Wanted: Chair of Trustees

Do you share our dream of cities where people and nature are healthy, vibrant and interconnected? Do you want to help us turn this into reality?

Could you be the next Chair of our Trustee Board?

The National Park City Foundation (Charity no. 1173267) is a young and dynamic charity looking for a passionate and committed Chair of Trustees who shares our vision of cities teeming with wildlife, where every child and young person, and not so young, benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors.

Can you help us turn this vision into reality by leading our Trustees, supporting our staff and enabling our movement to grow? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

National Park City is the grassroots movement which led the creation of London as the world’s first National Park City in 2019 and supported the creation of Adelaide as the world’s second in 2021. We bring people, places and organisations together to breathe new life into cities and hope to see at least 25 cities become National Park Cities in the next few years.

You will lead an energised Board of Trustees full of ambition, supported by a motivated staff team including our newly appointed Executive Director, hundreds of committed volunteers and growing support from people and organisations across the globe.

You’ll have the leadership skills, confidence, expertise and networks to lead, catalyse and collaborate with others to grow the global National Park City movement. We’re particularly interested in people who have experience of movement-building, developing innovative partnerships, community engagement, working with young people, organisational growth and development, and/or campaigning and influencing.

Diversity is key to the success of our movement and we’re keen to hear from people with different perspectives, backgrounds, skills and experience. We believe everyone should have an equal voice in the future of our cities and everyone should benefit from easy access to high-quality urban greenspaces.

We’ll work to reach as many people as possible with this call for Chair and will review and consider all applications received. We’ll brief our selection panel in best practice recruitment and will set up a check and challenge to counter any discrimination or unconscious bias.

Sectoral experience in areas including health, education, business, environment, culture, arts, sports, social or development sectors could also be beneficial but is not essential.

You can read more about the London National Park City on this National Park City website and on the Greater London Authority website.

No recruiters or agencies please.

Role and Responsibilities

We’re a young charity with the need to scale our activity and undertake significant fundraising. As our Chair, you’ll be expected to work closely with our paid staff team including managing and supporting our new Director, leading regular Board meetings and representing the foundation externally.

You’ll need to be passionate about, and believe in, our vision. We estimate that you’d need to spend between 18 and 24 days per year on National Park City Foundation work, and our Trustee roles are not paid (remunerated). We offer flexibility around other work or family commitments. You will need to be able to attend meetings in London from time to time.

Specifically the role of Chair will include:

Governance and Organisation

  • Leading the 12 strong board of Trustees, ensuring the ongoing personal development of each Trustee so they are able to successfully contribute to the NPCF mission.
  • Planning and leading our board meetings (a mix of online and in-person, 4-6 times per year), ensuring preparation of reports, and follow on actions.
  • Establishment and appointment to relevant committees that may be established to support the growth and development of the NPCF.
  • Providing line management to the Executive Director.
  • Leading recruitment of new Trustees, and supporting their induction.
  • Ensuring delivery of the charity’s annual report and accounts.
  • Supporting organisation wide Fundraising efforts as part of the governance committee, helping to identify and assess potential funding sources.

Partnerships

  • Representing NPCF / London NPC at occasional speaking engagements and external events.
  • Liaising with senior stakeholders and international and UK partners such as Natural England, World Urban Parks, Salzburg Global Seminar.
  • Liaising with senior representatives of Central, Regional and Local Government on policy matters relating to access to green space, landscape reviews and involvement with nature.
  • Liaising with the Mayor of London’s team and City Hall / GLA on their policies and plans including planning issues such as submitting to the London Plan and representing London NPC at the Examination in Public (EiP)
  • Contributing to the development of NPCFs programs and initiatives; including Citylab, Developers Forum and A More Than Natural Capital.

As Chair you will be a Charity Trustee, and there are responsibilities that come with this which are important for you to be confident you can fulfil and lead the Board in their governance duties. Whilst you may not have held a Chair position before we would expect you to have been a charity Trustee before, and familiar with the government guidance here.

How To Apply

The application deadline is 10am Monday 5th September.

We will contact shortlisted applicants by Wednesday 14th September. We may carry out an initial short interview, prior to full interviews in late-September with a view to the successful applicant being appointed as Chair in the autumn.

To apply please answer the following questions and send us your answers either written, video, audio, however you feel you can best express your suitability, along with a copy of your CV to hello@nationalparkcity.org.

  1. Tell us what excites you about being Chair of Trustees for National Park City Foundation and what skills, knowledge and experience you’d bring (max 400 words).

  2. Name another organisation you think would make a great partner for the National Park City Foundation and set out your reasons why (max 100 words).

  3. Describe how you’d go about growing the National Park City movement across the world and how you’d inspire other cities to get involved (max 200 words).

Could we please also ask you to fill out our anonymous National Park City Foundation Diversity Questionnaire along with your application.

Selection process

Shortlisting will be carried out independently by a panel of current Trustees, who will then agree a final shortlist of candidates.

We will score candidates’ CVs and responses to the application questions. We welcome applications in different formats.

We will run reference / background checks for each of the shortlisted candidates and will initially interview candidates remotely.

Interviews will be conducted by a panel of current Trustees and we will do our best to accommodate any adjustments requested by candidates.

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