Brookes Union has four Trustee positions available, and is looking for innovative, creative people to join the charity, based in Oxford.

Our team work hard to represent our members to the university, locally and nationally. We provide a flagship advice service which deals with over 3,000 cases a year, and support community building projects across the institution through our societies and exciting cultural and social events.

We are seeking at least 4 new trustees to join a friendly and enthusiastic board which usually meets quarterly.

Being a member of a trustee board can be a hugely rewarding opportunity, and we are looking for people who are passionate about developing and supporting young people. Like other volunteer roles, you will get out of this experience what you put in, so we welcome applications from people who are able to give us their time and in return we offer:

  • Broadening your understanding of organisational management including risk, finances, strategy, HR
  • Building your professional and personal network
  • Supporting a high-impact organisation which develops the lives of young people - our young trustees are inspiring and unlike any you will meet elsewhere.
  • Access to specialist training and development

We understand that people join Boards for all sorts of reasons and we are more than happy to support you on your journey, and make sure that we work together to get the most out of your time with us.

We are a registered, unincorporated charity with an annual income of around £1.2m. Our funding comes from an unrestricted grant from our parent institution, Oxford Brookes University. We have a broad and diverse membership of around 18,000 students spread across Oxfordshire: being a membership organisation means that we are governed by our members, who determine our policy and lead the organisation. Every student who enrols at Oxford Brookes University is automatically a member of the union, meaning that our membership is both diverse, and constantly changing.

Like any charity, the key to our success is strong governance; however, what makes students’ unions unique is that our governance is entirely student-led. Our Trustee Board is constituted of both students and external trustees, and four of the student trustees are elected annually by the membership to lead the organisation as employees. Brookes Union also has a small staff team of around 16 members of staff, including a newly appointed CEO; the staff team work to facilitate the officers in achieving their goals and supporting students through community building and representation activity.

More information can be found in our Trustee Induction Pack, below.

Looking forward

Brookes Union has just completed a full governance review and is now recruiting new external and student trustees to the Board. The governance review has focused on increasing our external support and moving to a more structured governance.

You will be joining the Board at an exciting time as we begin a new era of Brookes Union; we have three key challenges over the next three to five years including the development and implementation of a completely new strategic plan. We are also looking for resource stability and income diversification, moving to an incorporated legal form and key will be demonstrating our impact to our members and our funders.

About You

We are looking for trustees with experience in either the corporate world, public or charities sector; we are not necessarily looking for trustees with experience of students unions or higher education, but strongly welcome candidates with a passion for leading with impact.

The Board membership changes every year as our elected student members are replaced, so we are looking for trustees who anticipate being able to remain actively engaged with the Board throughout the entirety of the advertised term. Our student trustees tend to have little to no previous experience at Board level, so we are looking for trustees who are able to coach and mentor these Board members whilst also discharging their own duties.

Available Roles

Chair (three year term) x 1

Treasurer (three year term) x 1

Student Trustees (two year term) x 2

Trustee roles are unremunerated, though we can pay reasonable expenses as well as provide an induction and training programme. Meetings normally take place between 4pm and 6pm either at our offices in Headington, Oxford, or online via google. We are dedicated to ensuring that our Board meetings are inclusive and would be very happy to discuss any accessibility arrangements that would better suit the right candidate.

The Board does not currently reflect the rich diversity of our membership and we are therefore actively seeking trustees from black, asian and other ethnic backgrounds. We are committed to ensuring that at least two of these positions are filled by people of colour.

If you are interested in any of the roles and would like to discuss these further please get in touch by sending us a copy of your most recent CV, to the CEO, Emilie Tapping (etapping@brookes.ac.uk) or the President, Daisy Hopkins (dhopkins@brookes.ac.uk). We will be reviewing candidates as they come in, and will remove the available roles once they have been filled.