Do you think you could be our new Chief Exexcutive?

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Chief Executive

Role Summary

The Chief Executive will be responsible for providing leadership, developing and implementing Absafe’s strategic vision and business plans, managing partnerships and business development, and being an advocate for the charity.

He/she will also provide effective management and leadership to the Board, employees and volunteers and work with partners to raise the ambitions of the charity.  Providing operational management and financial control, they will ensure good governance across all aspects of the organisation.

Main Responsibilities:


·         Give clear leadership and direction on the development and implementation of the strategy and vision ensuring a clear sense of ambition, direction and purpose.

·         Be the face and voice of the charity - its principal ambassador

·         Liaise with, support and motivate staff and volunteers, securing their loyalty and commitment to the charity’s aims, objectives and ambitions

·         Seek out, develop and maintain effective working relationships with relevant organisations and individuals to promote the work of the charity and facilitate the implementation of its strategic objectives.


·         Liaise with the Board in relation to the development of the charity’s strategic vision and be responsible for leading the implementation

·         Be responsible for the development and delivery of the charity’s agreed business plan

·         Identify strategic risks, issues and opportunities and take responsibility for initiating and leading associated changes

·         Seek out and implement opportunities and ensure that Absafe remains at the forefront of positive change

Partnership and Business Development

·         Lead the promotion and development of Absafe’s work, raising the charity’s profile and maximising its reach

·         To foster and sustain trusting and long-lasting partnerships and relationships that improve collaboration and establish Absafe as a credible partner

·         Work towards the achievement of long term sustainability, developing the charity’s business model and maximising income, for example from fundraising, sponsorships and earned income.

Advocacy and influencing

·         Be a passionate and effective advocate in reinforcing and advancing Absafe’s objectives so that meaningful activity is increasingly funded, prioritised, and delivered. This will include speaking at events and networking at a senior level with like-minded charities, industry bodies, government and local authority departments.


·         To work closely with, and support the team, to realise the school programmes and assist with the development of innovative solutions to meet ever increasing challenges

·         Oversee all operational functions including administration, finance, fundraising, marketing, communications and IT

·         Ensure that Absafe’s services, contracts and projects are delivered to the highest standard with due regard for time scales, targets and budgets.

·         Take overall responsibility for the recruitment, management and deployment of staff and volunteers; apply robust HR processes covering recruitment, performance management, appraisal and remuneration

·         Be responsible for the custody, maintenance and efficient use of the charity’s assets.

Financial Control

·         Ensure that the charity’s financial resources are managed effectively and that Absafe remains in good financial health, identifying risks and taking appropriate action

·         Liaise with the Board to develop and lead on the implementation of the charity’s financial plans, including setting budgets, formulating income generation strategies and overseeing all fundraising activities.

·         Maintain effective financial management and control systems; ensure delivery within budgets and to performance targets and oversee production of management accounts, statutory accounts and annual reports.

Governance and Compliance

·         Liaise with the Board to ensure that the charity’s overall governance structure, policies and procedures are appropriate and effective, taking remedial measures and implementing changes as necessary

·         Attend all Board meetings and prepare a written report in advance of each meeting detailing matters of interest and concern regarding the charity’s activities during the previous period; ensure that the Board is made aware in a timely fashion of any matters requiring its attention

·         Develop and maintain effective operational policies and processes in all the charity’s functions. Review and update scope and content to meet legal, regulatory and best practice needs.

·         Ensure the development and practical application of all organisational policies and procedures e.g. with regard to health and safety, equality and diversity, and safeguarding

·         Ensure that the charity complies with best practice in all areas of operation

·         Ensure that collection and protection of personal information complies with current Data Protection regulations.

·         Ensure that all major risks are identified and regularly reviewed and that systems and procedures are in place to mitigate all such risks; be responsible for the development and implementation of the charity’s Risk Register.

Person specification 

·         Proven record of achievement in a senior position within an organisation, over at least three years

·         Knowledge of effective partnership working and development and external relationship management

·         Ability to pursue the mission and objectives of Absafe with passion, drive and commitment

·         Experience of managing, motivating and developing staff

·         Understanding of business planning, business development and fundraising

·         Experience of project management and service delivery across multiple functions

·         Financial management skills including budgeting and delivery of cost and income targets

·         Robust approach to governance, controls and definition/implementation of new processes

·         Experience of financial and risk management

·         Knowledge of managing organisational change.

·         Excellent verbal and written communication skills

·         Exceptional interpersonal skills

·         Ability to persuade and influence, both face to face and in writing

·         Highly organised and personally effective

·         Strong financial skills, including the ability to analyse and manage budgets and accounts

·         Committed to best practice and with a drive for continuous improvement


·         Educated to degree level or equivalent professional qualification

·         Experience of working with committees or boards advantageous

·         An understanding of the issues affecting the health and safety environment

·         An understanding of the third sector and the context within which it operates

The appointee will also be expected to be IT literate and have access to a car and a clean driving licence.

