We are currently recruiting for new Trustees. We are looking for a Marketing and Communications Lead, but also additional Trustees to complement the skillset of our current Board.
Please have a look at our website for more information about who we are, what we do and how we operate. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, have any questions or would like an informal chat please contact Sam Gamblin the first instance. You can email [email protected] and text, phone or WhatsApp using 07510734544
What difference will I make?
The University Mental Health Advisers Network was established in 2003 to provide networking opportunities for people in the newly created role of Mental Health Adviser.
Now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), our stated aims are to:
• Influence policy development in the fields of Education, Mental Health, Disability, and beyond, to proportionately and accurately represent the needs and interests of people with mental health conditions.
• Ensure mental health support staff working in education are equipped with the tools, support, and empowerment to best support students, and ensure national representation to influence the sector for good.
• Remove the barriers to the full participation of people with mental health conditions in higher education and beyond, encouraging the development of a culture in which people with mental health conditions studying in higher education is a mainstream notion.
We are a membership organisation with approximately 500 members from over 140 different organisations and are continuing to expand. We have recently welcomed our first international members. We empower Mental Health professionals working in education to develop their skills and expertise, and practice safely by providing networks, training and resources.
Please have a look at our Strategic Priorities document to find out more about our vision and aims over the next few years. You can also see our Annual Report and financial returns via our Charity Commission entry.
How we operate
We have a paid Charity Manager and a part time administrator. They undertake all of the operational tasks of the charity, involving volunteer members in working groups for particular pieces of work. We value highly the skills and experience of our members, and are shaped by their views through feedback surveys and regular meetings.
The overall governance and strategic direction of the charity is led by the Chair with the support and work of the Trustees and Charity Manager. The Charity Manager works closely with the Chair, but is also accountable to the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees has always had an extremely important role in the charity; originally, all Trustees were working in student mental health and also running the charity day to day. In the last couple of years, with the recruitment of the Charity Manager, we have been able to start developing our governance processes, including a focus on the Board of Trustees. After a skills audit we have now started recruiting Trustees from outside the sector, so that we now have a wider range of backgrounds and skills represented. We have also introduced shorter, more regular online meetings, to enable us to keep momentum.
There are opportunities for Trustees to be involved in projects and to be responsible for a specific area of interest, as agreed with the Chair.
We have an Advisory Board made up of members of the charity.
We have worked online for a number of years, using Google, Zoom and Trello, with both members of staff working from home or a co-working space in Birmingham.
What are we looking for?
We are keen to recruit volunteers as Trustees who have an interest in student mental health, but also bring their own skills and experience to the role. This might be through your work or through other volunteering - the main thing is you have the time and commitment to help us maintain and develop the charity. We are looking for a minimum 2 year commitment.
We are particularly looking to recruit someone with marketing and communications experience as we have identified this as a gap in our skillset, but we also welcome applications from anyone who feels they have skills to offer. Please see our role descriptions for more information on what we are looking for.
Like other charities we are seeking to diversify our board so that it is more representative of our members and also hope to increase organisational creativity and problem solving through the different perspectives and life experiences which diversity brings. You can read more on our Equality & Diversity pages on our website.
We do not expect you to necessarily have management, board or Trustee experience, but the potential to develop leadership skills.
Why should I apply?
As well as being a friendly and welcoming charity, we are passionate about student mental health and believe we are in a strong position to make a difference! We are dynamic and believe in a culture of continuous improvement - there’s always more to do.
We are seeking to make our Board more diverse in every way. We are a non-judgemental organisation that welcomes people from all backgrounds and experience and we look to represent the diversity of our membership, and of students with mental health conditions. We pride ourselves in transparency, and our ability to cultivate collaborative working.
It’s an exciting time for us. We are now one of the largest membership organisations in the sector, and are ambitious to maintain growth as well as improve on the membership benefits we can offer. We have plans to celebrate our upcoming birthday, with a potential name change to make us more inclusive of our membership. As a small charity, the focus has very much been on our sustainability, but we are now in a position to be able to plan greater developments.
Student mental health and wellbeing are now central to conversations in all levels of education - and we need your help to ensure we are at the forefront.
Benefits of trusteeship
Becoming a Trustee with UMHAN, you will have the opportunity to shape and contribute to a meaningful cause while also benefiting yourself. There has been much recent research on the benefits of volunteering for our mental and physical health, giving us a sense of purpose. Volunteering as a Trustee can also be good for your career, providing experience with strategic development, team working, developing skills and experience and broadening your professional network.
How we support you
As well as having regular contact with the Chair, other Trustees and Charity Manager, new Trustees will be supported with induction, to both the charity and trusteeship, including any training needs. We recognise that some applicants may be a first-time Trustee and so this might include training to help you understand more about the role.
Although we largely meet online, we hope to have the occasional in person meeting, to facilitate connections and team-building.
We also have a budget for ongoing Trustee training, so that all Trustees can feel confident in their role.
Don’t just take it from us - here is some of the feedback received from our members:
Open, transparent and supportive ethos.
I always feel UMHAN are there for me and ultimately this helps me as a professional, committed to continuous learning, staying up to date and informed as well as being included. I always feel my opinion is listened to and respected.
This may seem daft, but I have always found the organisation kind, and kindness, like compassion, is rarer than it should be.
Camaraderie, attitude of staff, people, CPD, positive attitude, support, innovation, always evolving, open to member input. Delightful.
Please send your CV, along with a brief cover letter stating why you would like to become a Trustee of UMHAN, and highlighting the skills and experience you will bring. Please cover the following:
- Tell us a bit about yourself and one thing that makes you want to take on the role of trustee with us right now?
- Please outline your experience and transferable expertise and how you would see yourself contributing these as a Trustee.
- What would be your approach to building and maintaining a productive and strong relationship with the Charity Manager, Chair and Board of Trustees?
- From your own experience, what makes for effective team working and how would you hope to support and be part of the Board of trustees and enable it to be really impactful?
The closing date is midnight on 13th March 2022. Shortlisting will be undertaken by the Chair and Charity Manager, before passing to the Board to finalise and virtual interview.
If shortlisted, we will ask you to complete an easy skills audit, to enable us to ensure we have the right skills across our Board.
We are happy to make adjustments to any step of the process, and aim to be flexible. Please email [email protected] with any requests, or to discuss this.
Any Trustees recruited by the Board will then need to be confirmed by our voting members at our next AGM.
About being a Trustee
If you’d like to know more about being a Trustee:
‘STEP ON BOARD’ BECOMING A TRUSTEE is a booklet written by Girl Dreamer and Trustees Unlimited and is designed to answer general questions about trusteeship. It also gives advice on how to adapt your CV. Girl Dreamer also has other useful resources such as a governance jargon buster.
The Benefits of Trusteeship is a report by NPC which includes case studies.
Getting On Board is a trustee recruitment and diversity charity. They have a number of resources, training and webinars which further explain the role of a trustee.