Chair and Board Members of BFOE – opportunities

Birmingham Friends of the Earth, environmental change organisation and operator of The Warehouse in Digbeth, is seeking a new Chair of the Board. We are also seeking one or two new Board members. If you love community buildings, care about the environment and have some relevant skills and time, please read on!

Formed as a Community Benefit Society, Friends of the Earth (Birmingham) Ltd. exists to promote positive environmental change by increasing awareness of environmental issues. It does this particularly through campaigning and also through practical activity and space at its community environmental building, The Warehouse.

The Warehouse is a friendly and thriving hub for the city’s environmental and social activism with a proud history and strong networks. It comprises meeting and office space, a vegan cafe and events space, shops selling bikes, vegan sweets and sustainable household goods, a community radio station and a community garden.

The Board has over-arching responsibility for all aspects of BFoE activity, but campaigns activity is delegated to our thriving campaigns group, which meets weekly and reports to the Board as needed. So the Board focuses on governance, finance, overall organisational performance and the issues relating to the building, its users and four members of staff.

Our building seen from Allison Street

In 2016-18 we underwent a major development of The Warehouse, funded by a community share issue, making our building more energy efficient, more accessible and with more space to use. New tenants and more meeting rooms have increased our income generation, which supports our campaigns activity. The pandemic then severely impacted our income and activities, but Government financial support and prudent management has ensured we have come out of the pandemic in a strong position, and our building community and campaigns activities remain healthy. A new Chief Executive has also been appointed.

Following this period of change, we are now seeking a new Chair of the Board, to take the organisation forward amid the opportunities and challenges of our own context and that of the city and wider environment. We would consider joint applications from two co-chairs.

We’re seeking a Chair with environmental commitment, a cooperative nature and experience of leading organisational development.

For the Board Member roles, we’re seeking similar qualities and additional expertise around project management, property management or HR.

The 12 person Board meets five to six times a year and is responsible for setting strategy and overseeing the operation, development and staffing of the organisation. The Board also operates through subgroups and email discussion in between meetings where needed. We’d like the successful candidates for both roles to observe the Board for a period of time to familiarise themselves with the organisation before assuming their roles.

If you are interested in applying for either role, please send an enquiry to Karen Leach, chief executive, and we will send you an information pack for the relevant role. You are also welcome to get in touch for an initial chat about the roles and the current context. Then please send a CV and a covering letter outlining why you’re interested in the role and what you would bring to it, to Karen as above. The closing date for applications is Monday 24th January 2022 at 9am.

As part of the process we will ask for one referee who has known the applicant in a similar capacity. We look forward to hearing from you!