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Working and volunteering for us

Working and volunteering for us

A small organisation that regularly punches above its weight, Action for M.E. is leading, with others, a growing community working to create real change on the scale so urgently needed at a local, national and international level. Our 2016 – 2021 strategy sets out how we meet need now to improve the lives of people with M.E. while taking action to secure change for the future.

*This page has been created to inform people about potential working and volunteering opportunities with our organisation. We do not require the services of recruitment agencies regarding recruitment.*

Chair of Board of Trustees

Action for M.E. takes action to end the ignorance, injustice and neglect faced by children and adults with M.E., every day. With our Chair standing down after a very productive three-year term, we are seeking an exceptional individual to lead our dedicated Board of Trustees.

Remuneration: This a voluntary role, with reasonable expenses paid.
Hours of work: Likely to equate to an average of three to four days per month
Based in: Anywhere in the UK, with willingness to travel to London and Keynsham (between Bristol and Bath) for Board meetings.
Deadline for applications: 9am Monday 10 June 2019.
To apply: For more information, including a full role description and person specification, and/or to apply, please download our Chair application pack.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) is a serious, neurological condition affecting at least 250,000 people in the UK – more than MS and Parkinson’s combined – and most face considerable challenges in accessing appropriate care and support. Action for M.E. is the only UK charity that supports people with M.E. of all ages. We offer an information and support service, including welfare benefits advice and complex family casework, and enable peer-support to reduce isolation; we also recently launched a regional advocacy service in the Midlands and South West. We engage with policy-makers at local, national and international level to address the changes so urgently needed, directly informed by the experiences of children and adults with M.E., and work collaboratively to invest in and campaign for accelerated biomedical research.

Our dedicated Board holds ultimate accountability for everything we do, and our constitution requires that at least half of our Trustees have direct personal experience of M.E. Our Trustees determine our mission and vision, engage in strategic planning, formulate policies, ensure adequate financial resources and oversee Action for M.E.’s charitable activities. Our Chair ensures that Trustees fulfil their responsibilities and accountabilities for good governance, and optimises the relationship between Trustees, our creative and committed staff team, and our enthusiastic volunteers. He or she will support and work in partnership with our brilliant Chief Executive, Sonya Chowdhury, helping her achieve our mission of empowering people with M.E. to fulfil their potential and secure the care and support they need, while working towards a greater understanding of the illness and ultimately a cure.

We are seeking a Chair with experience in a senior strategic leadership role who can provide effective leadership to the Board ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities and accountabilities for good governance of the Charity. A successful candidate will be able to create additional value for the Charity through soliciting additional resources in the areas of policy and influence, awareness-raising, press and media, and/or income generation. An understanding of M.E. and its impact, and a commitment to Action for M.E.’s purpose, is essential, as is understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship. Independent judgment, tact and diplomacy, and good communication and interpersonal skills are a must, alongside impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences.

To ensure that the Board functions effectively, Trustees are expected to attend as many meetings as possible, with remote access offered to those who face challenges relating to illness and/or disability. Because of the critical role that they play, the Chair is required to attend most, if not all, Board meetings. This will include a minimum of four Board meetings per year in London and Keynsham, and an AGM in the autumn, plus one-to-one sessions with the Chief Executive and ad hoc support and engagement outside of meetings.

Other volunteering

Much of the work we do is made possible by our fantastic volunteers. Some have been with us for many years, while others gain valuable work experience over shorter periods. Supporting our administrative, communications, marketing, fundraising and support work, some of our volunteers work with us in our Bristol office, while others make their essential contribution from home.

Some key services for our children and young people’s community are led by young volunteers living with M.E. Some contribute to our community forum, helping users feel less isolated and more confident about making connections. Others write to those children and young people severely affected by M.E., without the expectation of a reply.

If you have skills and experience you think we could make the most of, please get in touch.

Pro bono support

A range of medical, research and professional advisors provide an invaluable network of support for Action for M.E. on a pro bono basis.

All have one thing in common: they are hugely valued not just by our staff and Trustees, but also the people with M.E. they help us support. We are immeasurably grateful value for the time and energy they spend enriching our work, and helping us reach even more people affected by M.E.

If this sounds like something you're interested in, please get in touch.

Mentor M.E.

Action for M.E.’s Mentor M.E. peer-support network is a five-year project to develop a network of volunteer peer mentors supporting people living with M.E. in Scotland. If you have direct experience of M.E. (this can include caring for a friend or family member), are aged 18 or over, and live in Scotland, we'd love to hear from you. Find out more.