Chair of Trustees

Date Posted: 13/09/2021

Deadline: Friday 8th October, 11:59pm

Apply Here

About Nightline Association

Nightlines provide an anonymous and confidential listening and information service, run by students for students at their university. They work to improve student mental health and wellbeing and are open at night when no other university welfare services are available. Nightline services now cover over 100 universities and colleges, or over 1.8 million students, across the UK and Ireland thanks to an incredible team of over 2,100 trained student volunteers.

The Nightline Association is the registered charity that supports, promotes and develops Nightlines. Nightline Association is run entirely by volunteers, who get to play a hands on operational and strategic role in the running of a national charity. 

This is an exciting opportunity to help develop the strategic direction of the organisation at a time of increasing need for student mental health support and work closely with a team of passionate and inspiring young volunteers.

Role Description

Trustees have legal responsibility for the Association’s management and administration. They are ultimately responsible for the Association’s work and are accountable to both the Association’s legal members and its regulators such as the Charity Commission for the good governance of the Association. You can find out more about being a Charity Trustee from the Charity Commission, the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

Above and beyond the Chair’s duties as a trustee, the Chair will hold the Board and Senior Team to account for the Charity’s delivery of its mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring that each trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the charity.

Role Summary

Company: Nightline Association
Role: Chair of Trustees
Term Limit: Trustees serve for a 3 year term, renewable once. The position of Chair is reviewed annually
Location: Remote working
Supported by: Vice Chair of Trustees
Accountable to: Trustees, Members and Regulators

Duties and Responsibilities

The main responsibilities and duties of the Chair include: 

  • Providing leadership to the organisation and the board by ensuring that everyone remains focused on the delivery of the organisation’s charitable purposes in order to provide greater public benefit
  • Board meetings:
    • Chairing and facilitating board meetings 
    • Planning the annual cycle of board meetings and other general meetings where required
    • Setting agendas for board and other general meetings
    • Checking that decisions taken at board meetings are implemented
  • Developing trustees including induction, training, appraisal and succession planning
  • Overall responsibility for the welfare of trustees
  • Regularly assessing the board’s skills mix and diversity to enable it to best meet the charity’s aims and objectives
  • Addressing conflict within the board and within the organisation, and liaising with staff and senior volunteers to achieve this
  • Liaising with staff and senior volunteers to keep an overview of the organisation’s affairs and to provide support as appropriate
  • Developing, maintaining and influencing a wide sector network
  • Line management of key staff member, Senior Operations Officer

The Vice Chair acts for the Chair when the Chair is not available and undertakes assignments at the request of the Chair.

Essential Experience and Skills


  • Leadership skills
  • Experience of committee work
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences
  • Previous experience as a charity trustee or other senior charity role


  • Eligible to be a Company Director and Charity Trustee
  • Commitment to the vision and aims of Nightline Association
  • A strong team-player – a contributor of opinion and thoughts, whilst having the ability to collaborate and be accepting of others views
  • Excellent communicator, verbal and written – approachable, clear and professional
  • Strategic and creative approach – not being afraid to change the way we do things to improve outcomes
  • Logical approach to decision making – ensuring difficult decisions are taken calmly on the best available information, and with the beneficiaries of the charity in mind
  • Willingness to give the minimum time commitment
  • Commitment to equality and diversity – seeking to ensure that Nightline best reflects the population it serves
  • Professional integrity – leading a culture of honesty, openness, fairness and trust

Desirable Experience


  • In most circumstances, it would also be desirable for the Chair to have knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation and a wider involvement with the voluntary sector and other networks
  • Experience of chairing organisations, groups or committees


  • Strategy / business management with the ability to plan and develop the charity.
  • Working for or volunteering with a telephone helpline or mental health charity (or similar).
  • Managing and engaging volunteers and/or young people.
  • Experience of line management


Nightline Association Trustees are encouraged to take a “hands-on” role in the charity, supporting volunteers and contributing to the Association’s activities. Being Chair of the board is an additional responsibility as well as being a Trustee; it will require significant additional work. 

The core commitment for all trustees is to attend the following meetings, including time spent preparing by reading papers, asking questions and seeking advice in advance:

  • Board of Trustees. Board meetings are held every three months. These are held as a mixture of virtual and in person in London at the weekend and last from about 10am – 4pm. Additional meetings may be called for urgent matters – these would be held online at weekends or in the evenings.
  • Trustee Committees. The Board has 4 main committees. All trustees are expected to serve on at least one committee and the Chair is automatically a member of the Risk Management Committee. Meetings are usually held online at weekends or in the evenings.
    • Finance (monthly)
    • Risk Management (quarterly)
    • Charity Management (monthly)
    • Governance (monthly)
  • General Meetings. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is usually held at our Spring Conference in April at a weekend. Additional general meetings may be called in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Council. Trustees will be expected to attend Council meetings occasionally to represent the trustees and be accountable to representatives of our members. Council meetings are usually held online at weekends or in the evenings once in each academic term. Trustees are not expected to attend all Council meetings.

Trustees may also be asked to attend other meetings and away days during the year to help contribute to the development of the Association.

Link to Apply

Apply Here