LIFT Trustee

Four-year term

Closing date 26 Feb

Voluntary with expenses

Apply now
Would you like to help shape the future of one of the most exciting theatre festivals in the world?

We are looking for three new trustees to join LIFT’s Board, and we would love to read your application!

We are looking for people that fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • People with lived experience of discrimination
  • People with experience of sustainability activism or work in the arts or related industries
  • People with fundraising experience or with networks that include potential arts patrons or relevant charitable trusts
  • People with experience of HR and/or charity law
  • People with experience of financial oversight of a charity, or a company with £500k+ turnover
  • We are interested in hearing from people new to boards and trusteeship.

You do not need to have any previous experience of being a trustee. We welcome applications from people of all ages and level of professional experience who are excited by this opportunity. We will provide help and guidance to new trustees when they are inducted onto the board.

This opportunity is also open to international applicants who can meet the criteria.

Please note that this is a voluntary role that can be completed remotely.

If you have any questions before applying you can contact our general manager Tom at for answers or to arrange a phone conversation. These conversations are confidential and will have no impact on your application if you do choose to apply.

Detailed information about the role and commitments involved can be found in the downloadable application pack.

How to Apply


To apply, please submit your CV and a brief statement (maximum two A4 sides or a 2 minute video) telling us about your experience, your interest in LIFT and what you want to offer us as a Trustee. Please send to

Please also complete the Equal Opportunities Form here.

LIFT is committed to being a truly inclusive organisation – from our Trustees and team members to our audience and participants. We treat all role applications equally, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or gender expression, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or any other equality characteristic.

We particularly encourage applications from groups who are underrepresented in the cultural sector including disabled people and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

LIFT is based at Toynbee Studios in East London. The building and office are fully accessible to wheelchair users. Expenses will be paid for any travel required for interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a trustee do?

Trustees don’t do the day-to-day running of the charity. That’s taken care of by the team, led by the Artistic Director/Chief Executive.

Trustees play the role of a ‘critical friend’ to the leadership by giving advice and  challenging them – in a supportive way – to help them do the best possible job. In smaller charities with fewer staff trustees may take hands-on roles too, but that is not the case at LIFT.

Trustees make sure their charity has a clear strategy, and that its work and goals match its vision.

They protect the charity’s assets – both physical assets, including property, and intangible ones, such as its reputation. They make sure these are used well and that the charity is run sustainably.

Trustees are volunteers. They give their time for free to support the charity in its work.


What time commitment does a trustee make?

On average, trustees spend 10 hours a month working for LIFT.

Trustees are required to attend four board meetings a year as well as make the time to read and understand the company documents before each meeting. The input of each trustee into the board meetings shapes how the staff will continue to run the festival.

There may be other commitments required, like attending events, joining subcommittees (groups created to explore a particular subject in more depth), or strategy meetings about fundraising. And of course – LIFT festival events and shows!

A trustee is expected to represent the organisation favourably in their work and with their own contacts, as well as looking for opportunities to develop networks or make connections with potential fundraisers, if appropriate.

LIFT is a world-renowned festival with a 40-year history of presenting some of the best theatre and art in the world. Our trustees are charged with ensuring that our reputation is upheld, and even improved!


If you’ve never been a trustee, some of the words used in the application may not be familiar to you.  Here are some key definitions.

If there’s anything that’s not clear please contact our General Manager Tom via He’s happy to answers any questions or arrange a call to talk through what it means to be a LIFT trustee.



A trustee is one of a number of directors appointed to look after a company. They hold ultimate responsibility for the financial and directorial decisions made by an organisation. They delegate the running of the organisation to the Executive team, provide guidance and oversight, and approve big decisions at the quarterly board meetings.



The responsibility of trustees is to govern: to oversee all the big decisions made by the Executive team and to steer them towards making good decisions that mean the organisation continues to reach its financial and artistic goals.



A stakeholder is a person or company with an interest or financial investment in LIFT such as a partner or a funder.


Sub-committees and reporting

The board of trustees currently has one sub-committee, the finance committee, made up of four of the regular trustees who have more experience in this area. They meet two weeks before each board meeting to look over the financial documents for the business and agree on the financial reports that will go to the main board meeting.

Trustees can propose other sub-committees if they wish the board to focus some of its efforts on a particular aspect of the management of the organisation. This could be fundraising, HR policies, environmental activism etc.


Appointments and resignations

Trustees are appointed for a four-year term.

At the end of the four year term, if they are happy to continue, the board can choose to reappoint them for a second four-year term.


Photo: East Wall, Tower of London, LIFT 2018, by Richard Lea Hair.