External Trustee – Briefing Information.

What is the Useful Simple Trust?

We are an Employee Benefit Trust comprising of a group of specialist companies that are practicing and award-winning engineers, architects, designers, consultants, communicators, facilitators, writers and strategists. Although we have only recently been recognised as a Social Enterprise, this reflects our work since we formed.

The employee benefit Trust was created in 2008 with a group vision – to work together to improve the human environment by delivering useful, simple outcomes that are beautiful and good. We care deeply about our work and have a track record of delivering high impact projects for our size. We look for ways to create positive impact for places and people.

The Useful Simple Trust encompasses Expedition Engineering Ltd, Thomas Matthews, Think Up, Useful Studio and Useful Projects. We have a trustee board currently comprising of three founders, three external trustees and one elected beneficiary trustee. We also have an operations board that are responsible for operations and the finances of the business. An active beneficiary council promotes positive action from the wider staff in the context of the employee benefit trust.

Why we’re looking for a new Trustee.

The Trust was founded in 2008 with Expedition and Thomas Matthews and has since grown to five multi-disciplinary built environment companies. As part of our planned succession strategy, one of our external trustees will be stepping down and we are seeking a new board member. We are looking for fresh ideas and varied relevant experience to work with our existing Trustee board members in shaping the future of the Trust.

Who we’re looking for.

We are looking for a new trustee with a range of skills to compliment those of the existing board, however we are particularly interested in hearing from those with significant experience in the operations of multi-disciplinary organisations. We are seeking diversity of approach and we encourage applications from all backgrounds with varied experiences. Due to the unique form of the business, we are looking for someone who is agile and will embed themselves quickly to get up to speed with the organisation.

Main duties

In accordance with the Trust deed, Trustees are responsible for governance, ensuring that the executive leadership groups within the trust conduct their affairs in accordance with the terms and purpose stated in the Trust Deed and Articles, on behalf of the beneficiaries.

The following key principles are set out in the Trust Deed:

1. We will encourage the employees of the Trust companies to assume responsibility for maximising their contribution to the business of that Trust company in their capacity as employees, having regard to the interest of future as well as present employees.

2. We will ensure that employees receive information concerning the major policies and actions of the Trust

The Trust and Useful Simple Limited have also agreed the following additional principles:

3. The purpose of the Trust is to blaze a trail in the field of integrated, intelligent and ethical provision of the human environment.

4. We will aim to do our projects so that they meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

5. We will have regard to the benefit of the employees of the Trust companies, where a benefit is something that engenders wellbeing.

6. We will work together across the Trust and with others to achieve the purpose of the Trust.

7. We will aim to provide a stimulating working environment where all can give their best and develop to their full potential.

8. We will aim to reward employees on the basis of “best in market” for their field.

9. We will educate ourselves and others. To grow the next generation, we will play an active role in framing the educational curriculum, and make time to help deliver it.

Terms of service

Independent external trustees:

o To serve for 3 years

o Renewable once (so maximum 6 years continuous service).

o May stand again at a later date (say after a minimum of 3 years have elapsed).

Currently meetings are held quarterly in our London office. Due to the nature of our Employee Benefit Trust, it is encouraged and expected that the new external Trustee will take the time to get to know our employees and operational boards, as our other external Trustees have done.  An honorarium can be paid by agreement.


Please send a CV and covering letter to info@usefulsimple.co.uk with the subject line ‘Trustee’ by Friday 18th May 2018.

By sending us your CV, you agree to us keeping your details on our records for six months for recruitment purposes only. If you do not wish for us to do so, please include a statement in your cover letter.


Tagged as: architecture, built environment, education, engineering, graphic design, multi-disciplinary, sustainability