For more information, an application pack or to arrange an informal chat, contact Liz Egan on [email protected]
Currently, there are 5 Board members who bring a wealth of experience from a broad range of backgrounds and represent a variety of stakeholders.
In order to take the organisation forward the Board wishes to recruit up to 4 new non-executive Trustees who have, between them, financial skills and experience; connections with mainstream Scottish education; international development expertise; fundraising experience with corporate links and local contacts. We welcome and encourage applications from a diversity of ages, gender and race – young people welcome to apply.
Ecologia Youth Trust is a Scottish charity, established in 1995 and based in the Findhorn Ecovillage
Community. To date, we have helped to transform the lives of over 54,000 children, young people and
families affected by poverty, inadequate/insufficient family support and poor social/emotional skills.
Our vision is a world where all young people can realise their unique potential, improve their lives for the long term, and contribute to stronger communities. Our mission is to give young people facing disadvantage the support they need to thrive. This support includes access to a quality education, the confidence, skills and resources to shape their own future, and the family support vital to their health and wellbeing.
Historical background to our activities
Through our unique place at the heart of the Findhorn Community, we are privileged to be able to
connect with organisations and individuals from all over the world who, like us, share the values of the
Findhorn Community. These values include respect for all forms of life; respect for each other; non-
violence, peaceful conflict resolution and a sense of service to make the world a better place. These
values, and a concern for the future of our children and our environment, creates the link between our
project partners. Ecologia fosters long-term relationships with our partners because we believe real change takes time and commitment.
Our work started in Russia, inspired by the vision of Dmitry Morozov, who created a unique foster
family community for orphans in rural Russia. Our founder and current Director of International Projects supported the development of two foster family villages, that over the course of 25 years
became well known both in Russia and the UK for their therapeutic rehabilitation of orphans. In addition to helping build the homes and infrastructure of the villages, Ecologia provided expertise in various forms of therapeutic education, including Art and Play Therapy and Life Story work. The Kitezh school became recognised as an ‘experimental school’, allowing exceptional freedom for innovative education. Young people from Kitezh and from the Findhorn Community engaged in creative youth exchanges that gave them a life changing experience of breaking down barriers between cultures and an understanding of each other, so important in building a world of peace and cooperation.
International projects in Thailand, Myanmar, Kenya and Uganda followed, in partnership with local
grassroots organisations who shared our aims of empowerment and growing strong, sustainable
communities. We continued to support disadvantaged children and young people by providing primary
and secondary education for those living in poverty, skills training for young school leavers and
vulnerable young women, and, family support for children without parents.
In 2017, Ecologia brought its work with young people home to Scotland under the direction of Diana
Whitmore who has over 35 years’ experience in the Third Sector and has founded two other Charities.
Growing2gether and Growing2gether in the Community are our two main Scottish Programmes which
now make up over 70% of our operations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Growing2gether has gone
online with all its programmes as well as creating a Mentoring/Counselling programme to address
mental health needs of young people.
In partnership with Highland Council, Growing2gether (an evidence based programme) connects young people, struggling with disengagement and disadvantage, to their community by being mentors to -young children in need of extra support. Additionally, the young people are offered an opportunity to create and deliver youth-led community projects, addressing the needs of their local community. These programmes can improve mental health, educational engagement, life and employment skills. Evidence suggests that the Growing2gether programme is very much needed in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands where we offer it in 11 schools. Such early intervention programmes fit well with the need to support the Scottish Government’s initiatives of Closing the Attainment Gap and Getting It Right for Every Child.
To date Growing2gether has reached over 700 children and young people in 11 Highland Local
Authorities and this evidence based intervention is growing apace, with expansion in the Highland and
Dundee educational authorities. We anticipate a big expansion in the next 5 years.
We are committed to promoting the principles of equality and justice for all in our programmes and
with our staff, partners and volunteers:
- Respect for all people and their needs in accordance with their human rights.
- Integrity and fairness in all our work.
