VocalEyes is a small organisation, but recognised as making a significant contribution to arts accessibility through continuous funding from Arts Council England since we were founded in 1998. We’re run by a team of six, who manage a network of freelance describers and trainers working on around 220 projects each year at theatres, museums and heritage sites across the UK. We believe that blind and partially sighted people should have the best opportunities to experience and enjoy art and heritage; to achieve that we provide live and recorded audio description, as well as training, consultancy and free resources to help the arts and heritage sectors be more accessible and inclusive. We also publicise accessible arts events, performances and venues through our website, social media and multi-format What’s On guides.
You can read about our team and our services; see the range and volume of our audio description through the what’s on listings (all upcoming audio-described performances), and learn about a range of other projects and activities through our news articles. You can also read our Annual Reports going back 10 years. And here are short biographies of our current Trustees.
And here’s a post written by one of our current Trustees, Joanna Wood, writing about the importance of what we do in her life (Seeing yourself for the first time: the power of people in audio-described theatre).
As a Trustee, your main role will be to help plan the strategic future of the charity and its work, be involved in advising and developing staff and make policy decisions. You will also ensure VocalEyes is accountable to its beneficiaries, to the Charity Commission and the public in general. Your commitment is to prepare for (by reading the papers), attend and contribute to four Board meetings each year (Central London, 5-7pm). There are additionally occasional strategy or other workshops, and the CEO and Chair may also ask for additional advice and input based on your experience and skills.
Being a trustee should be rewarding, providing opportunities for personal development. While you bring your skills and energy to the role, we hope you would gain new experience, knowledge and contacts. Effective trustee boards need a range of people with a good mix of skills. The best boards are also diverse in as many ways as possible, including representation by people who have a real understanding of the needs to be met and others with good financial, business and management experience.
We are particularly interested in people who have skills and experience in the museums or heritage sector (senior management), as well as fundraising and development, audience development and marketing, but we’re open to approaches from anyone whose passionate about supporting us. We are also maintaining representation on our board of equal to or over half of of people who are blind or partially sighted, and we are therefore particularly interested in hearing from people with experience of sight loss.
If you are interested or have any questions, please email Matthew Cock (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chief Executive or call him on 020 7345 1043. We can then arrange for an informal chat with the Chair, Lynette Shanbury.