Appointment of a Co-opted Group Board Member


Thank you for your interest in a position at the Dimensions Group.

The Group earlier this year signed off Better Lives for More People, our new Group strategy for 2025, created to deliver better lives for the people we support, their families and our colleagues across Dimensions in all its forms, including Discovery, O3W and Dimensions Cymru.  Where you read ‘Dimensions’, we mean everyone. We currently support 3,500 people and employ 7,000 colleagues across England and Wales.

Our outgoing strategy, Dimensions 2020, was the framework upon which we built the organisation I see today – a values-driven employer, structured to deliver in a devolved, localised way that brings important decisions close to the people that they affect.  In fact, we are one of the largest not-for-profit providers of support for people with learning disabilities in the country. Scale is not important for what it is but for what it enables us to do: to invest in learning and development; to draw on the expertise of people we support and their families so their influence permeates throughout Dimensions; to amplify their voices as we expand our contribution beyond our boundaries.

We have achieved a huge amount, yet whilst Dimensions has changed significantly, sadly many sector issues endure.  People with a learning disability still die too young.  There are still two and a half thousand people living in hospital and too many that leave will find themselves in locked facilities.  The age of those being admitted is getting younger, with increasing prevalence of autism.  Unsurprisingly, most now also experience mental ill-health that increases the support that they need and decreases their chance of moving on.  The television is still showing people being abused in publicly-funded care homes and hospitals.  Thirteen hundred young people leave residential schools and colleges each year to live in ‘out-of-area’ placements, away from their families and significant relationships.  Purchasers are still seeking more for less.  The lack of investment in the sector means that salaries are still too low and so attracting people to come to work in our sector – and stay – remains hard, even though I know there are people out there with the right values.  I could go on…

But I also see things that inspire me, every single day.  I look at our organisation and I see all the passion, engagement and values that we need to give people great lives.  I see people we support voting, getting jobs, learning new skills, finding new friends and being heard.  People with a learning disability and/or autism achieving what, for most of us, are the critical cornerstones of life.  Just as satisfying are the everyday things: seeing people make their own dinner, contribute to making a cup of tea, shop online, go to the doctor.  Seeing the people we support need us less!  And it makes me proud.  Proud of them and proud of my colleagues who help to make it happen.

Where I perceive a gap is between our ambition – a core value – and our capacity.  I know that we can – and do – get it right for people; that we have acquired the knowledge and the experience to deliver better lives.  However, we need more good people in support roles, more good leaders, leaner processes, stronger systems and some new skills to do more.  More Dimensions people delivering more Dimensions support to help more people need us less.

Our strategy for 2025 describes a series of high-level aims that we will apply to five strategic pillars.  It tells you how we will build upon Dimensions 2020 to make our evidence-based support available to people when they need it most.

If you feel that this role is of interest to you then please do submit an application.

Nick Baldwin

About Us

Dimensions is a large and complex organisation supporting people with learning disabilities and autism, including people with complex needs. We enable thousands of people to have greater choice and control over their lives. The people we support and their families are at the heart of everything we do, and we want every one of them to have a great life with excellent outcomes. We were one of the pioneers of person-centred support packages for people with learning disabilities and autism, and our drive for innovation continues with our Dimensions Activate support model.

From a few hours each week to intensive support for people with challenging behaviour, complex needs and profound and multiple learning disabilities, we involve the people we support and their families in all levels of their support. Our intent is to make everything we do personalised to the individual, and our team are ambitious for each and every person we support. We believe passionately that people do best outside of institutions and when living near family and friends.

Our relationships with our colleagues are important to us, and we set high standards for ourselves as an employer; we recognise a union, we offer an award-winning career development scheme, and we partner with Roffey Park for our leadership development programme. We are financially and commercially sustainable, we have grown significantly over recent years, and our accounts show an underlying surplus. In line with our values we aim to be exemplar and a leader within the sector: Steve Scown, our Group Chief Executive, chairs the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group. We work hard to develop a ‘Louder Voice’, enabling the people we support and their families to raise the issues that matter to them and to add value to the sector beyond our boundaries.

