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Chair of the Board

Chair of the Board

Closing date: 15 October 2020

Remuneration:  Non remunerated, expenses reimbursed.


Do you want to help fight Breast Cancer? Are you an experienced Chair, Vice Chair or Non-Executive Director in the voluntary or not-for profit sectors, who wants to use your skills to help a fantastic charity increase their reach and impact? Do you have a good understanding of the health sector and cancer care prevention?

We are looking for an individual with a successful track record and enthusiasm to Chair the Board of trustees, providing leadership and direction to the Board and enabling the Board to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of Breast Cancer UK (“BCUK”).

The Chair will work closely with the Vice-Chair, other trustees and the Chief Executive to ensure that BCUK complies with its legal duties, pursues its charitable objects and develops and achieves its strategic objectives to secure maximum impact for BCUK’s beneficiaries. The Chair acts as an ambassador and the public face of BCUK in partnership with the Chief Executive.

About Breast Cancer UK

Breast Cancer UK’s vision is a world without breast cancer.  Our mission is to prevent breast cancer through scientific research, education, collaboration and policy change.

Around 55,000 women every year get breast cancer, yet over 25% of breast cancer cases are preventable. We focus entirely on the prevention of breast cancer through the following:

  • Funding high quality scientific research that will help to understand and address the preventable risk factors for breast cancer
  • Campaigning for policy changes that promote the prevention of breast cancer
  • Educating and raising awareness of the preventable risk factors for breast cancer and providing practical information to empower people to reduce their risk

BCUK is known for its scientific research and campaigns on the links between certain environmental chemicals and breast cancer but we also promote awareness and understanding of the preventable lifestyle risk factors.

As with many charities, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented challenges to both our income and structure – but we have adapted and responded creatively and flexibly, refining our strategy and delivery to ensure a long-term pathway to growth in impact and reach. The Chair will have a key role in supporting our ambitious plans and our aim to be recognised as the leading breast cancer prevention charity.

The role

This is an exciting opportunity to join and lead the Board, supporting the other trustees, the Chief Executive and the wider staff team to:

  • agree the strategic direction and targets for BCUK
  • ensure the financial stability of the organisation
  • oversee BCUK’s performance, governance and legal compliance
  • ensure the effective contribution and development of the Board.

As well as experience chairing a board or board committee in the voluntary/not for profit sector, you will have demonstrable leadership ability with outstanding communication and collaboration skills and be able to harness the strengths and skills of the Board as a team and individually. While you may not have personal or family experience of breast cancer, you will need to have a passion for what we do and a commitment to BCUK’s purpose, values and culture.

Key requirements

You will be able to demonstrable experience and skills in:

  • providing strategic and forward-thinking leadership, with an ability to identify opportunities and anticipate issues and risks
  • communication, collaboration and influencing, facilitating the effective decision-making of the Board and supporting the Chief Executive
  • governance and legal and regulatory compliance
  • inspiring trust, confidence and respect

Further details are provided within the Role Description and Person Specification.

Other information

Time commitment 

The Board holds meetings on a quarterly basis in the evenings. Currently these are held by video conferencing, but once Covid-19 conditions permit, all or some of these will revert to physical meetings in London. The post holder will therefore need to be accessible to London.

In addition, the successful candidate will also be expected to attend one annual strategy planning day and two informal meetings with Trustees in London.

The following Board sub committees are in place and have their own additional time commitments. The Chair will be a member of one or more of these sub committees:

  • Audit, Scrutiny & Risk Sub Committee meets 4 times a year.
  • Science Sub Committee 4 times a year.
  • Remuneration & Appointments Committee meets at least 2 times a year, as required.

It is important that the Chair is available to the Chief Executive/senior paid staff members on a regular basis.

In addition to Board Meetings, other contact – usually electronic or by telephone or video conference – will be necessary.

The time commitment for the Chair is expected to be at least 4 days per month, on average.

Equal opportunities

Breast Cancer UK is committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of background or physical ability. Breast cancer affects all people and we welcome applications from all genders and backgrounds. Please help us monitor the effectiveness of our equal opportunities policy by completing our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form.  This will be separated from your application on receipt and any information gathered anonymised and used only for statistical purposes.

Application Process

To apply for this position, please submit:

  • A comprehensive CV, including names and contact details of two referees (who will only be contacted if you reach final interview stage). Please ensure you include your full name and contact details (including e-mail address)
  • A supporting statement setting out why you are for applying for this role and how you meet the criteria set out in the Person Specification (no more than 2 sides of A4, 12 point font)
  • Confirmation that you consent to the application process and retention of your personal data in line with our data policy set out in the Person Specification
  • Completed equal opportunities monitoring form

Please submit your applications marked Chair of Board in the subject line to by 5pm on Thursday 15 October 2020.

Please let us know if you have any disability (as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and/or if you require any special provision should you be called for an interview.


Closing dates for applications: 5pm Thursday 15 October 2020.

Interviews – (to be held in the evening by Microsoft Teams/Zoom):  Week beginning the 9 November.


If you have any queries about the application process then please send an email stating the nature of your query to

For an informal conversation about the role, please email Breast Cancer UK CEO, Thalie Martini at to arrange a phone call.

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