Chair of Trustees, Sussex Pathways - Supporting prison leavers back into the community

Chair of Trustees, Sussex Pathways - Supporting prison leavers back into the community

At a glance


  • Financial management
  • Governance
  • Change management
  • General / operations management


Sussex, BN71EA
Mainly at home


Mostly during office hours Estimate of time needed:
1-3 hours / week
4 x quarterly Board meetings (2 hours) and AGM (3 hours). Weekly 1 hour meeting (can be held remotely) with CEO and other ad-hoc meetings as needed


02 Aug 2024

Visitors from Fifth Day

Welcome to Reach Volunteering. We are a community and registered charity that connects people, skills and good causes.

To apply for this role, and any other on our platform, you need to be based in the UK, have at least three years of experience using the skills you wish to volunteer in a professional capacity or have lived experience (for trustee roles). Read more about our criteria.

Build the scale, scope and effectiveness of our work with ex-offenders in Sussex

What will you be doing?

Sussex Pathways is a criminal justice charity based in Lewes, East Sussex. We work within prisons and the local community with the aim of reducing offending behaviours and empowering ex-offenders to make positive life choices. We received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2022.

This is a great opportunity for an experienced leader to bring their charity or commercial experience and leadership skills to support the Board and the leadership team to ensure our organisation can continue meeting the increasing demand for our services.

It is an exciting time for the organisation as we seek to develop and expand our highly-regarded service provision. Our current Chair will stand down in August 2024, having already initiated and developed a process of improving our organisational effectiveness and strategy. 

Working with our diverse and experienced team of existing Trustees, our new Chair will shape our culture, strengthen our capacity and increase our impact. With growth in mind, we are particularly interested in applicants with demonstrated experienced of supporting a charity or organisation through a process of change, or with the ability and skills to support this.

The next phase of Sussex Pathways’ development will seek to focus on areas including:

  • Developing the Board’s capability as we enhance our existing governance framework, with a focus on financial control and risk reporting.
  • Supporting the Board in reviewing and building its collective capability through a baseline review, capability gap analysis and subsequent work.
  • Ensuring a focus on all planned or future activity is linked to the charity’s governing document and main aims.

Knowledge of UK charity governance is desirable, as is awareness of criminal justice or social development issues, but more essential is previous experience as a senior leader in any field.  We are keen to hear from those with a record of developing organisations and who can demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively with staff, volunteers and service users.

What are we looking for?


  • Experience of leading organisations through change and growth.
  • Proven ability to build and develop senior leadership teams/boards, promoting diversity of experience and expertise and a culture that enables organisational improvement and change.
  • Experience of strengthening governance structures, with a focus on financial controls and risk reporting.
  • Experience of leading evidenced based decision making at senior leadership/board level aligned to strategic purpose of the organisation.
  • Experience of effective relationship building and communication, both inside and outside the boardroom.
  • Experience of performance monitoring at senior leadership/board level and holding senior leaders/board members to account for delivery.



  • An understanding and experience of Charity Governance including Charity Commission regulations.
  • Working knowledge or awareness of issues within the criminal justice system.
  • Previous involvement with the voluntary sector

What difference will you make?

The well-known crisis within the prison and courts systems together with the huge pressures on probation and other community based statutory services has intensified the need for the charity sector to engage with prison leavers and 'join up' the other services.

Since 2008 Sussex Pathways has provided "through the gate" mentoring support for prison leavers from HMP Lewes. Since 2014 we have delivered Restorative Justice throughout Sussex as lead partners bringing offenders and their victims together to achieve closure after crime. We now deliver interventions and support work to female offenders and support men leaving HMP Ford in West Sussex and HMP Rochester in Kent.

A new Chair will help develop the scale, scope and effectiveness of this challenging work.

Before you apply

Please provide a CV and a brief supporting statement (no more than 750 words):

Why you want to be our next Chair.

What skills and expertise you bring to the role.

What you would like to achieve as Chair.

  • Criminal justice
  • Organisation type: 

    Sussex Pathways is a criminal justice charity based in Lewes, East Sussex. We work within prisons and communities with the aim of reducing offending behaviours and empowering ex-offenders to make...