Trustee – Foothold – The Institution of Engineering and Technology Benevolent Fund

Foothold exists to ensure that no engineer or their family needs to face life’s challenges alone.

In 1890 a group of engineers decided that their Institution should do something for fellow engineers in need. In the almost 130 years since, they have continued to develop services which support over 1,300 engineers and family members a year, from across the globe.

Foothold’s recently appointed CEO, Jane Petit, joined to implement the next phase of strategic planning and development to ensure that the organisation can respond to the ever-changing needs of their community. One of Jane’s first actions was to commission a piece of research into current and future issues facing engineers, and a review to inform the strategy for 2019-2022 with the ambition of increasing the wellbeing of engineers and their families worldwide and supporting 3,000 people a year by 2022.

  • Why Foothold’s Help is Important
    Foothold’s recent research showed that their community serve have three main areas of need:

    • Work and employment;
    • Health and wellbeing;
    • Financial and legal problems.

    Foothold’s new strategy focuses on activities which support an increase in wellbeing, intended to empower their community by providing tools to help them help themselves.

    Then, if engineers and their families experience life events and moments of transition such as getting sick, experiencing bereavement, redundancy or relationship breakdown (all common triggers for poverty) not only can they offer practical assistance with finances or legal matters, they have also increased their likelihood of coping.
  • Role Description
    As a member of the Board of Trustees, the Trustee will have the expertise to ensure the strategic oversight of the charity’s governance and to support appropriate decisions and good governance by the Board. This includes:

    • Undertaking a lead role for the Board of Trustees on all matters associated with the legal aspects of the organisation;
    • Acting as a critical friend to the organisation’s senior management team when obtaining and acting on legal advice.

    The main responsibilities of all Trustees are:

    • To abide by the Trustees’ Code of Conduct and to declare as appropriate their business interests;
    • To set and maintain vision, mission and values;
    • To ensure that Foothold always complies with its governing document, charity law, company and any other relevant issues of legislation or regulations;
    • To ensure that Foothold pursues its objects as defined in its governing document;
    • To maintain proper financial control and ensure that Foothold applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives;
    • To develop strategy and provide leadership, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets, as well as evaluating performance against agreed targets;
    • To ensure accountability;
    • To support the operational management of the organisation;
    • To agree the content and implementation of mandatory internal policies, which must include equality and diversity, health and safety policies and grievance and disciplinary procedures;
    • To ensure that risk assessments for all aspects of the business are carried out;
    • To safeguard the good name and values of Foothold;
    • To maintain effective Board performance and ensure the effective and efficient administration of the charity including funding, insurance and premises;
    • To promote Foothold and act in the best interests of the charity, never in the interests of yourself or another organisation.
  • Person Specification

    Knowledge and experience 

    • Legal experience from either the private or public sector;
    • Senior strategic level experience, or experience as a charity Trustee/Non-Executive of a complex organisation;
    • Outstanding record of professional achievement in their field, with a commensurate personal reputation for excellence;
    • Strong understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship;
    • Appreciation of the nature of risk management at Board level.

    Skills and abilities 

    • Skills and ability to ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations;
    • Ability to distil complex information and bring a pragmatic approach to its application;
    • Highly effective communication and interpersonal skills, able to galvanise external relationships and build support for Foothold;
    • Independent, strategic and creative thinker;
    • Collaborative team player;
    • Sound judgement and political sense;
    • Committed to the values of Foothold, leading by example in upholding these values and demonstrating the utmost integrity.
  • Safeguarding, additional duties and Terms of appointment


    All Trustees should ensure that they are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities and take responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.

    Additional duties

    In addition to the above statutory duties, each Trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board reach sound decisions. These may involve scrutinising Board and Committee papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives and other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.


    The role of Trustee is unremunerated.

    Time Commitment

    Up to five Board meetings per year and potential for committee meetings which often coincide with Board meetings. Trustees are also expected to attend occasional public or private events, for example supporter/fundraising events, strategic planning, Board away days and public profile events.

    Location of meetings

    Foothold 4th Floor, Napier House, 24 High Holborn, London WC1V 6AY.


    Reasonable out-of-pocket travel expenses will be reimbursed as per volunteer expenses policy.


    Trustees will serve an initial three-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for an additional term of three years. These terms may be repeated after a break of at least one year.

    Equal opportunities

    Foothold is fully committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in their workforce and employment practices, in the work we undertake, and in the provision of all services. Foothold therefore expect all of its staff and volunteers to be willing and able to make a positive contribution to the promotion and implementation of Foothold’s Equality and Diversity policy.

  • Application Process
    • Please submit:
      • A detailed and up-to-date CV ;
      • A supporting statement that addresses all criteria in the person specification and outlines your motivation for applying;
      • Details of your availability on the dates provided in the indicative timetable;
      • Equalities Monitoring Form, downloadable below
    • To upload your completed documents online, please click the Apply Now button above
    • Alternatively, please submit applications via email to Edwin Oliver-Watts, Charity Next & Talent Exectuive at WIG – [email protected]
    • The closing date for applications Midday on Monday 22 June 2020.    
    • Shortlisted candidates will have the opportunity to meet the Chief Executive during the week commencing Monday 13 July 2020. 
    • Interview date is the afternoon of Thursday 30 July 2020.
    • If you have any queries about any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information or wish to have an informal and confidential discussion, please contact Edwin Oliver-Watts, Charity Next & Talent Executive at WIG on 0207 222 1166 or [email protected]
    • A more detailed recruitment pack is available below


    WIG Equalities Monitoring Form.docx


    Foothold WIG Recruitment Pack - Legal Trustee, May 2020


    Foothold Recruitment Pack