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Chief Operating Officer Ilkley Community Enterprise LTD

Can you provide operational efficiency, innovation and the relentless pursuit of excellence, whilst also ensuring Ilkley Community Enterprise Ltd remain true to our culture of compassion, innovation and inclusivity?

  • Location: Ilkley
  • Salary: £50,000

Who we are

Ilkley Community Enterprise Ltd is an innovative charity and an award-winning social enterprise deeply rooted in West Yorkshire.

Established in 2013, we have seen exponential growth to our services and have also won a number of awards. We have been featured by the BBC and Guardian for our innovative approaches to providing excellent support, independence, and fulfilment for individuals with learning disabilities, the elderly, and others requiring additional support.


Operating as a social enterprise, we own and run a number of businesses and services.

  • Outside the Box (OTB) community café, a thriving café and community hub that provides work experience, training and support for people with learning disabilities;
  • OTB Choices provides workshops, courses and activities for young people and adults with learning disabilities including arts, drama, music, printing, health, well-being, independent living; and
  • Carers and Companions is a domiciliary care company, which is rated outstanding by the CQC and has an excellent reputation for providing the highest quality of home and community-based support to elderly people and people with physical and/or learning disabilities.

About the role

Your role as the Chief Operating Officer will be instrumental in providing a blend of strategic leadership and operational excellence across all of our enterprises.

We want you to provide operational efficiency, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of excellence in all that we do whilst also ensuring that we remain true to our culture of compassion, innovation and inclusivity.

Experience of leadership in at least one of the areas of activity we operate in will be important and experience operating across multiple portfolios or operations would be advantageous. However, we are mostly looking at your ambition and desire to learn, grow and take on additional responsibilities.

We welcome applications from those seeking a first C-suite role. This role promises a landscape of varied and gratifying opportunities for professional growth and will work closely with our Chief Executive to ensure that you get the support, mentorship and experience to thrive and be successful. We are hoping that our new Chief Operating Officer will also have the potential to be our next Chief Executive and are particularly welcoming of applications from ambitious leaders who are seeking a path to their first Chief Executive role.

Ilkley Community Enterprise Ltd is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and members. We welcome you to bring your whole self to the recruitment process and encourage you to contact our recruitment partners at Peridot if you wish to learn more about the opportunity.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

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


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Bill Yuksel

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About the Ilkley Community Enterprise LTD

Ilkley Community Enterprise is a registered charity and social enterprise. We run:

  • Outside the Box (OTB) comprising, an inclusive community café and a dynamic range of services and opportunities for both our client community and the wider community; and
  • Carers and Companions, a CQC registered homecare company providing high-quality home and community care and support for elderly people, people with learning disabilities and others needing extra help to live as independently as possible.

As a social enterprise, we are ‘in business for good’ – we operate as a business but reinvest any profits that we make from our trading (including cafe sales and venue hire) and services back into the work of the charity.

In 2021, the charity was awarded the Social Investment Award, sponsored by Big Society Capital and run by Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber, with the judges commenting that we are:

“…a small but mighty organisation with so much passion and enthusiasm to make a real difference for their community”.

We recently marked our 10th anniversary year with a celebration event attended by staff, members/clients, volunteers, parents/carers and partner organisations. One of our employer partners (and Board member of Ilkley BID) who attended the event, feeding back to us, stated:

“It really was a very uplifting and joyful experience for me, and it was a pleasure experiencing the wonderful talent in the group, the singing and performances were amazing and the care and love in the room was an experience I’ll remember for a long, long time. I’m sure the next 10 years will be just as wonderful”

Background: The charity was set up by and for local people. In early 2012, a local church announced it was closing a project that supported people with LD, sparking a community campaign to try to reverse this decision. Proving unsuccessful, a group of local people came together to work out a new solution: over time and with considerable community effort, the charity was formed, and our inclusive community café created.

Driven by a Steering Group of volunteers, the process from concept to launch involved 400+ people and many local community groups and businesses, with extensive local fundraising and substantial gifted time, expertise and resources. OTB community café launched in June 2013 with an inclusive ‘Big Lunch’ event.