- Building sustainable communities meeting the needs of the present without compromising
- Participatory and cooperative working practices.
- Partner-led project development.
- A therapeutic approach to education.
About the charity
Registered Scottish Charity No. SC023976
Company Limited by Guarantee No. SC290434
Ecologia Youth Trust has 15 members of staff, 7 of whom are full time. The Annual turnover for the last
financial year was £550,000 and it is anticipated to increase to over £600,000 this year. With the rapid development Ecologia has experienced, and the range of activities and services it provides, the current Trustees have identified the skills that would enhance the Board’s ability to grow the charity.
Ideally, Trustees would have a combination of the following skills and experience:
- relevant financial experience, with a comprehensive understanding of financial and
management accounts, especially in a not-for-profit environment
- experience and connections with mainstream Scottish education
- expertise and interest in international development and the developing world
- fundraising experience with corporate links and local contacts.
- understanding of the legal responsibilities of being a charity trustee, to make sure the charity complies with health and safety, employment law, data protection and equality.
We welcome diversity in terms of age, gender and race. Being a Board member is an opportunity to guide the organisation’s development and to contribute to the development of local community and international youth development. The position of Board member is unpaid. Reasonable expenses incurred in the pursuit of Board business will be covered.
The current Trustees meet approximately 6 times a year. Until the pandemic prevented face to face
meetings, these were held in a private home in the Findhorn Community. For the past year meetings
have been held successfully online. It is envisaged that future meetings might be a combination
of face to face and online. Papers are issued in advance and the majority of Board business is transacted at Board meetings.
Trustees are invited to take part in sub-committees in order that those with relevant skills/availability can take certain roles/responsibilities forward to support the management of both the Scottish and International divisions. A more detailed role description is given at the end of this pack.
Applicants are asked to write to Elizabeth Egan, Company Secretary on [email protected] with a covering letter, current CV and a brief personal statement detailing your interest in the position, your relevant skills and experience and any other information that is pertinent to your application.
Applicants matching the above profiles will be invited to discuss their candidacy, their interest in
Ecologia Youth Trust and the specific contribution they can make to the organisation. Ecologia Youth Trust is an Equal Opportunities employer and is committed to transparency and best practice in our governance. Applications and interviews will be held in confidence. If you would like to have an informal discussion about the role please contact Liza Hollingshead, Director International Projects, [email protected] or Diana Whitmore, Director Scotland, [email protected] to arrange an online conversation.
For further information about Ecologia Youth Trust please visit our website www.ecologia.org.uk
We strongly recommend that all applicants, irrelevant of their experience, take time to read
Guidance for Charity Trustees which outlines the main legal duties of being a Board member here.
Extract from the Strategic Plan for 2021 -2023
Our Aims for 2021-23
Having conducted a thorough strategic review, and assessed our current internal and external context,
we have prioritised the following aims for the next three years.
AIM 1: REACHING VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE:
We will have supported a growing number of vulnerable children and young people to reach
their potential through tested therapeutic or community-centred models by:
- rolling out our innovative Growing2gether programmes in Scotland to reach 1,344 children and young people;
- rolling out our Growing2gether in the Community programmes in Scotland to reach 370
young people and 9 communities with youth-led projects;
- reaching 84 young people with our newly developed digital Growing2gether, Growing2gether In the Community, and Mentoring pilot programmes, to support targeted young people with increased mental health needs;
- supporting Sky is the Limit school, Uganda, to improve access to a quality education for 370
- developing our ongoing programme to support 30 children and their education at
International Peace Initiatives Centre, Kenya;
- supporting Tarnos School in Kenya to provide excellent Primary education for 250 children, with specific sponsorship of 75 students in impoverished circumstances; continuing to support innovation and education in Kitezh and Orion, Russia.
