Chair-designate / Trustees – SignHealth
Chair-designate / Trustees
When we describe SignHealth as ‘the Deaf health charity’, we mean exactly that. We are a unique Deaf-led organisation, here to improve Deaf people’s health and wellbeing. Our strategic focus is on people like us who use British Sign Language (BSL): this is where our expertise lies, and where we feel we are best able to help. Services we provide include psychological therapy, domestic abuse support and social care services, all delivered by Deaf people to Deaf people directly in BSL. We are one of the UK’s largest voluntary sector employers of Deaf people, and almost all our hearing colleagues in our services are also fluent sign language users.
Along with our colleagues and the people who use our services, our talented and committed Board has been a key driver of our increased impact and reach over the past few years. We are incredibly fortunate to have an outstanding group of Trustees, who bring both professional expertise and personal experience to our governance. They help us to make good decisions, and set a challenging and optimistic vision for our future. Our inspirational Chair, Jackie Driver OBE, is stepping down in October 2023, and we want to appoint an exceptional person to succeed her. As we want to have a thorough hand-over process, the successful candidate will be appointed as Chair-designate, and will join the Board no later than spring 2023. Planned retirements means that there are also a number of further opportunities to become one of our Trustees, joining in autumn 2023.
What are we looking for? The simple answer is a passion for the provision of better services to Deaf people, and the skills to help us advance that ambition. For the Chair role, you will need to be comfortable with developing a public profile, including attending and contributing to events, and you will be a skilled facilitator of discussions and decision-making. A good knowledge of the health system, and of how partnerships can create better services, would be a definite advantage. We want new and challenging views of the world on our Board, so we are encouraging applications from those who may never have considered becoming a charity trustee before. Lived experience of being a Deaf person, including proficiency in BSL, is hugely valuable, as is your own professional perspective (probably, though not necessarily, gained in a sector which aligns or overlaps with ours).
We recognise the urgent need to address the health inequality faced by Deaf people who are Black, Asian or from a minoritised ethnic community. Outdated vocabulary and structural assumptions about Black people and people of colour still persist in sign language, in our Deaf community, as well as across much of the health system. SignHealth is determined to play a leading role in tackling these issues once and for all. So we are particularly interested in expressions of interest from Black people and people of colour. And we positively welcome applications from Deaf people (or those with Deaf people in their close networks) who use BSL.
To find out more, visit www.signhealth-board.co.uk where you will find further information in BSL and English. If you’re Deaf and want to have an informal discussion about the role in BSL, please email email@example.com and we will put you in touch with Joanna Wootten, Deaf Associate with Cadence Partners. We positively welcome applications from Deaf people who meet the criteria set out in the Person Specification, and a webinar about the roles, with BSL interpreters and STTR, will be held in early January 2023.
Closing date: Monday 16 January 2023.