Learn more about the Ilkley Community Enterprise LTD

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

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

Growth and development: Since launching, OTB has undergone considerable development and growth. Our inclusive community café now: employs 20+ people; provides work experience, training and support for adults with a learning disability (over 70 people each week); opens 7 days per week; has a very loyal and growing customer base including many local and visiting families who very much appreciate our dedicated Family Area and family friendly approach; and is used extensively by many local groups and community events.

We have achieved local awards e.g. Hospitality Business of the Year and ‘People’s Choice’ (community vote) Business Awards as well as national profile including featuring in The Guardian and more recently in Big Society Capital and Charity Bank case study materials and on BBC Look North and local/regional radio and TV.

Following substantial periods of forced closure during the COVID pandemic, in October 2021 we re-launched the café and our services from new, larger premises. Using social investment (including a loan from Charity Bank), our own funding and grant support (e.g. The Wolfson Foundation) to purchase and extensively refurbish a flagship town centre building (The Arcade), this new home for OTB enables us to: expand our cafe trading; meet the increasing demand for our services; continue to innovate and adapt our services to meet the new/emerging needs of our neurodiverse and wider communities; and co-locate all our business activities ‘under one roof’ securing associated efficiencies, cost savings and operational integration.

Focus: Outside the Box aims to positively change the lives of people with a learning disability, helping them to realise their full potential, lead fuller, more independent and healthier lives and have their skills, abilities and talents recognised and properly valued by society.

We support adults and young people (aged 17 years and over) who have a mild to moderate learning disability, many have Autism or Asperger’s syndrome and the majority also have physical and/or mental health difficulties. We recruit from across the districts of Bradford and Leeds as well as the wider West Yorkshire region including from economically deprived areas. We currently support 75-80 people per week across OTB services.

We use the term ‘members’, rather than clients, to describe the people we support through Outside the Box. This reflects their role and contribution to the overall OTB team; our asset-based approach i.e. we don’t define them by their problems/issues rather we focus on enabling and empowering them to recognise, develop and use their abilities, talents and strengths; and our core principle of working with and for them.

We are unique in our offer to our client community: we use a real workplace and our wider community, to support, develop and empower members; we focus on progression (contrasting with traditional day care services providing ‘something to do’); and we work in partnership with many other organisations to offer work and life opportunities that are flexible, personalised and fully integrated in local communities.

We know that people with a learning disability have the lowest employment rate with under 6% in paid work compared to 47% for people with a physical disability and over 76% for the general population: this is despite the fact that 65% of adults with a learning disability say they wish to work and, with the right opportunities and support, can.  Enabling people with a learning disability to gain better access to the world of work and paid employment is a key focus for our work.

We are deeply rooted in and supported by our local community and work in partnership with a range of other organisations including local authorities, schools, colleges, community groups, employers, healthcare agencies and other relevant service providers. We have an extensive and dynamic range of community links and activities.

Examples include:

