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Chief Executive

London, with national travel
c. £125k
Closing date
14 Dec 2020

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Job Details

Chief Executive
c. £125k • London-based

At Refuge, we believe that no-one should have to live in fear of violence and abuse, and we help empower survivors and children to rebuild their lives, free from violence and fear. We provide high-quality services for those who have experienced violence; protect survivors by advocating for a strong criminal justice response to perpetrators; and prevent future violence through education, training and awareness-raising. Our dedication and uncompromising focus on the interests and voices of survivors mean that we are among the most influential voices in influencing decision makers and policy-making, and we believe the Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 offers the prospect of a genuine step change.

Our new Chief Executive will build on our unique legacy and track record, ensuring that our services continue to be as effective as possible, and developing new approaches and capacity to address what is a continually evolving threat. We understand the risks survivors bear, so you’ll work closely with colleagues and volunteers to shape services in which safeguarding is paramount, and will collaborate with partners and commissioners (including local authorities and registered social landlords) to plan provision that matches need across England. Other areas of responsibility will include shaping a campaigning conversation about domestic abuse, overseeing our income planning and financial sustainability, and ensuring that Refuge remains a great place to work and volunteer. You’ll play an influential role in articulating what we do and how we do it, and will work closely with our dedicated and supportive Board to draft and deliver a new strategy for the future which builds on the great achievements to date and which can further increase impact.

Above all else, we want to hear from those whose exceptional professional repertoire is matched with outstanding interpersonal skills. An instinctive listener and authentic communicator, you’ll have the personal breadth to encompass the many varied people, places and scenarios you’ll encounter. The same working morning might see you in both a policy meeting in Whitehall and a refuge where you’ll chat with a child, and your ability to deftly bridge the different arenas of our work will be critical to your success. Relationship building will be fundamental, and candidates will exemplify an open, meaningful and positive approach to finding ways to achieve change with and through others.

Your style, working practice and ability to develop great teams will inspire all your colleagues to do their very best and to have confidence that their views and opinions will be valued and respected. Your background is likely to include experience as a Chief Executive, Deputy or Executive Director in a not-for-profit organisation; however, leaders with more diverse experience outside the not for profit sector will also be valued. Whatever your recent background, you’ll need to demonstrate that you combine a full leadership skillset (strategy, change, people, finance, influence) with a particular understanding of, and commitment to, the work we do.  

We believe that greater diversity in our senior management team would increase our effectiveness. So if you do not fulfil all the criteria in the Person Specification but can bring other relevant experience and knowledge from outside your professional life please do put in an application.

To find out more, visit For an informal discussion please contact Shani Newbold at Cadence Partners on +44 (0)20 7947 4960 or email 

If you require the candidate materials in an alternative format, please request it in your initial contact. Closing date: 14 December 2020.


Refuge is a national charity which provides a lifeline for women and children escaping domestic violence

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United Kingdom
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