The National Autistic Society is the UK’s leading charity for autistic people and one of the country’s major charities, with a turnover of around £95 million. Since 1962, we’ve been transforming lives, changing attitudes and helping to create a society that works for autistic adults and children.
Our head office is in London, and we have national offices in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and a network of regional offices and volunteer-run branches across the UK. As well as adult services and schools, we run a range of programmes, have dedicated diagnostic services and run specialist helplines. We also work closely with businesses, local authorities and government to help them provide more autism-friendly spaces, deliver better services and improve laws. And we improve public understanding of autism and the difficulties many autistic people face.
Over the last two years, we have achieved much to be proud of – as well as continuing to provide support and guidance to tens of thousands of autistic people and their families through the Covid-19 crisis. We opened a new school and services across the UK, we developed our existing services and launched them online, to continue to support people who’d otherwise have been isolated during the pandemic. We had important policy wins, including on getting more autistic people access to vital blue badges and seeing the first NHS autism diagnosis data published. We have continued to invest in our digital transformation with a new website and new digital care management tool and last year we appointed a new Chair to lead our Board, Dr Steve Ladyman.
We’re continuing to advocate on longstanding issues such as social care funding, and campaign for what autistic people need to see in the forthcoming autism strategy in England and its equivalent in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We’re also growing our branch network – including national online branches – and we’ve begun work on a new mental health programme combining research, digital guidance and policy influencing.
This is a truly transformational and vital time to be part of our charity as we look to create a new organisational strategy with our new Chair.
Looking to the future, we’ll be developing a new strategy as we head towards our charity’s 60th anniversary later this year.
We’re proud of what we’ve achieved – but there’s always more to be done. As the economic, social, and political landscape changes, our strategy must evolve to reflect changes. We need to ensure we continue to increase our fundraising and commercial activities to deliver the scale of impact required.
We’re looking for a new trustee to join our board to help us navigate the future challenges and in particular we are looking for this individual to play a role on the board as a trustee with safeguarding expertise. With this in mind we are looking for people who have an expertise and understanding of safeguarding responsibilities in multi-faceted organisations, this could be in adult or children’s social care, education, health or the charity and/or private sectors.
We’re keen to ensure our board is diverse in every way and we’re committed to ensuring our Trustees reflect our society, our charity and the people we represent and support. We welcome applications from autistic people, their families and carers. To achieve greater diversity, we’re actively encouraging applications from people of all backgrounds and regions.
We’re looking for people who can provide strategic direction, appropriate oversight, scrutiny, challenge, leadership and passion to support our development.
The National Autistic Society Board meets four times with one overnight strategy away day every year. We expect our Trustees to join one sub-committee which also meets four times a year. All our meetings are currently virtual, and, in the future, we expect that we’ll have a blended mix of face-to-face and virtual meetings. We expect the time commitment overall to be one to two days per month.
Closing date: Monday 4th July 2022
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