Streetwise Opera, the award-winning performing arts charity and opera company for people affected by homelessness, is looking for a new Trustee to join our dynamic and highly effective Board.

Singing and creativity can inspire, energise and empower people affected by homelessness. We run singing and creative workshops in homeless centres and arts venues across England and stage critically-acclaimed productions where we work in partnership with professional artists and leading arts organisations. Our robust evaluation framework has consistently shown that participation in our work leads to improved wellbeing and social inclusion.

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Streetwise Opera has seized the opportunity to experiment with new ways of collaborative working, introducing our participants to artists, directors, composers and other instrumentalists via well-attended daily workshops online.

Earlier this year, Streetwise Opera performers worked remotely, as did Roderick Williams, Christopher Glynn, the Brodsky Quartet and Genesis Sixteen to reimagine “The Linden Tree, one of the most-loved pieces from Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise. This new way of working has laid the foundations for innovative digital projects which will complement our face-to-face workshops in the future.

As we embark on our new four-year Strategic Plan ‘Creating Together’ – 2021-25, Streetwise Opera is looking for a new Trustee with the skills, knowledge and experience to support excellent governance and oversight of the charity’s work. We are particularly looking for someone who has experience of working in a creative role within an arts organisation.

Our annual budget varies between £650K and £850K. We are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (2018-23) and we receive income from performance fees and box office; and the majority of our income (c. 80%) is fundraised from philanthropic sources.

To find out more about our work, visit

Streetwise Opera is an equal opportunity employer. Our organisation champions diversity and gives an equal platform to underrepresented groups. We believe that, when we bring together different voices from diverse backgrounds, we create a unique and rich experience. This is more powerful artistically and socially, and more empowering individually and collectively. We seek applications from all ages and backgrounds, particularly those who are underrepresented in the arts and homelessness sectors. Read our Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy here.

Role of the Trustee

Key responsibilities of the Trustees include:

  • Working with their fellow Board members and Streetwise Opera staff to promote the charity’s vision and values
  • Contribute to the strategic direction of the charity – setting overall policy, defining goals and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • Exercising expert judgement and scrutiny of Streetwise Opera by reading board papers, attending Board and, where appropriate, subcommittee meetings
  • Participating in decision-making, risk management and control to protect the charity, its participants, staff and volunteers
  • Contributing to the charity’s fundraising efforts, for example by attending events, making introductions to new networks and/or supporting the fundraising team with donor and funder communications
  • Ensuring integrity and legal compliance, ensuring public trust in the charity’s work
  • Supporting the Co-Executive Directors, Artistic Director and wider staff team, where appropriate

Trustee meetings take place four times a year in central London (in 2020 on Zoom), usually in the early evening. A strategic planning evening also takes place annually. Trustees may also be invited to join Board subcommittees and to attend recruitment interviews, as well as performances and other public events.

Potential Trustees can find more information about the role and responsibilities of a Trustee on the Charity Commission’s website.

Recruitment process

Expressions of interest, consisting of a CV together with a short supporting statement (150 words maximum) and names of two referees whom we may approach, should be sent by email to

If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role, please email with your name and contact details, and a member of our Nominations’ Committee will get in touch.

The closing date for applications is Friday 20 November 2020. Interviews for candidates will take place in December.


This is an unpaid role but reasonable out-of-pocket expenses will be paid.

The appointment is for a minimum term of three years. Previous Board/Trustee experience is not necessary.