Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah (the Blahs) are looking for new Trustees. If you are someone who is passionate about making sure every child and young person has the chance to be creative, to take part in inspiring experiences and to learn about the world, then we want to hear from you.
As a Trustee you would be part of a small group of committed, caring and positive Trustees that help make sure that as a theatre company and a charity we achieve our mission to create shows and events about things that are important to the lives of children and young people.
Do I have to have been a Trustee before?
No! We’re happy to provide support or training, and you will be ‘buddied’ with someone who has been a Blahs trustee for a while who will show you the ropes, answer questions and make sure you have everything you need.
About the Blahs
We have a 34 year history of creating high quality theatre, with a specialism in reaching young people who come from backgrounds and experiences that mean they would be less likely to access the arts otherwise.
We are a theatre company that is proud to tell stories and make space for children to explore and unpack challenging issues about how we live in the world today – at the same time as being entertaining, exciting and inspiring.
All the shows that we make come from our belief that theatre can be a tool for positive social change, learning about ourselves and celebrating the rich diversity of 21st century Britain.
We are a small and dynamic part-time team, led by Artistic Director Deborah Pakkar-Hull who is an expert in creating arts events by, with and for children and young people.
Currently, we are really thinking about who we are and who we could be as a company – as a Trustee you would bring your ideas, experience and voice to shaping our future.
You can find out more about the Blahs on our website: www.blahs.co.uk
And there is a full video of our last touring production The Vultures’ Song here, to see the kind of work we make: https://youtu.be/J2CbApty2xs
The communities we serve and our creative plans
We work with young people from a range of different backgrounds, identities and experiences including:
• People of South Asian heritage*
• People of African and Caribbean heritage*
• LGBTQ+ people
• D/deaf and disabled people
* we support the #BAMEover movement to avoid the use of casual, inaccurate or harmful language: https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/18wcPacmMhlCb3cFk2jEhg5e_lTs9uSYzpBqse_SbeU8/mobilebasic
Working with some brilliant partners from across the UK, our plans for the next few years include
• A new play for children age 3 to 6 and their families all about the power of the outdoors and growing, and the small things we can do everyday to combat climate change
• A performance full of stories and songs inspired by the hugely popular Anna Hibiscus books by Atinuke taking children on a journey into “Amazing Africa”
• A new show for young people exploring gender identity, defying stereotypes and being proud of who you are
Who we are looking for
We think it’s important our trustees reflect the voices, backgrounds and experiences of the range of children and young people we serve and the stories we wish to tell. We recognise that at the moment this is not adequately the case and is something we want to address through this call out.
You don’t have to have any specific skills – just a passion for empowering creativity for children and young people. But if you have knowledge or first-hand experience in any of the following as well – even better!
• Being a practicing artist in any live performance form
• Working for a small charity
• Working with children and young people
• Marketing, communications or PR
• Touring theatre (from a company touring work or a venue that programmes work)
What does a Trustee do and what will I get out of it?
Being a trustee is a real responsibility and the UK Government website has a section all about what all Trustees need to do and be aware of here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-what-you-need-to-do#s4
We know this might seem a bit overwhelming, but you will be supported by a group of Trustees who have years of expertise in this area to make sure you understand and can fully take part.
In addition to the above, for the Blahs being a Trustee means:
• Helping us make sure all the decisions we make are about creating brilliant art with children at the centre
• Thinking big about the company and the planning for our future to make sure we are secure and sustainable
• Being part of recruiting the staff team so we have the right people with the right skills in place
• Being a champion of the company and helping get the word out about what we do
• Coming along to shows and events to support the team and sharing in our successes
You’ll be asked to attend a minimum of 4 meetings per year (but this can be a mixture of in person or online via platforms like Skype and Zoom depending on your circumstances) along with an annual ‘Away Day’ – which is where we spend a full day together thinking creatively about our plans and ambitions.
People choose to become a Trustee for all kinds of reasons from wanting to use their skills and experience to make a difference in their local community, to building new networks and connections, to wanting to learn more about how charities run, to improving their CV and job prospects. Here’s what our current Trustees say about what it means to them:
“I love being on the Board because I get to see the work of the Company and talk to the audiences. I really enjoy the different perspectives that members of the Board bring and we have some very stimulating discussions about the content and direction of the work. I learn a lot and feel it’s a privilege being with such talented, committed and sociable colleagues.”
“When I was young I wanted to be a writer, then a filmmaker, then a theatre director. Then I grew up and ended up working in an office for a company I love, but which is very different from my youthful dreams. The Blahs offers me an opportunity to touch the dreams I had 20 years ago and hopefully add value through the skills I have gained in the interim years!”
“I love being on the Blahs’ board because it is a learning organisation, dedicated to evaluating the work and enquiring, “how can we do this better?” Also, it’s a great bunch of people from a range of backgrounds and experiences.”
“I joined the Blahs’ board because I thought I could bring a new and different perspective to the Board as a young person. Less than 3% of charity trustees are under 30 and I believe it’s really important that strategic decisions are being made with a variety of voices and perspectives in the room”
Access support and expenses
We will cover costs for any access or support needs you have.
Being a trustee is a volunteer role, so you won’t get paid, but we will cover all your costs and expenses for taking part.
Meet the Trustees
If you are interested in joining us as a trustee, we’d like to invite you to join us online via Zoom on Wednesday 24 February at 12noon. Lasting no more than 1 hour, this will be a relaxed and informal session where you can meet the team, find out a bit more about the Blahs and ask any questions you may have. To sign up for this session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’d like to come along and with any access/support needs you have – we’ll then send you all the information to join.
Want to chat?
If you would like to have a one-to-one chat about being a trustee or find out more about the Blahs, drop a line to Deborah Pakkar-Hull (email@example.com) and we’d be happy to arrange a chat and to answer any questions you have.
Want to apply?
We want to make this process as easy and straightforward as possible – so please answer the following questions to help us find out a bit more about you (no more than one page of A4 please).
• A bit about you and your background
• What experience, knowledge or skills do you think you could bring to the Blahs
• Why do you want to be a Trustee or what excites you about this opportunity
You are welcome to apply in another way such as by film (selfie style on a phone is fine) or audio recording – but please keep this to no longer than 4 minutes.
If we think you might be a good fit, we will arrange a conversation with our Artistic Director and a couple of Trustees to find out a bit more about you and talk more about being a Trustee with the Blahs – we can do daytime or evening. After this, if we’re both still interested, we will invite you to come along to the next Board of Trustees meeting to see how we work.
Please send your application to us by Friday 26th February at 9am. Please send your email as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org