The National Autistic Society seeks new Trustee with legal expertise
The National Autistic Society is the UK’s leading charity for autistic people and one of the country’s major charities, with a turnover of around £95 million. Since 1962, we’ve been transforming lives, changing attitudes and helping to create a society that works for autistic adults and children.
Our head office is in London, and we have national offices in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and a network of regional offices and volunteer-run branches across the UK. As well as adult services and schools, we run a range of programmes, have dedicated diagnostic services and run specialist helplines. We also work closely with businesses, local authorities and government to help them provide more autism-friendly spaces, deliver better services and improve laws. And we improve public understanding of autism and the difficulties many autistic people face.
Over the last two years, we have achieved much to be proud of – as well as continuing to provide support and guidance to tens of thousands of autistic people and their families through the Covid-19 crisis. We opened a new school and services across the UK, we developed our existing services and launched them online, to continue to support people who’d otherwise have been isolated during the pandemic. We had important policy wins, including on getting more autistic people access to vital blue badges and seeing the first NHS autism diagnosis data published. We have continued to invest in our digital transformation with a new website and new digital care management tools.
This is an exciting and truly transformational time to be part of our charity. Since March 2020, our organisation has had to be extremely agile and adapt in many ways. Our policy work has had to focus on issues thrown up by the pandemic, such as the right for autistic people to stick to routines, including going out of the house more than once. Our services and schools have had to respond to changing regulations and ensure they keep people safe and supported.
At the same time, we are continuing to advocate on longstanding issues such as social care funding, and lobby for what autistic people need to see in the forthcoming autism strategy in England and its equivalent in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We are also growing our branch network – including national online branches – and we have begun work on a new mental health programme combining research, digital guidance and policy influencing.
Looking to the future, we will be developing a new strategy as we head towards our charity’s 60th anniversary in 2022.
We are proud of what we have achieved – but there is always more to be done. As the economic, social, and political landscape changes, our strategy must evolve to reflect changes. We need to ensure we continue to increase our fundraising and commercial activities to deliver the scale of impact required.
Who we are looking for
We are looking for two new trustees to join our board in July to help us navigate the future challenges.
We are keen to ensure our board is diverse in every way and we are committed to ensuring our Trustees reflect our society and our charity and the people we represent and support. We welcome applications from autistic people, their families and carers. To achieve greater diversity, we are actively encouraging applications from people of all backgrounds, regions, as well as first-time Trustees.
We are looking for people who can provide strategic direction, appropriate oversight, scrutiny, challenge, leadership and passion to support our development. We are open to people who have skills and expertise in either general management, risk or compliance, strategy, commercial growth, human resources, legal, finance.
The National Autistic Society Board meets four times with two overnight strategy away days every year. We expect our Trustees to join one sub-committee which also meets three times a year. All our meetings are currently virtual, and, in the future, we expect that we will have a blended mix of face to face and virtual meetings. We expect the time commitment overall to be two-three days per month.
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