Catalyst is the infrastructure organisation for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in Stockton-on-Tees. That means that we provide practical support over 300 partners in the VCSE sector to help them meet their needs. We also represent the VCSE sector in meetings to plan future strategies for the borough, and to plan and commission services.

Our Board is made up of nine highly experienced people with a wide diversity of backgrounds and skills. The Board provides strategic leadership to Catalyst, setting a wide-ranging business annual plan and holding the executive team to account for its delivery.

The current Chair comes to the end of his maximum tenure in September 2023.

This is an excellent opportunity to provide leadership to an important charity in Stockton-on-Tees, and to develop or consolidate your skills and experience for use in a wide range of voluntary or paid roles in the future.


Established in 2007, Catalyst offers free specialist support to the sector including around sourcing funding, governance, business planning, volunteering and training. Catalyst also administers significant funding for the VCSE sector, through programmes such as holiday activities and mental health transformation, and coordinates a number of VCSE activities including provision of food to vulnerable households, and support for refugees and asylum seekers. Catalyst currently has 21 staff, led by Jon Carling as Chief Executive since March 2020. More details about Catalyst’s activities can be found at

About the role

The role of the Chair is outlined in the attached role description. It includes providing strategic leadership at Board meetings, facilitating discussions to achieve outcomes which are supported by all Board members, and enabling discussions that aim to ensure that Catalyst is operating with due regard to financial and legal propriety and applying a duty of care to staff, volunteers and clients, and that Catalyst serves the VCSE sector fully and with integrity. You can find out more about specific tasks you may undertake here.

Catalyst Board

The Board meets six times a year, normally at 4.30pm on a weekday afternoon, for up to two hours. The Board has two sub-committees: the Governance and Remuneration Committee covers staffing and policy issues, whilst the Audit and Risk Committee oversees the organisation’s finances and it’s management of risk. Each Committee meets 5-6 times a year, often at 4.30pm on a weekday but that timing can be flexible. The Chair is will also routinely talk to and/or meet the Chief Executive between Board meetings, and there will be occasional Board Awaydays and training sessions.

How to apply

If you are interested in becoming Chair of Catalyst and would like to discuss the opportunity further, please contact Jon Carling, Chief Executive, in the first instance.

Please submit a detailed CV covering your career history and achievements, and a covering letter (maximum two sides) setting out how you meet the person specification and why you would like to be our Chair to by 31 March 2023. Please also provide details of two referees, including how long you have known them, and how you know them. We won’t contact the referees without your consent.

Catalyst welcomes applications from all communities, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, race or other protected characteristics.

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