AIM 2: STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES
We will have listened to the needs of communities and young people to develop community-
strengthening projects, which increase young people’s skills and confidence, empower them to
achieve their potential and give them a voice to break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage,
- Listening regularly to the needs of young people and the wider community in Scotland, to
ensure that our programmes in Scotland are youth-led, via our Youth Advisory Board,
which will consult regularly with young people;
- supporting 170 vulnerable local mothers attending International Peace Initiatives in Kenya
to develop vocational skills, grow new livelihoods to support their children, and improve
health and wellbeing in their communities;
- supporting Sky is the Limit school, Uganda, to provide youth-led skills trainings and follow-
up support for the livelihood initiatives of its graduates;
- continuing to support foster families at Kitezh and Orion communities, Russia.
AIM 3: BUILDING SUSTAINABLE PARTNERS
We will have supported our community-based partners to develop innovative, holistic and
child-centred approaches and to become self-sustaining over time, by:
- supporting partner schools to deliver a sustainable Growing2gether programme,
independently of our facilitator team;
- building a more sustainable portfolio of partners, and increasing organisational capacity,
social bridging and impact funding in the wider field of youth development;
- supporting our partners to improve their infrastructure, using sustainable practices which
consider climate change adaptation requirements;
- investigating and creating new international partnerships.
AIM 4: INTERCULTURAL EXCHANGE AND LEARNING
We will have strengthened our programmes of exchange and volunteering with our partners to
build intercultural learning and respect, by:
- growing our overseas youth exchange programme;
- growing our overseas volunteering programme to 28 volunteers over 3 years;
- sharing knowledge and lessons learnt between our International partners;
- fostering the values of Global Citizenship between UK primary schoolchildren and those of
our international partners.
AIM 5: BUILDING OUR ORGANISATION
We will have strengthened our organisation to deliver more for children and young people, by:
- raising total charity income of £1,712,865 over 3 years: increasing our
restricted/unrestricted income by average 10% by year 3; and diversifying income sources,
to become 40% less reliant on trust/foundation/statutory funding by end 2023;
- ensuring we have a strong Trustee Board (including young people with lived experience)
who provide robust governance to the charity;
- putting in place a realistic succession plan for key staff and trustees;
- upskilling staff and building our staff teams;
- increasing funding for international projects to address post-COVID needs.
The full Strategic Plan is available. For further information please contact [email protected]
These are the competencies that we expect Trustees to possess.
- Empathy with the Findhorn Community ethos.
- Commitment to holistic community-based support for vulnerable children at home and
- Willingness to shape and sustain the strategic direction of the organisation.
- An active advocate locally, nationally and internationally for Ecologia Youth Trust (EYT) work
and to be willing to promote success.
- An active role in supporting the EYT fundraising strategy and be involved in fundraising
activities on behalf of the Trust.
- Good communication skills with all stakeholders and the ability to work as part of the Board to
further the organisation’s aims, objectives and vision.
- Ability to oversee the development of and agree the EYT governance, policies and business
- Ability to ensure that EYT implements effective performance management that will achieve its
aims, objectives and vision.
- Attendance at Board meetings with full engagement and participation in discussions and
- Willingness to engage with sub-committees and supervision to support the management.
- Ability to exercise independent judgement and diligence on the Board in a caring, fair and
- ICT competency and ability to communicate regularly by email and to respond to emails
- Willingness and commitment to fulfil the legal duties of a Company director as set out in the
Companies Act 2006, and the legal duties of a Charity Trustee.
In addition, Trustees should have strengths in at least one of the following areas. We do not expect an
individual to be skilled in all these areas but EYT depends on its Board of Trustees having a wide range
- In depth understanding of therapeutic education and/or sustainable development
- Organisational development/strategy
- Financial management, budget control
- Management, development and support of paid staff/volunteers
- HR experience and capacities
- Knowledge of equalities, human rights issues and best practice in employment
- Successful fundraising or social entrepreneurship
- Facilitator of connections with Corporates and/or Major Donors
- Public Relations and/or event management skills
- Monitoring and evaluation
- ICT management
- Project development/management experience