks to increase its reach and impact to support more young people in the community, and will provide counsel and support to the leadership team, holding them to account for DreamArt’s conduct as a charity. The Chair’s primary responsibilities will be to:

  • Ensure that DreamArts operates within its charitable objectives, follows governance best practice and complies with regulatory requirements, including upholding the safeguarding of beneficiaries
  • Contribute to defining strategic objectives and overall vision of the charity, and ensuring that these are regularly reviewed and met and that the Board and leadership team fulfil their responsibilities and are appropriately challenged
  • Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties with regard to ensuring DreamArts’ financial sustainability and accountability, including regular review of risks
  • Support the Board to achieve maximum impact for DreamArts’ many stakeholders; from beneficiaries to its varied donors and partners

The Chair will also act as an ambassador for DreamArts and will support the charity as it continues to grow its reach and impact.


Person specification

As DreamArts seeks to meet the increasing wellbeing needs of young people across Westminster following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is looking for a Chair of Trustees to lead and guide the Board, with a strong understanding of the voluntary sector and how charitable organisations operate.

Candidates should demonstrate experience of operating at a leadership or non-executive level within the not-for-profit sector, or of having substantial engagement within voluntary organisations, in order to best guide the Board to achieve DreamArts’ charitable objectives. In addition, it would be particularly beneficial if candidates also had a degree of experience in the corporate world, with a blended background to provide a broad perspective to the Board. Candidates should have held previous non-executive positions; however prior Chair experience is not essential for the role.

The new Chair should be willing to get involved in DreamArts and commit the time to the role, and be able to engage and manage the rest of the Board. They should also have some connection to London, and an understanding of the unique dynamics and strong community roots within it. Candidates should bring a values-led approach and a passion to be involved in DreamArts’ mission to support young people in achieving their potential.


Required for this role

  • Board Chair ready Chairing a board involves responsibilities beyond the advisory aspects of being a non-executive director. If you have not previously chaired a board, please demonstrate your chair-readiness by listing the different boards, panels or committees that you have sat on, including details of whether you have either directly chaired or else deputised for the existing chair. If you already have significant chair experience, please detail this.
  • Charity governance Demonstrate experience of issues relating to charity governance, preferably having sat on the board of a charitable organisation.

Terms of appointment

The appointment is for a three-year term, which can be renewed at the discretion of the Board. The time commitment consists of four Ordinary Ordinary General Meetings (6pm-8pm), one Annual General Meeting (6pm-8pm) and one Trustee Away Day (10am-4pm) annually. In addition to Board meetings, the Chair will also undertake monthly supervisions with the Director, provide ad-hoc support and advice to the Trustees and act as an ambassador for DreamArts, holding occasional meetings with funders and partners, and attending events or visiting project sessions.


DreamArts welcomes applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability. DreamArts is taking action to be an anti-racist organisation and increase the diversity of our team including the Board of Trustees. We would particularly welcome and encourage candidates from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. 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.


This process is being run in-house by the organisation, who will view the applications without edits. We therefore advise applicants to avoid using ‘see CV’ or ‘please call me to discuss further’ in your application as it may restrict your chances of progressing to the next round.

Connected parties

If you would like an informal chat please contact DreamArts Director Graham Whitlock at graham@dreamarts.org.uk or Treasurer Asif Raniwala at ARaniwala@azrltd.com. If you know someone at the organisation, please mention it in your Reason for Application. All applications must be made through Nurole.

For application details, please get in touch directly with nurole.com   enquiries@nurole.com