Could you be one of our next trustees?

(The deadline has officially passed but please don’t let that put you off applying. We have room for more!)

Trustees set the direction for the charity as we support people to rise out of poverty through dressmaking.

Shape our future as we build intentional communities to help people rise out of financial hardship through dressmaking.

We believe that fashion should not be detrimental to our people or to our world.

Yet the fashion industry is riddled with unjust practices, largely hidden from the view of those who buy and wear the clothes.

Our vision is of an empowered global community, practically and economically engaged in the creation and sale of dresses.

Dorcas hubs around the world equip dressmakers to rise out of situations of financial hardship through the provision of training, tools and a replicable business model.

Using digital technology, we restore the broken links of human contact between the start and end of the fashion chain, dressmaker and customer, forging a wider community connection.

Who we’re looking for:

Our trustees set the direction for the charity as we build intentional communities that support and value the people who make our clothes, grounded in the Christian values of community, generosity and compassion.

We’re actively seeking to build a diverse trustee team, with representation across age groups, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and life situations.

You’ll need:

  • a commitment to creating opportunities for people living in financial hardship to thrive
  • a personal Christian faith. This is a genuine occupational requirement in line with our charitable goal
  • access to WhatsApp and a laptop with a secure login and internet connection

As a team, we meet online, use the Google Suite to create, share and store information and WhatsApp to communicate between meetings. If you’ve not used these tools before, we can provide support and training to get up to speed.

  • to be over 16 and eligible to act as a trustee in the UK

Ideally you’ll also:

  • Be aware of the ethical challenges facing the fashion industry (in particular labour and sustainability issues)
  • Be aware of the challenges facing our beneficiaries in the UK and internationally: mental and physical health issues, long-term unemployment, trauma, economic and forced migration, and other challenges

We’re particularly interested to hear from people with the following skills and background. We don’t expect to find all these in one person.

Trustee experience: We’d love to hear from people who have some trustee experience as many of our current board are first-time trustees. (However, you don’t need this to apply as training will be provided.)

Income generation and/or fundraising: We’re looking to stabilise our income sources as we grow. If you have an entrepreneurial, business, grant fundraising or individual fundraising background, we’d welcome your expertise!

Safeguarding across borders: We work with vulnerable people across many countries, and we’re aware that this comes with risks. We want to strengthen our safeguarding procedures to make sure everyone we work with is appropriately supported and protected.

Lived experience: We serve people facing financial hardship for a variety of reasons. In order to do this well, we actively welcome people with lived experience of mental health challenges, physical disability, migration, and financial hardship.

What you’ll do:

  • Actively participate in training, meetings and decision-making
  • Get to know the charity’s governing documents, team and activities
  • Support and challenge the charity CEO
  • Review and approve the charity’s financial statements
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand something
  • Promote the charity to your networks

 

What you’ll get

  • Training and support on how to be an effective trustee, including a trustee buddy to help you navigate as you settle in
  • The opportunity to shape our systems and structures, building a foundation of good governance that will underpin the charity’s success for years to come
  • The chance to support and directly engage with dressmakers facing a range of practical and economic challenges in diverse places around the globe

The role is unpaid but you’ll receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses (e.g. costs to travel)

96% of trustees said that they learnt new skills by being a trustee

22% got a promotion due to being a trustee

73% said it boosted their confidence

84% said it made them happier

Research from Getting On Board

Time commitment:

3-4 hours per month (plus additional time if you choose to take on extra responsibilities)

This includes:

  • 1 trustee meeting every 2 months, online
  • Yearly in-person team day, usually held in Oxford in February
  • Annual General Meeting held in the summer

Trustees are appointed for a term of 3 years, with the option to be re-appointed up to a maximum of 3 terms.

Occupational requirement to be a practising Christian:

Our charitable goal is ‘the relief of financial hardship anywhere in the world by providing sewing equipment, training and support to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient and to do so using Christian values and for the public benefit.’

The trustee team holds responsibility for shaping the culture and setting the direction of the charity, which includes upholding our foundational commitment to Christian values. This means there is an occupational requirement in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 for the post-holder to be a practising Christian.

Next steps

Apply by 14th April 2024 using this form.

Informal interviews will take place the week of April 22nd (potential availability Tues/Wed/Thur 9:00am – 7:00pm)

For an informal chat about the role, contact Melissa Russon, Chair of Trustees on melissa@dorcasdressproject.org.

Find out more about our current trustees: https://dorcasdressproject.org/learn/meet-the-core-team/

If you’re interested in being our Treasurer, find out more here.