Closing date: Friday 1st November 2019

If you have any questions, let us know! Or to apply, send your CV and covering letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Emma collageAbsafe has some important news to share! Our chief executive, Emma Bellu, is bidding a fond farewell after nearly 16 years with the organisation, and we welcome Kim Woolner as our new interim CEO.

Emma Bellu said, “It has been an honour to lead Absafe for these past 9 years and to make such a difference to the thousands of children who have visited The Safe. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team, on behalf of local communities, as we have continued to develop our programmes and our impact. I am certain that Absafe will continue to flourish using innovation and technology to enhance safety education for the next generation.

It has been my great privilege to work with such a dedicated and skilled team of staff, volunteers, trustees and partners who give their time and share their passion, to create a safer future. I am exceedingly grateful for everything that has been given to create the success of Absafe. Our accomplishments would not have been achieved without a committed team coming together to work towards our vision.

So, as I am now moving on to new challenges, I’m delighted that Kim Woolner is taking over at the helm for the interim whilst the search for a new leader begins. As a proven, senior HR professional, with over 20 years’ generalist experience, and a passion for enabling behavioural change, I know Absafe is in very safe hands.”

Kim Woolner said, “I’m excited to be coming in and continuing the fantastic work of Absafe. The process of securing a new permanent CEO is an important one and great care will be taken in making our selection that will involve board, staff and volunteers in the process. As a previous member of the Board of Trustees for Absafe, I know first-hand what it takes to achieve success for the organisation, and I look forward to taking on the challenge and helping steer Absafe forward.

I look forward to meeting all the dedicated and lovely people that are part of the Absafe family whilst I take on the interim role.”

Kim officially starts on 6th August 2019.

Safety education charity Absafe is seeking runners to join their team for the BHGE 10k Running Festival on Sunday May 5th 2019.

Aiming to reduce the toll of accidental injury which sees three children and young people in the North East admitted to hospital on a daily basis , Absafe is raising funds to provide innovative interactive safety education to local children.

This is the first year that Absafe has taken part in the BHGE 10k and they are keen to make it a big success.

Emma Bellu, chief executive said “Each year Absafe teaches over 2,000 children vital life skills to make them safer at home, on the road and in the community. Fundraising makes such a difference as it means we can reach more children, showing them how to make decisions that can save their life.

We’re delighted to be taking part in this year’s BHGE 10K Running Festival for the first time. As the North East’s longest standing road race and one of the highlights of the running calendar, it’s a fantastic event to get involved in. We are asking runners to join us and help create a safer future.

Now’s the time to get involved: there’s plenty of time for training, with lighter nights and better weather coming our way, you can support a fantastic cause, get fitter and help us make sure children don’t have to learn safety by accident.”

With 30 spaces available, those interested in supporting Absafe are asked to raise a minimum of £75. To join Team Absafe contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01224 823157.

Don’t fancy running? Absafe are also looking for volunteers that can help with fundraising events like marshalling at the BHGE 10k run or volunteers that can help Absafe to teach children vital life skills. For more information visit here.

Absafe are celebrating a new partnership with oil and gas company Nexen, after receiving a donation to build a new alcohol safety set at The Safe, Absafe’s HQ in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.

The crucial £19,189 funding provided by Nexen, will allow Absafe to build a new interactive workshop teaching school children about the dangers of alcohol. Alcohol is the most widely used addictive substance used by young teenagers. Young people's bodies and brains are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol because they are still growing and developing. Drinking can cause short and long-term harm to health, as well as put young people in risky situations when drunk. 15% of all deaths in young people aged 16-24 are linked to alcohol and two thirds of young offenders were drunk at the time of their offence.

Absafe’s chief executive Emma Bellu said: “Research shows that the earlier a young person starts drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to drink in ways that can be harmful later in life. Scotland has a pro-alcohol society where it is readily available and heavily marketed. Young people see drinking as completely normal and expected behaviour.

Early intervention and education is therefore key to reducing harm and risk exposure. By working in partnership with Nexen to provide fun informative sessions, we will empower children with the resilience to say no to alcohol, ensuring they are informed of the risky situations that can arise with alcohol use, as well as the longer term harm to physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

Ray Riddoch, Nexen’s UK MD and Senior VP Europe said:

“The misuse of alcohol, especially in young people, can lead to a variety of problems. As well as having an adverse effect on personal health and wellbeing, it is also an issue that can impact safety in the workplace. We share Absafe’s belief that early intervention and education will, in the long term, create a healthier and safer society and we’re delighted to be able to sponsor their new alcohol safety education set.”

Executive Director of Step Change in Safety, and Chairman of the Absafe Board, Les Linklater said:

“By funding this new interactive workshop, Nexen will play a vital role in reducing the risk of harm to children in the North East from the dangers of alcohol. Absafe’s mission is to empower local children to make the right decisions in society and to be aware of the negative effects that drinking can have on their bodies and lives.”

Absafe encourages companies to work in partnership to support the charity in a number of ways: from sponsoring a set, a child or a smile; to allowing staff to volunteer, or joining the board to share a passion for safety and drive the organisation forward. Anyone interested should contact Absafe on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01224 823157.