Jobs, Volunteering & Communities

Breathworks Non-Executive Director: Business Director

On Tue, 23 April, 2019 - 12:38
Nandavajra's picture

Breathworks Non-Executive Director: Business Director

About Breathworks

Our journey so far..

Breathworks Community Interest Company (CIC) is a social enterprise and leading international mindfulness organisation co-founded by Vidyamala Burch in 2004.  The organisation was born out of Vidyamala’s personal journey. She first injured her spine at 17 years old and learned to meditate in 1985. In 2001 she started teaching meditation and mindfulness to people living with pain, illness and stress out of a desire to share what she had learned with others. Vidyamala is now a leading figure in mindfulness-based interventions (MBI); is a policy advisor with the Mindfulness Initiative influencing Government policy; and an honorary member of the British Pain Society.

Breathworks activities include:

  • designing and delivering evidence-based mindfulness-based programmes.
  • running a rigorous and well-regarded accredited teacher training programme.
  • developing award winning products to meet the needs of everyone living with chronic pain, physical illness and stress.  
  • providing specialist programmes for organisations and for health and social care professionals wishing to incorporate mindfulness into their work.
  • a continuous programme of innovation across all areas of work. For example, expanding online provision to meet digital demand and improve global accessibility to the Breathworks’ approach to mindfulness.

Breathworks programmes and products are a development of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and founded on practice-based research. Our research on the clinical benefits of mindfulness reveal significant improvement across many domains (e.g mood, pain experience, quality of life, fatigue, improved sleep, stress reduction, less depression and anxiety).

Today Breathworks employs 12 staff (half are part-time). We also have a network of over 50 associates along with almost 500 accredited Breathworks teachers based in 34 countries. Our teacher training programme extends beyond the UK throughout Europe, South America and Australasia.  

Current developments.. We are undergoing a major expansion taking our highly successful Breathworks programme into the workplace. Our core approach has been expertly adapted and will help employees (and their organisations) to unlock greater collaboration, creativity, cognitive flexibility and effective decision-making.  As the interest in the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace continues to grow, so do our enquiries!  We have early stage opportunities to work with organisations across the public sector and large-scale corporates such as KPMG, GSK and Google to name but a few.

We are now at a very exciting juncture in the development of our organisation and have undergone a recent re-structure to best fulfil our vision. At the top of the pyramid is the Breathworks Foundation. This is our charity that is dedicated to making mindfulness available to all reaches of society by awarding scholarships and bursaries annually.  Breathworks CIC is the trading arm of the Breathworks Foundation and is pursuing ambitious plans for income generation (initially) from our workplace programme. Profits will be passed to the Foundation to help enable access to mindfulness programmes for the broadest sections of society. 

About the role

You will be offering business development guidance to Breathworks CIC which has experienced organic growth since its inception in 2004 and is forecasting a turnover of around £600k this year (20% increase year on year). We have ambitious plans for the future and need to have robust governance in place. Expertise in scaling a business for successful, well-managed growth are a priority for us given the levels of planned expansion and recently obtained social investment.  We are looking for somebody to work on the business not in it. We will welcome your expertise helping to give strategic business development advice and inform decision-making based on your past experience.

By joining the Board you will be part of a growing, innovative and award-winning organisation. Your business management skills, established networks and commercial acumen will help open new doors and shape ideas. You will offer advice on winning large contracts and enable Breathworks to grow and diversify income streams that will help to continue to provide the invaluable support we give to those living with long-term health conditions.

There is a rapidly expanding body of scientific evidence showing the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions when applied to wide range of human suffering. It’s an exciting new field in Western culture. By joining the Board of Breathworks CIC you will have an opportunity to be a pioneer helping mindfulness develop strong roots in mainstream society.

The Board culture is friendly and lively, with an openness to creative ideas and input.  There is a focus on core mission and values to inform decision making processes.  The meetings will be focused, effective and inspiring, and led in line with Breathworks’ overarching aim to alleviate human suffering in all its forms. 

Person Specification


  • Recent commercial experience and skills developed at a strategic level.
  • Proven experience of scaling an organisation (in any sector).
  • Good communication and leadership skills.
  • Ability to act as a positive ambassador for Breathworks, helping to build connections and to facilitate opportunities for growth.
  • A genuine interest in the benefits of mindfulness-based interventions in society.
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Directorship.
  • Willing and able to devote the necessary time and effort to the oversight and work of the organisation.


  • Experience of training / mentoring business development team members
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience of social investment and funding.
  • Experience within our sector and/or understanding of the benefits of mindfulness-based interventions.
  • Skills and experience gained in a successful third sector / trading (profit for purpose) environment.

Time Commitment

Typically, 5 hours per month, this time includes preparing for and attending Board meetings and to be available to the CEO to offer advice and consultancy on the Directors areas of speciality.  The Board meets four times a year (once a quarter). 

In addition to board meetings there is also an annual Strategy Day with the Management team and you will be invited to attend a full team residential retreat (2 days).


Board meetings are held near Ledbury in Herefordshire. It may also be possible to join via Zoom.


This is a voluntary role and reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Application process:

For an informal conversation about the opportunity, please contact either:

Vidyamala Burch – Chair of the Board – vidyamala [at] (note Vidyamala will be on holiday between 17-28th May, during this time please text: +44 7905 218656 and she will return your call).

or contact Helen Sullivan – CEOhelen.sullivan [at]

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter, by email to Helen Sullivan by 26th May 2019.

Interviews will be held in person (in Hereford) or by zoom, during the week of 10th June 2019 (ideally, though there is flexibility).

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