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Chief Executive Officer | Headway East London

Are you searching for a leadership role with a charity that delivers real impact in its community? Headway East London is looking for a new Chief Executive Officer.

  • Location: East London, E2 8AX
  • Salary: Competitive, plus generous benefits

About the role

At Headway East London (HEL), we find strength and passion from our community. We work with our members to co-produce services to meet their needs and what we do is excellent. So much so that we’ve recently been awarded the GSK Impact Award for our work.

Our day service centre is a vibrant community hub offering activities, therapies and both peer and professional support. From supper clubs to graffiti projects, our services are both innovative and needs based. Our occupational projects include writing workshops, and a professional kitchen where members cook daily for everyone at the centre. From here we also run Submit to Love – a studio home to a collective of self-taught artists. We empower our members to share both this work and their experiences through regular public events and partnerships with cultural and educational organisations. In addition, we also offer vital advice and advocacy services, a specialist neurological therapy service, and robust community support work operating across our 13-borough catchment.

We’re a supportive community where people are encouraged to contribute, try new things, and to make the most of their talents and expertise. Responsibility for the maintenance of the community is shared among all its members, according to what each person is able to offer. From our members to the board, we’re always looking for ways to ensure that more people are included in every level and process of our organisation.

We’re an incredibly successful organisation, supported by a diverse group of people delivering a broad range of services, but we want to continue to evolve and grow.

Who we are looking for

We’re now searching for a new Chief Executive Officer who will be a real driver in developing our new strategy whilst continuing to support our members to be happy and fulfil their potential. We’re on a mission to reach more people, so we’re looking for someone with senior leadership experience in the broader health, social care, or non-profit sectors, who can successfully achieve this.

Experience of contracting with local authorities will be key, as well as a proven track record in leading purposeful change with sensitivity and tact. Our ideal candidate will possess high levels of emotional intelligence, excellent interpersonal skills, and be highly collaborative in their approach. A strategic mindset, good attention to detail, and solid financial acumen is important, as is broad ambassadorial and PR skills. We also want you to be a good problem solver, multi-tasker and comfortable to roll your sleeves up when necessary.

This is a really exciting time to join our organisation. We have big plans, a ‘can do’ attitude and a values-based approach. If you think you can offer diversity of thinking, a positive and ambitious outlook and a love of community powered services we’d love to hear from you!

We encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities, and are committed to having an organisation that is made up of diverse skills, experiences and abilities.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential conversation, please contact the executive search team at Peridot Partners:

James Hunt | 07711 405444 | james@peridotpartners.co.uk

Philippa Fabry | 07772 902071 | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date: 9am, Monday 23rd November 2020

Headway East London won the 2020 GSK IMPACT Awards for their outstanding contributions to improving the UK’s health and wellbeing.

They will receive a £30,000 donation, two places on a free training and development programme plus an invitation to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Development Network with its programme of free meetings and events.

If you would like to know more about this role please contact James Hunt

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Welcome from the Chair, Glen Hodgson

Thank you for your interest in becoming our new Chief Executive Officer at Headway East London.

Our organisation, which has been established for over 20 years, offers a variety of support services for people across thirteen London Boroughs with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

We are looking for a new Chief Executive Officer with extensive senior management experience in the health/social care or charitable sector, who can demonstrate leadership experience that shows clarity and vision, while motivating staff and volunteers.

Headway East London employs 57 staff as well as having a number of student placements and volunteers.

We are developing a new five-year strategy that will enable us to continue to provide sustainable best-in-class services both in our day services centre as well as our external support services.

Over the last six months and during lockdown, we have radically transformed our services which has been vital to ensure our members know we are here to support them. Through this we have learned new ways of innovating and supporting our members which we are sure will inform our work in the future.

We support over 200 people every week and Headway’s members are all residents of North and East London – a catchment including many of the UK’s most deprived boroughs. They are representative of the ethnic and cultural diversity of this region and so are exposed to intersectional disadvantage:

  • 25% of our members are BAME
  • 20% live in isolation due to family breakdown
  • 68% present with social and financial problems (homelessness, debt, victimisation, institutional abuse)
  • 100% are long-term unemployed (Day Service & Community Support Worker Service members)

I look forward to meeting you and showing you around our site in Haggerston, when it is safe to do so, where our members cook, make music and become artists.

Glen Hodgson

Our Mission and Vision

Our Mission
To support people affected by brain injury.

Our Vision
To build a society where people with brain injury are valued, respected and able to fulfil their potential to lead full, active lives.

Headway East London is a charity supporting people affected by brain injury. Working across 13 London boroughs we offer specialist support and services for over 200 survivors, family, friends and carers in the local area each week. Headway East London’s catchment area includes the following London boroughs: Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Islington, Newham, Redbridge, The City, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Westminster.

There are many different causes of brain injury and its effects are complex and wide ranging. Our services are designed to suit everyone’s circumstances, needs and aspirations.

Providing therapies, advocacy, family support and community support

We provide therapies, advocacy, family support and community support to work alongside our day service: a community venue where members can make the most of their abilities and interests. We believe that every one of our members has something to contribute to both Headway East London and the wider community. Our occupational projects include an art studio, music groups, writing projects and a professional kitchen where members cook daily for one another.

We also promote awareness and understanding of brain injury by providing information, acting as an educational resource for universities, offering training to professionals and businesses, and running projects and events engaging our members with the public. In recent years, we have hosted art exhibitions at the Southbank Centre, storytelling events at the Wellcome Collection and provided member-led training to a number of institutions including Financial Ombudsman.


Headway East London (HEL) is a diverse community that supports people who are living with the consequences of acquired brain injury and provides education and information for people who want to learn more about brain injury.

The community and the help it offers are products of a collaborative effort including everyone involved. People involved with our community, on an ongoing basis, are referred to as “members”. Responsibility for the progress and maintenance of the community is shared among all its members, according to what each person is able to offer. Everyone is supported to make the most of their talents and expertise. Members are included in every level and process of the organisation: board, management and service production.

Diversity Working Group

We are pleased to have recently created this group to develop an action and work plan that addresses racial equality within our organisation and our practice.

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Please download the Job Pack which includes the Role Description and Person Specification and fill out this Equality Monitoring Form

    If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    James Hunt | james@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07711 405 444

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “CEO, Headway East London” into the subject field.

    Alongside your application, we kindly request that you also complete and return Headway East London’s own internal Ethnic Monitoring Form.

    We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please contact:

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.


    Closing date: 9am, Monday 23rd November 2020
    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 26th November
    Interviews: w/c Monday 30th November & Monday 7th December

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Headway East London are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

    We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, and making decisions using selection criteria which do not discriminate. We will take every possible step to ensure that employees and volunteers are treated fairly, with the aim of creating a culture that respects and values each others’ differences, that is free of discrimination and promotes dignity, equality and diversity.

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