CBM UK – Trustee

  • Anywhere
Organization: CBM Global Disability Inclusion
Closing date: 2 Jan 2024

About Us

Too many people face poverty and isolation, denied the chance to go to school or earn a living, just because they have a disability. CBM works in the world’s poorest places to prevent blindness, improve health, and transform the lives of people with disabilities.

We know that disability and poverty are inextricably linked in a cycle. Disability often contributes to and deepens poverty on an individual, family, and community level, and poverty increases the risk of disability. Disability cannot be addressed without also addressing the poverty that causes or exacerbates it.

For more than 110 years, we’ve been working towards our mission of fighting to end this cycle of poverty and disability and reach those that others leave behind. Driven by Christian values, we work with people with disabilities to break down barriers by improving policy and practice to be more inclusive, working in partnership to overcome barriers and strengthen systems, and inspiring the people of the UK to act.

With 38 UK staff, we’re part of a Global Federation working in 20 countries. In 2022, with our partners, CBM UK delivered 36 projects in 11 countries across Africa and Asia. This is a truly exciting time to join us, during our ambitious ‘Breaking Barriers’ UK strategy to transform the lives of more people living with or at risk of disabilities and pursue a localization agenda. You can read more about our impact here.

As Trustee, you will play a role in the oversight of the CBM UK strategic framework by which we seek to build a more inclusive society where people with disabilities can actively participate and increasingly influence at a local, national, and international level. It is vital that we provide not only targeted support but also try to effect change in the structures and systems that make and keep people poor and marginalized.

If you share our vision of an inclusive world in which all people with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential, please get in touch.


CBM UK is a private company limited by guarantee that is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. There are presently twelve directors on the Board of CBM UK.

They offer experience from a range of fields including international development, education, law, financial services, politics, business, and management.

These directors act as the Trustees of CBM UK and have ultimate responsibility for ensuring the good governance of the organization. The Board takes this responsibility seriously, ever mindful of the imperative to deploy CBM UK’s resources as responsibly and effectively as possible in the service of people with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world.

The Board is responsible for ensuring that CBM UK remains financially sound, and that its funds are properly deployed in the furtherance of the organization’s objectives and in compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements. As CBM UK is a member of a global federation, the Board also has a role in scrutinizing the deployment of CBM UK funds through the federation.

The Board delegates the day-to-day management and operation of CBM UK to the CEO (Kirsty Smith) and through her to the staff team. The Board has responsibility for supervising the performance of the CEO and does so through a combination of periodic reporting requirements (the CEO typically delivers a report for each board meeting), regular meetings between the CEO and Chair, and an annual 360-degree appraisal.

Board meetings are held 4 times per year. Meetings are routinely split between face-to-face in Cambridge and virtually. The Board also has a number of committees that meet virtually between Board meetings, as well as regular contact between the Chair and the CEO.

Expertise sought:

external engagement, finance, governance, law

Experience sought:

we would particularly welcome applications from individuals currently under-represented on the Board including people with lived experience of disability and people from the Global South

Time Commitment:

Approximately 6-10 days per annum, with an additional occasional possibility to travel to a CBM UK-supported programme


Trustees do not attract any financial remuneration, though all reasonable expenses will be reimbursed


Flexible, but able to attend meetings in Cambridge twice a year (trustees based overseas attend one meeting in person per year)


3 years initially, with the option of one further 3-year term

Reporting to:

The Board


The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of CBM UK, developing CBM UK’s aims, objectives, and goals in accordance with its governing documents, and legal regulatory requirements.

Duties of a Trustee

  1. To ensure that CBM UK complies with its governing document, charity law, and any legislation or regulations, and with the prevailing ethics applicable to the charity sector and to the overseas development sector
  2. To ensure that CBM UK pursues its objects as defined in its governing document
  3. To ensure CBM UK uses its resources exclusively in pursuit of its objects: CBM UK must not spend money on activities that are not included in its own objects, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are
  4. To approve the overall policy, define goals, and agree on targets
  5. To safeguard the good name and values of CBM UK
  6. To ensure the effective and efficient administration of CBM UK
  7. To ensure the financial stability of CBM UK
  8. To protect and manage the property of CBM UK and to ensure the proper investment of CBM UK’s funds
  9. To take appropriate professional advice in all matters where there may be material risk to CBM UK, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties
  10. To appoint the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and monitor their performance
  11. To maintain confidentiality about all sensitive/confidential information received in the course of the trustee’s involvement with CBM UK
  12. To avoid any personal conflict of interest.

Other Duties

In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve:

  1. Leading discussions at Board meetings on matters in which they have expertise
  2. Providing guidance on key issues or the development of new initiatives relating to matters in which they have expertise
  3. Ensure active engagement in following how CBM UK’s work is going
  4. Offering advice and practical support to the Chair and the Board between meetings
  5. Profile raising – acting as an advocate of CBM UK
  6. Undertaking speaking engagements if required
  7. Contributing to CBM UK publications or resources with personal stories, reports, photos of visits to CBM UK events or projects, etc.
  8. Visiting CBM UK partners if practicable.


Trustees are accountable to a variety of stakeholders including funders and the Charity Commission, and are responsible for considering the needs and rights of beneficiaries.

  1. Experience as a trustee of a Board
  2. Experience in successfully using influence to bring about a result for an organization or cause
  3. Experience of the type of work undertaken by CBM UK e.g. international development, human rights, health system strengthening, education and climate justice, or experience in business, government, civil society, and other not-for-profit sectors.

Person Specification

  1. Strategic vision
  2. Commitment to the aims and work of the organization and its core values
  3. Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort, and capacity to attend at least 3 out of 4 meetings per year as well as serve on one committee
  4. Sound independent judgment
  5. Ability to think creatively
  6. Willingness to speak their mind
  7. Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of trusteeship
  8. Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  9. Sympathetic to the Christian values of the organization.

Diversity and Safeguarding

Everyone has the right to be treated with consideration and respect. CBM UK is committed to achieving a truly inclusive environment for all, by developing better working relationships that release the full potential, creativity, and productivity of each individual.

CBM UK aims to ensure that all staff, volunteers, Trustees, supporters, partners, contractors, and the general public are treated fairly. This will be regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, race, including colour, nationality, ethnicity, or national origin, disability, medical status, age, religion or belief, political opinion, social or economic status, or ex-offender status.

We are an organisation based on Christian values welcoming staff of all faiths and none. It’s the basis of why we do what we do, striving to build a just and equitable world in which all people are included, loved, valued, and respected. We do not proselytize, and we work with partners of all faiths and none according to the greatest need.

We openly acknowledge that our current Board of Trustees is not as diverse as we would like it to be. As a result, whilst we would encourage anyone interested to consider an application, we would particularly welcome applications from individuals currently under-represented on the Board and particularly people with disabilities. We also offer a full induction and training opportunities to all Trustees to support them in fulfilling their roles.

How to apply

More information about CBM UK can be found by visiting our website. If you wish to discuss this opportunity in more detail, please laurap@cbmuk.org.uk

CBM UK is an equal-opportunity, disability-confident employer and committed to achieving the highest standards of diversity, fairness, and equality. We particularly welcome applications from people with disabilities. Should you have a disability and require any additional support, please let us know.

Applications in the form of a CV and cover letter are invited and should be sent to laurap@cbmuk.org.uk


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