About the organisation
Deaf Experience Limited (DEX) is a charity which campaigns nationally to improve access to education, wellbeing and quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing young people.
Deaf Experience was set up to act as a bridge between the deaf community and deaf young people (DYP) who have attended mainstream education, who usually know little or no British Sign Language (BSL) and are more likely to view their deafness in a negative way.
By bringing DYP together in a safe, accessible and inclusive space we support the development of a positive self-identity and increased confidence/ self-esteem. We help DYP to learn BSL, the natural visual language for deaf people. We provide social and educational activities to help overcome the barriers DYP face to promote independence, improved access to education and work opportunities. Our 1:1 advocacy service enhances our activity programme and covers issues including housing and Access to Work.
About the role
We are a small, growing charity, and need you to join our Board to help us ensure our finance procedures are robust and provide a foundation to build on.
Currently, all transactions/grants are recorded via an Excel spreadsheet which needs to be updated. We have identified staff time and financial resource to train and lead on a move to using QuickBooks (or similar) and need a Treasurer with the appropriate training and skills to oversee this and help us start as we mean to go on!
We anticipate a higher initial time investment for the first three or four months which would reduce to less frequent Board and finance meetings once the move to QuickBooks has taken place and staff are confident in its usage.
We are looking for someone to:
- attend four Board meetings a year (usually held face to face on a Saturday afternoon in Leeds) prepare a brief paper in advance to be shared, discussed and approved during meetings, and contribute to Board discussions using your experience of financial sustainbiltiy.
- work with our Executive Officer on annual forecasting, and meet bi-monthly (face to face or Zoom at a time to suit you) to review progress against budget, suggesting amends.
- advise and oversee our Finance Officer in making Gift Aid claims, where we can claim tax back and other charity expenditure legislation.
- lead on gathering and submitting information to an external auditor for our annual accounts.
- be a co-signatory for our two bank accounts.
Our ideal candidate
Our ideal candidate would have:
- strong team working skills
- passion for continuous improvement
- ability to lead, coach and explain concepts to a variety of different audiences (e.g. older, deaf, English as a second language) sometimes via a British Sign Language interpreter
- understanding of the constraints, challenges but most importantly rewards of working with a small charity
- the finance skills, experience and confidence to suggest best working practice
- a resilient and proactive attitude
If you have an interest or passion in working with the deaf community and British Sign Language skills, this would be great but not essential as we are keen for you to learn about DEX and the wider deaf community during your involvement!
What’s in it for you
Deaf Experience Limited are at a real turning point in our history. Your contribution at this stage could really transform our future sustainability helping us to continue our project work to improve the lives of deaf young people, and to extend our range of services.
Too many deaf young people leave education disadvantaged by lower academic achievement, higher ill mental and physical health and lack of appropriate transition support. The deaf community nationally is struggling with the closure of deaf schools, deaf resource bases and deaf centres meaning our spaces to mix and learn from each other are being lost. We know from research that being with others 'like you' who share the same life experiences is fundamental to self-identity, esteem, confidence and improved life outcomes.
Our project work changes lives and through being involved you will see the impact our services have.
In Leeds we are one of few areas nationally who can say there is a thriving deaf and blind centre (where DEX's office is based) and a specific deaf youth service. We aim to be a beacon of hope and working model for others across the country to learn from and neetwork with. Your support can make a difference to the deaf community nationally.
If you have no experience of the deaf community, it is an opportunity to learn about deaf awareness and inclusivity which will enhance your personal and professional skills and open up a community of people you may never normally have the opportunity to mix with.
If you are deaf yourself, it is an opportunity to get to know like-minded deaf people, and make an impact on your community.
Apply for the role
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Please provide a cover note if it is requested in the role description. Applications which are personalised, setting out your motivations for volunteering for the organisation and relevant skills/experience, are far more likely to be successful.