Fashion & Textile Children's Trust — Trustees

Fashion & Textile Children's Trust is looking for two new Trustees to join its Board, who will be current or recent executives from within the UK fashion and textiles industry. The new Trustees will support the Trust in raising awareness of their work and vital role within the industry. (Deadline: 14 September)

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The Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust (FTCT) is the only organisation dedicated to providing financial support for families in the British fashion and textile industry. Founded in 1853 by three textile merchants, this year, the charity celebrates its 170 year anniversary. Today, the vision of the charity is: ‘We believe that every child deserves the chance to thrive.'

FTCT gives financial support to children (0-18yrs) whose families work, or have recently worked, in the UK fashion and textile industry. This includes those that work in fashion retail, textiles and manufacturing. FTCT also supports those that work in supermarkets that sell clothing, the laundry sector and textile recycling.

Through the provision of grants, FTCT helps families across the sector who are facing financial hardship due to challenging home circumstances. Grants do not have to be repaid and fund essential items such as children's clothing, children's bedroom furniture, essential appliances, mobility equipment, sensory toys, and therapy.

Over the last five years, FTCT awarded £1.85m to support 3,640 children. By 2026 the charity aims to increase this to £2m, helping 4,424 children. To enable this, the charity aims to fundraise £640,000 in donations.

FTCT has strong industry partnerships with the companies including M&S, John Lewis, NEXT, Boden, B&M, Boohoo, LK Bennett, Ralph Lauren, Clean Services, Johnsons Linen, Jacksons Workwear and ACS Clothing. FTCT is also proud to be the chosen charity partner for Drapers magazine, the National Laundry Group and the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT).

Role specification

Key responsibilities of Trustees will include:

  • Acting as an ambassador for FTCT, engaging with target stakeholders in the fashion and textile sector
  • Contributing to the development and oversight of strategy for the charity and to policy-making 
  • Maintaining an overview of the charity’s activities and issues whilst remaining abreast of wider industry-related and political issues that could impact the work of FTCT 
  • Developing a supportive relationship with the CEO
  • Ensuring that FTCT applies its resources in a cost-effective and appropriate manner in the pursuit of its objectives
  • Ensuring the financial stability of FTCT and the prudent and proper investment of the charity’s funds
  • Ensuring the effective and efficient administration of the charity, that the CEO delivers to plan and that they are appropriately resourced
  • Safeguarding the good standing and reputation which FTCT enjoys with the target sector, its beneficiaries and other charities

Person specification

As a trade charity, FTCT would like to hear from candidates with strategic leadership experience from within the broader UK fashion and textiles industry (inclusive across the supply chain, through to retailers). Ideally, candidates will be acting executives or directors within the industry, though the charity is open to hearing from candidates who have now moved into other sectors or have very recently retired.

Candidates will bring strong networks within the industry and will be able to act as ambassadors for FTCT's work amongst these networks. They will be able dynamic and active members of the fashion and textile industry who will advocate for the charity's work, helping to raise awareness and generate support from industry partners.

Applicants will be up-to-date with current developments within the sector and will therefore be able to support the charity to adapt as the sector adapts. They do not need to have previously held non-executive roles. Most importantly, the new Trustees will care deeply about the charity's mission to support the children of UK fashion and textile families and will be proud to be part of its work.

FTCT is particularly interested in hearing from candidates with with experience in online retail / e-commerce, those with PR / communications skillsets, and those with financial skillsets - for example those who may have held CFO or FD roles, and may have worked with FTCT or similar organisations from the other side of the table.

Board composition

Through this role, you will be joining the Board, led by Mike Taylor. Other Board members include David ShepherdAnne Secunda, Vanessa Green, Mike Trotman, Ryan Becker and Robert Bready. 

What David Shepherd says about being a Trustee:

“I love being a Trustee because I am giving support back to an industry that I have worked in for nearly 40 years. The best thing about being a Trustee is the joy families feel when they get a grant and hearing their stories- some of which can be absolutely heartbreaking. To be able to help in our little way, nothing can beat that!"

Terms of appointment

This role is unremunerated, and reasonable, pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed. There are four Board meetings per year, which begin at 4:30pm and generally last two and a half hours. Committees are also held in the early evening. All meetings are held in person in London, with the provision for hybrid meetings if needed. Should the Trustees join one of the Committees, these each hold four meetings per year too, for two hours each. Other time commitments may include strategy workshops, ad hoc meetings with the CEO, or accompanying the CEO to meet with potential or current industry partners. The appointment is for a three-year term, which can be renewed at the discretion of the Board.

The deadline for consideration is 14 September 2023.

If you would like to register your initial interest in this role, please fill in the form below.

Please note that registering your interest via this microsite does not constitute a formal application for the role. If it would be worth submitting an application, a member of the Nurole team will be directly in touch ahead of the deadline to let you know and invite you to apply through the Nurole platform.