Newham community charity seeks new Trustee with law expertise
The Magpie Project is a grass-roots, community-led, award-winning charity based in Newham, east London, supporting women with children under 5 who are homeless or insecurely housed and have No Recourse to Public Funds. We offer supported stay-and-play sessions throughout the week where mums and minis can come and play, enjoy a healthy breakfast and home-cooked lunch, access our babybank of nappies, wipes, buggies, clothes and other essentials, and build support networks that are so often broken as a result of homelessness, frequent moves, and trauma. We also provide trauma-informed, compassionate casework on housing, immigration, domestic violence, and other issues that families face, and make supported referrals to foodbanks, children’s centres, health visitors, solicitors, and other services.
The Magpie Project has grown organically out of a 7-week pilot in 2017 where we co-produced with homeless and insecurely housed women what a service would look like that met their needs and lowered their barriers to engaging and seeking support. Co-production remains central to our work through our 3-word strategy ‘ask the mums’, which we keep alive through regular ‘Mothers’ Meetings’ where we get feedback from families and our Mums’ Leadership Team which meets fortnightly with our CEO to take key decisions relating to the project and define our outward voice and advocacy work. Our creative partnerships have included musicians, visual artists, dance artists, and an international fashion designer who uses our families’ stories in her award-winning designs, which give voice to our families’ experiences. These sit alongside our policy and advocacy work which has included giving evidence to the House of Lords Committee on Covid Recovery, the APPG on Temporary Accommodation, and frequent meetings with local authorities to ensure that services are designed with the needs and barriers of our families in mind.
Everything we do has our mums and minis at its heart. Our vision is for happier, healthier children, being positively parented by socially integrated and well-informed mums who feel more in control of their situation.
Who we are looking for:
- Experience in HR, Immigration, Homelessness, VAWG charity sectors, or law welcome.
- We are keen to hear from those whose background and experience resonates with that of the women we support, applicants from a West African, Middle Eastern, Albanian heritage, and those with experience of forced migration or homelessness.
- A level of fluency in written and spoken English to engage with meetings and documents.
- Prior experience of charity governance is not necessary for this role and training will be provided.
· Work alongside Chair and other board members to oversee the overall governance and strategic direction of The Magpie Project.
· Work alongside other board members to ensure that The Magpie Project acts in accordance with its governing document, charity law, and other relevant legislation/applicable regulations.
· Act to support the staff and volunteers, and mums’ steering committee, to ensure The Magpie Project adheres to its core values of co-production, compassion, and trauma-informed work.
· Commit to practice collaborative, informed, carefully considered, strategic decision-making.
· Embody our commitment to active anti-racist, trauma-informed, child-centred, relationship-based working with women and children experiencing multiple disadvantages.
Main responsibilities of the trustee:
· Assist the staff leadership team (CEO and Chief Financial Officer) in strategic plans and regular review of the long-term strategic aims of the organisation.
· Interrogate organisational policies, goals, targets and help to evaluate performance against these.
· Agree to mentoring, training, and coaching as appropriate to improve your ability to govern and enhance your overall contribution to the board.
· Attend and be a member of committees and working groups as appropriate.
· Take steps to keep up with the workings and achievements of The Magpie Project over and above information shared at board meetings through attending events, visiting the project, and following project news on social media, on the website, or through newsletters.
Frequency of meetings:
- Three full board meetings (held in person where possible, in East London).
- Three subcommittee meetings (you will be asked to join either the Safeguarding, Finance and Fundraising, or CEO Performance Management subcommittee. These meetings are held online).
- One AGM.
- One summer party.
- Project visits and other meetings relating to your specific contribution within the board, by arrangement.
Please click here for further information.