Company: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Location: London

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London

BOARD DIRECTOR

We are particularly interested in candidates with specialist knowledge and experience in the areas of Human Resources, Government or Public Health expertise.

Over the next few years, the Centre expects to build on the evidence it has produced by doing more work to assist voluntary organisations, local authorities and others with implementing the lessons, and assessing their impact on wellbeing. We have a substantial grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, and interest from other bodies in government and business. We are now looking for new Board Directors who can help the Centre develop on the next phase of its journey, in particular people with experience in Finance, Human Resources, Government or Public Health.

ROLE DESCRIPTION

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is led by a voluntary Board of Directors. We are seeking to recruit two new Company Directors to join our current Board of Directors. We are looking for individuals with one – or a combination – of the following areas of expertise: Human Resources, Government and Local Government, Public Health, Communications, Finance.

We are committed to building a board benefitting from a diverse range of voices, and strongly encourage applications from women and ethnic minority candidates.

ABOUT THE CENTRE

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing’s vision is of a future where the wellbeing of people and communities improves year on year and wellbeing inequalities are reduced.

The Centre believes that improving wellbeing should be the ultimate objective of policy and community action.

The Centre’s mission is to develop and share robust, accessible and useful evidence that governments, businesses, communities and people use to improve wellbeing across the UK.

Approach

  • Independent: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing acts as an impartial convener of people with different views and perspectives, and speaks up about findings – both when they confirm accepted wisdom and when they challenge it.

  • Evidence based: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing aims to be evidence-based in what it does. The Centre believes that decision making should be informed by the best possible evidence, and that everyone has a role in contributing their findings on what works. The Centre brings together the best evidence from wellbeing research to help guide actions that improve people’s lives.

  • Collaborative: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing works in partnership, where possible, building on and using the best work in the field wherever it’s done. The Centre adds value by connecting academics, organisations, decision makers and individuals in meaningful and productive conversation and action.

  • Practical: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is focused on what organisations can do to improve wellbeing, producing evidence that is actively useful and valuing learning from practice. The Centre listens to a wide range of people, and share evidence in ways that is accessible, relevant and useful.

  • Open: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing aims to encourage new ideas and approaches to its mission. The Centre recognises that there are different views about wellbeing, and that the discipline is evolving – therefore welcomes this diversity. The Centre is open to what it can learn from a range of approaches and findings.

  • Transparent: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing aims to be as open and transparent as possible about its work, so that others can do it too.

  • Iterative: The What Works Centre for Wellbeing aims to learn from experience, and encourages others to do the same by investing in new approaches to understanding and improving wellbeing. The Centre believes that creating robust evidence is a journey and that each step is worthwhile. In so doing, it supports others on their journey so we can build better evidence of wellbeing together.

We work with a network of world-leading wellbeing researchers, policy makers and practitioners to bring together the best available evidence on wellbeing, and communicate it in a way that is accessible, timely and useful.

Further information about the Centre is available on our website whatworkswellbeing.org

THE WHAT WORKS NETWORK

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is part of the What Works Centre network. The What Works Centres have been set up as independent centres with the aim to bridge between research knowledge (evidence) and practice for key decision-makers in the UK. This initiative aims to improve the way Government and other organisations adopt and generate evidence for more effective decision-making.

The overall aim of all Centres is to translate and make the best available evidence accessible, implementable and measurable, whilst continuing to contribute to evidence generation through assessing impact and learning from the implementation and adaptation of the existing evidence.

THE BOARD

The Board is the ultimate decision maker, as outlined in the Centre’s Articles of Association. The Board is responsible for working closely with the Executive Director and the relevant team to develop and agree a strategy for the organisation, and ensure that a) any activities and executive decisions are made in the best interest of the organisation, its stakeholders and the wider public, b) any activities and executive decisions contribute to achieving the organisational purpose and aims, and c) that these are delivered effectively and sustainably.

The Directors will support and work in partnership with the Chair and other Board members to achieve the organisation’s aims, and to set direction, policy and plans. In particular they will:

  • Help to develop strategy and business plans for delivering the Centre’s core functions as a “What Works Centre”, and support the development of new business.

  • Act as effective ambassadors for the Centre, ensuring excellent relationships are built and maintained with current and potential stakeholders and partners.

  • Uphold good governance practices and performance management, ensuring that the Centre has proper controls, systems and processes in place.

  • Ensure the needs and interests of users, stakeholders, and the public are at the heart of the Centre’s work.

RESPONSIBILITIES

It is the responsibility of Directors to:

  • Understand The What Works Centre for Wellbeing’s aims and objectives as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association and that it operates in accordance with the Articles.

  • Ensure that The What Works Centre for Wellbeing operates within the law as Community Interest Company.

  • Attend and contribute to meetings of the Board of Directors and attending events.

  • Comment on papers in writing if unable to attend meetings.

  • Assist the Board and Executive Director in advancing the objectives of The What Works Centre for Wellbeing and in furthering fundraising initiatives by meeting and communicating with potential supporters where no conflict of interest is involved.

  • Maintain a governance perspective by ensuring that the Board:

    • Establishes the company’s strategic direction and goals;

    • Understands, questions and acts upon the financial and other monitoring information presented to it;

    • Defines the boundaries of management authority;

    • Contributes to the development of the long term Strategic Plan;

    • Delegates to the Executive Director the implementation of its decisions, plans and budgets;

    • Monitors key performance indicators on a regular basis.

  • Represent the Board’s agreed position when speaking publicly on behalf of the Centre.

  • Support the Executive Director and other staff in carrying out their work when requested.

SKILLS AND EXPERTISE

We aim to achieve a balanced board of trustees, in terms of skills, reach and representation, so that, as a group, they bring a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds.

Essential skills and expertise

Leadership and team working

  • Understanding of the issues involved in leading organisations and working as part of a multi-disciplinary board or committee

  • Ability to act as an effective ambassador for the Centre

Good Governance

  • Commitment to ensure the needs and interests of users, stakeholders and the public are at the heart of how the organisation structures itself and conducts its business

  • Understanding of the principles and practice of good governance

  • High integrity, commitment to equality of opportunity

Wellbeing

  • Broad understanding of issues relating to wellbeing, including an understanding of the diversity of the UK population and factors affecting different people’s wellbeing

Methodological

  • Commitment to improving the use of evidence in driving public policy and practice and specifically to the principles of the What Works Centres

  • Demonstrable commitment to spreading the use of high impact evaluation

Desired skills and expertise

Wellbeing

  • Expertise in one or more aspects of policy or practice relating to wellbeing e.g. work, learning, culture, sport, community, social capital, built/natural environment, governance, physical and mental health, heritage

  • Experience of delivering wellbeing interventions and approaches

  • Experience using services that contribute to wellbeing

Cross sector, cross disciplinary and UK wide

  • Relevant experience across the four countries of the UK

  • Relevant experience across public, private and VCSE sectors

Business and organisational development

  • Experience of running and growing an organisation including legal, commercial, operational, financial, communications

  • Understanding of the principles and methods for successfully seeking funding from diverse sources

HOW TO APPLY

Applicants should prepare a short statement setting out their reasons for wishing to be considered for the role of Board Director/Treasurer and the skills/qualities they would bring to the organisation. Statements should not exceed two pages in length and must be accompanied by a curriculum vitae. Applications should be sent by email for the attention of the Chair, Dr Paul Litchfield, at info@whatworkswellbeing.org by Sunday 2nd February 2020.