The Outward Bound Trust — Trustees

The Outward Bound Trust seeks to appoint two new Trustees to help guide the strategy and development of the Trust. The successful candidates will either have a successful career as an entrepreneur, CEO or senior leader; or will have solid financial expertise together with strong leadership capabilities, and will be able to contribute at a strategic level. (Deadline: 7 November)

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Founded in 1941, The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity which helps young people to defy limitations through its unique approach to learning and adventure in the wild. Since then, it has helped over 1.2 million young people to unlock their full potential by challenging them to never give up, to change their perspective and to learn the most important lesson: to believe in themselves. Its founding mission was to give young seamen the ability to survive harsh conditions at sea by teaching confidence, tenacity, perseverance and to build experience. Now, its mission is “to inspire young people to believe they can achieve more than they ever thought possible”.

The Trust provides courses for young people to develop their social and emotional skills at every stage of their education from the end of primary school through to university, as well as during the early stages of employment. The skills they develop are those which will play a pivotal role in how successfully they navigate the challenges of adolescence and early adulthood: helping them to flourish and thrive in many different ways throughout their lives. It partners with over 500 schools and colleges across the UK, as well as employers and youth groups.

Outward Bound is committed to ensuring that a child's financial situation is not a barrier to them learning and so through its generous charitable funding provision it supports around 80% of attendees. Its goal is to empower all young people to succeed - for themselves, their communities and society. The Trust is also committed to ensuring the outdoors is a space for everyone and is working to create greater representation within the charity. More information about its action towards diversity in the outdoors can be found here.

The Trust places the following values at the core of its mission and strategy:

  • A belief that we all have undiscovered potential. It aims to create moments when everyone can see and believe in themselves as never before, and to translate such moments into lessons for everyday life.
  • A belief in the power and intensity of learning through adventure - as a means of bringing out the best in people.
  • A deep appreciation of the balance between risk, reward and responsibility. It wants people to have intense experiences with real consequences and powerful, positive and memorable outcomes.
  • A spirit of respect and compassion. It aims to stretch people both physically and mentally. In doing so, it acts with care, concern and generosity towards people and the natural environment.
  • A belief that everyone has the right to feel valued, welcomed and encouraged to be themselves. At the heart of this is a recognition that everyone benefits from a variety of experiences, ideas and perspectives. A strong organisation is diverse and inclusive.

Outward Bound emerged from the Covid pandemic in sound financial health and has returned to high levels of occupancy and delivery. The Board has a strong desire to grow its capacity so that it can benefit more young people. Its growth strategy is at an advanced stage of being formulated.

Role specification

The role of the Board of Trustees is to oversee the receipt of assets from donors and other sources, safeguard them and apply them for its charitable purposes. The Board must always act in the best interests of the charity by understanding how the charity benefits those it intends to, and by carrying out its purposes and making balanced and properly informed decisions. The Trustee Board must act as a group and not as individuals.

Members oversee both internal and external audit functions and review their effectiveness. They also give assurance to the Board that the charity’s financial operations are being managed and operated in accordance with the charity’s governing documents and in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards.

Key duties of Trustees include:

  • Ensuring that the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit
  • Complying with the charity’s governing document and the law
  • Acting in the charity’s best interests and managing its resources responsibly
  • Acting with reasonable care and skill
  • Ensuring that the charity is accountable, complying with the law, well run and effective

The Finance Trustee will also be a member of the Audit Committee and potentially a successor to the Chair of that Committee. The Audit Committee supports the Board of Trustees and senior members of the Trust in their responsibilities for maintaining sound risk management, control and governance arrangements. Members of the Committee contribute to the strengthening of the current charity framework and financial strategic decision-making. Their responsibilities also include monitoring the integrity of the financial statements and any formal announcements relating to the charity's financial performance.

Person specification

Trustee (Senior Organisational Leadership)

The Outward Bound Trust seeks to appoint a new Trustee who has had a successful career as an entrepreneur, CEO or senior leader of an organisation. Candidates will ideally have successfully overseen business transformation and growth, and will be able to bring their broad people leadership and management skills to help guide the strategy and development of the Trust.

Candidates will have the ability to provide input on a broad range of issues, including:

  • Outward Bound’s strategy
  • Its plans and resources for the successful implementation of its strategy
  • Its preparation and ability to manage growth
  • Its operational effectiveness
  • Leadership development and HR matters
  • The effectiveness of its governance
  • Branding and brand development

Trustee (Finance)

The successful candidate will have strong business acumen and solid financial experience. They will be able to offer strategic guidance on best practice with regard to audit, risk, compliance and assurance frameworks. They will also have experience of developing, reviewing and reporting on risk management systems, as well as business planning and financial modelling.

The Outward Bound Trust is looking for candidates who have operated at a senior leadership level and can contribute to both the strategic and operational development of the Trust.

The Trust particularly welcomes applications from under-represented groups. All candidates will be committed to unlocking the potential of young people through learning and adventure in the wild, and be personally aligned to the values of the Outward Bound Trust. They will be able to combine their experience of senior strategic leadership and belief in the ethos of the charity to help it deliver its outcomes and achieve its social impact.

Please note: candidates must be UK-based.

Board composition

Charles Philipps, Chair
Jonathan Lewis, Chair-elect
HRH Princess Beatrice
Julia Abel
Nicholas Gair MBE
Youlande Harrowell
David Hempleman-Adams
Leo Houlding
Nick Sanderson
Paul Voller
Guy Williams
Helen Wright

Terms of appointment

These roles are unremunerated, but reasonable, pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed.

  • The Trust has four regular Board meetings per year, three of which are in London and take half a day and one of which is held at one of the Trust’s centres and for which Trustees are asked to set aside one and a half days. Additional meetings may be needed for strategic initiatives.
  • There are four regular Audit Committee meetings per year.
  • Trustees are also encouraged to visit Outward Bound’s centres from time to time.


UK - London


The Outward Bound Trust is committed to greater diversity on its Board and Committees. As such, it particularly welcomes applications from those who can further its gender, ethnic and / or age diversity representation. All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process. In line with the Equality Act 2010, however, the organisation may employ positive action where diverse candidates can demonstrate their ability to perform the role equally well.

The deadline for consideration is 7 November 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.