Dimensions is also the parent to four subsidiaries:

Outreach 3 Way


Dimensions Personalised Support

Dimensions Cymru

The Dimensions Group has for some time now been growing year on year. We recognise that in order to thrive in an industry where margins are low and risks are high, we need to operate at a significant scale. We will continue to look for opportunities to support more people through continuing expansion, but we will do so with caution and discretion. We will only be able to reach our goals if we continue to change and adapt, to ensure that Dimensions remains at the forefront of innovation in social care. Our Group Board Members are at the heart of our success, setting the strategy and taking responsibility for ensuring that the people we support are given the opportunity to live life to the full. We are committed to a continuous programme of Board rotation and improvement, diversification in all its forms can and will enable us to continue to develop and grow. We will provide better support to more people.

Dimensions is strongly values-driven, and we expect everyone to demonstrate our five core values:

  • Ambition, helping people be the best they can be
  • Courage, being brave enough to make a difference
  • Integrity, being honest and fair in all the things we do
  • Partnership, working with other people to make a bigger difference
  • Respect, treating everyone fairly and knowing that everyone’s voice is important

We are proud of how we engage and communicate with all our stakeholders. Openness and transparency are at the heart of what we do and informs how we talk about ourselves. You can find details of what’s important to us here:

About our board;

Dimensions (UK) Limited – the Group Parent/Group Board*
Constitution Charitable Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (Reg. No. 31192R).  It is also a Registered Provider of social housing with the Regulator of Social Housing (Reg. No. 4648) and a not for profit organisation with exempt charitable status
Size of Board Max 12, Includes 2 co-opted members
Pay Chair – £18,000 / Board Member – £9,000 / Co-opted Member – £5,000 / Independent Committee Member – £2,000
Additional payment of £3,000 for Committee Chairs
Terms of office  Chair – 3 years (can be extended for 3 years and then a further year in exceptional circumstances)
Full Group Board Members – 3 years (can be re-elected for total period of 9 years)
Independent Committee Members – 1 year (will reviewed on an annual basis and can be extended up to 5 years)
Co-opted Group Board Member – 3 years

*The Dimensions (UK) Limited Board is co-terminus with:

Outreach 3-Way, which is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Reg. No. 1474488) and Registered Charity (Reg. No. 278140).

There is also Dimensions Personalised Support, which is a Private Limited Company (Reg. No 11596744), and Dimensions Cymru, a Company Limited by Guarantee (Reg. No. 12531369), and Registered Charity (Reg. No. 1191485).

For more information about our governance structure, please click here.

To read more about how we are coping during the current crisis, please take a look at our news blog.

The Role

The co-opted Board Member’s role will involve providing support, scrutiny and challenge to ensure that we stay true to our values and commitment to working in partnership with the people we support. Co-opted Board Members are expected to be fully involved with, and have the opportunity to influence all aspects of the Group Board’s work. Ultimately, however, they would not have a vote and are therefore not held accountable for decisions the Board takes in the way that other full Group Board Members are. They are also not Trustees of our Registered Charities, which our other full Group Board Members are.

AQ955 Job Description and Person Specification

Terms of Appointment

Co-opted Group Board Member

  • Remuneration – £5,000 p/a
  • Tenure – Co-opted Group Board Members will be appointed for a 3-year term.
  • Meeting Location – For the time being, given the current situation, meetings will be held virtually.
  • Time Commitment – c.25 days per year, which includes preparation for and attendance of Board meetings (daytime meetings; around 5-6 hours each).

How to Apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Dimensions. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss either of these roles in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Rob Hilyer on +44(0)7719 325 771 or Elyse Turner-Pearce on +44 (0)7808 648 559.

The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 2nd November 2020

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ999.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV
  • A covering letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the experience criteria of the person specification. Please also include the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates
  • Please complete the following online interactive Fit Proper Person Form and return it to 
  • Please complete an online Equal Opportunity Form.

Search Timetable

Closing date: Monday 2nd November
Longlisting: w/c 9th November
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 16th November
Shortlisting: w/c 23rd  November       
Executive conversation re virtual service visits: w/c 30th November
Expert by Experience Interviews: w/c 7th December
Management Panel Interview:  w/c 7th December