  • OTB catered the first Ilkley Pride event last year (with our members helping to deliver this service).
  • OTB members have been involved in a plethora of local community initiatives. Examples include the ‘Adopt a Station’ initiative (decorating Ben Rhydding local station), the annual Jack Bloor Fell Race (making and presenting OTB cookie medals), supporting Relaxed Performances at our local theatre, Ilkley Playhouse, being part of the annual Ilkley Carnival parade, fruit picking and community ‘juicing day’ with local orchard and growers, working with the national charity Art Fund and local artists on an ‘edible art’ competition, supporting local Car Free Day events and our Music Group performing in local elderly care/residential homes and at community events.
  • We host and support many community groups/activities at our premises e.g. Love Pop Choir, Ilkley Climate Action Group, Get Out More Initiative, Weekly Yoga Group, Ramblers Groups, Baby Sensory Group, Art and ‘Make Do and Mend’ sessions and recently held a Parents/Carers Event (providing information, advice and networking support for 30+ family members of people with a learning disability) from which we are developing a Family Forum (to offer a vehicle for peer/mutual support, advocacy and networking for family members of our client community).
  • We work with many local employers to help provide ‘world of work’ experiences for our members – everything from work trials and placements through to paid jobs – examples include Moss and Moor Garden Centre, Marks & Spencer, Booths Supermarkets and Kings Hall and Winter Gardens (Bradford Council).
  • We continue to promote inclusive employment for people with a learning disability and want as many local employers as possible across all sectors and industries to sign our Employer Charter and help us provide a world of work opportunities for our client community. Our ambition is to make Ilkley a ‘beacon town’ for inclusivity, equality and diversity in the local workforce and we are working with the local Town Council and Business Improvement District (BID) on this agenda.
  • Linking with Ilkley Literature Festival and local arts/creative initiatives (showcasing the creative talents and abilities of our members and providing volunteering and work experiences for our members) and this year collaborating with a Poet in Residence at the Festival to run a poetry and pizza workshop for people with neurodiverse conditions.
  • Supporting other local charities/good cause fundraising e.g. Help for Ukraine, Macmillan Coffee Mornings and Fashion Shows.
  • In 2023 we were the ‘charity of choice’ for Ilkley Live, a music festival run by the community for the community, connecting musicians, audiences and local venues.
  • Linking with local schools/colleges and volunteering initiatives (e.g. Duke of Edinburgh schemes and local Community Action partners) to provide volunteering and work experience opportunities, jointly deliver skills training and provide new opportunities for pupils/students whether they have a disability or not.
  • We have a partnership with Craven College (local FEI) to provide nationally accredited education/training for our members e.g. Awards in Employability Skills, Essential Digital Skills.
  • Working with grant funding providers e.g. National Lottery Community Fund, Igen Trust and others.

Other key points:

  • 2023 turnover of c £1M (with target margin of £100k)
  • Future developments/growth opportunities include continuing expansion of OTB services including new courses, employment support (including Access to Work), outreach delivery, transition to adulthood support and a ‘youth offer’; further development of Carers and Companions client base, both elderly and LD services; development of our cafe and venue trading/offer e.g. evening offer, external catering and retail; and pursuing new ‘mission aligned’ grant/social investment opportunities.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

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

In 2016, the charity bought Carers and Companions, a local homecare company delivering care and support for elderly people, people with disabilities, learning disabilities and/or health conditions. This strengthened and diversified the income base for the charity, enhanced our local profile and enabled us to develop home and community support services for people with learning disabilities.

Carers and Companions is also based in The Arcade alongside Outside the Box and delivers services to clients in Ilkley and surrounding areas of the Wharfe Valley.

Through Carers and Companions we provide:

  • The full range of home care (e.g. personal care, medication management, welfare, companionship, respite and end-of-life care) for currently c. 30 elderly clients
  • Supported independent Living, home and community support, travel training and associated independent living support to c. 20 clients for adults with learning disabilities, autism and other neurological conditions. This service has grown substantially over recent years (pre-COVID we were supporting 4 clients) largely as a result of word-of-mouth recommendations from parents/carers who value our local presence and consistent focus on service quality and impact.

Rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as Good overall and Outstanding for the quality of care, Carers and Companions receive consistently positive feedback from clients, their families and others.

For example:

For our elderly care services

“Completely reliable, rest assured they will do anything for you”

“Wonderful staff, always professional, patient and skilful”

“We are so thankful for the gentle care and kindness you have given”

“Absolutely first class”

“They are the best carers that we deal with, they are really professional and the clients speak very highly about them. Really thoughtful and caring” (Health Professional)

For our Independent Living Services

“You have made our dreams for our daughter come true” (parent of a client supported to live in her own home)

“I feel much more independent. We share the jobs that have to be done in the house and I now do lots of great activities ”

“The staff do a fantastic job, enabling our son to live his best life and keeping us reassured that he is safe and happy”.


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

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

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Ilkley Community Enterprise LTD – Chief Operating Officer ” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Bill Yuksel bill@peridotpartners.co.uk | Book an appointment | 07801 897063

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

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    Closing date: 9 a.m. Tuesday 21st November 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: Tuesday 28th November 2023
    First stage interviews (online):  Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th December 2023
    Final stage interviews (in person): Thursday 14th December 2023


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