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Chief Operating Officer Solent Mind

Join us at this exciting time of growth in this newly reshaped leadership role, as we continue our mission to ensure that anyone in our community experiencing a mental health issue has somewhere to turn to for advice, information and support.

  • Location: Hybrid - Head office in Southampton, across Solent Mind office locations and home
  • Salary: £70,000 - £75,000

Who we are

Solent Mind is the largest mental health charity in Hampshire, (£14m) and part of a network of over 100 Local Minds who tailor trusted mental health services to its communities. We give anyone with a mental health issue somewhere to turn to for support.

With geography spanning Southampton, Portsmouth and southern Hampshire, we supported almost 45,000 people in 2022/23 to access mental health support, whether early intervention, therapeutic care, peer support in primary and secondary services, through to crisis support when people feel at their most vulnerable.

The organisation has doubled in size over the last 5 years, with the unprecedented demand for Mental Health services.  In response, we have been increasing our delivering teams, and having been through an organisation restructure, we now have an almost new SMT at the helm.

About the role

Solent Mind is going through a period of rapid and ambitious change. It is becoming more responsive to the needs of its communities, fostering partnerships and collaborations with service users, other voluntary organisations, community leaders as well as statutory agencies such as the NHS and local authorities.  It is striving for excellence in its mental health services, seeking to implement best practice and new systems to measure our impact and outcomes, and continually improve. It is reaching out to more people than ever and growing services to meet the increasing needs for mental health support.

Alongside this, we know that 2024 is likely to bring some austerity as both the NHS and local authorities are financially challenged, and budgets are squeezed.

One of the roles of the Chief Operating Officer will be to expediate some of this change and remodel some of the services, being smarter in delivering best practices, outcomes and value for money.

The Chief Operating Officer will oversee all operations and have oversight of services to ensure the pathway is joined up. It is of particular importance that we share our learning across our organisation and beyond and are as efficient as possible to ensure we maximise our economies of scale.

Throughout, we need to sustain and nurture our inspirational and compassionate culture. Every day our staff work with passion and empathy and use their lived experience to support people in developing positive mental well-being and living well. Delivering change in a supportive and collaborative way will be essential to embed new approaches that really make a difference.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for someone with extensive experience of strategic leadership and operational management, alongside strong financial acumen in a related sector.

You will be an effective people leader, able to galvanise and inspire high performing teams and deputise for the Chief Executive when required. Strong relationship development skills will be essential as well as an ability to successfully balance the day to day operational demands of the role with the wider strategic priorities.

In addition, you will be a confident and credible ambassador for Solent Mind; able to engage at all levels across the organisation and with a multitude of stakeholders; from our service users through to commissioners and stakeholders.

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

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Rachel Davies | rachel@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07961 208037

Lucy Mavers Head of Not-for-Profit Practice Peridot Partners

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Lucy Mavers

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Welcome from Sally Arscott, Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for your interest in becoming the Chief Operating Officer at Solent Mind.

It’s an exciting time to join us: we are launching our new strategy with an ambition to support more people than ever to develop positive mental well-being. We want to reach ever deeper into our local communities to ensure everyone can access the mental health support they need, and then deliver the greatest impact we can. For us, this means putting people at the centre of everything we do, working with compassion and empathy, whilst ensuring every step we take is effective and collaborative, working with our service users, and our partners, whether local authorities and the NHS or other community organisations and local leaders.

The Chief Operating Officer is a critical part of this task.  The post holder will oversee all our operations, working across our organisation as well as alongside our community and statutory partners to integrate services, join up pathways of support and remove barriers to access. Inspirational leadership is needed to ensure our dedicated teams can continually adapt in response and

deliver the highest quality provision.  We know that changes in our health and social care systems will squeeze resources, so evidencing our impact at every stage is important, and the postholder will ensure our services maximise our outcomes, whilst delivering value for money.

We know that these aspirations require an experienced leader, capable of managing complex and large operations, as well as continually developing our passionate staff teams. Your skills in relationship building will allow you to foster links with partner organisations, represent Solent Mind on stakeholder boards, as well as engage our communities in a meaningful way. Your analytical skills will also enable you to manipulate budgets, deploying our resources in the most effective way to deliver on our purpose as well as influencing commissioners to ensure gaps in provision can be met.

Simply put, your determination and compassion for delivering high-quality mental health programmes, your service to communities, and your experience and credibility as a leader will shine through in all you do.

If you share our ambitions, values and determination, plus want to work as part of our inspirational Solent Mind family, we would be keen to hear from you. I will be very happy to talk to shortlisted candidates if you would find that helpful.

Sally Arscott
Chief Executive Officer

About Solent Mind

Solent Mind is an independent registered charity and part of a network of over 100 Local Minds who tailor trusted mental health services to our communities. We set our own strategiespartnerships and rely on the support of our brilliant local fundraisers.

We are affiliated with National Mind and work together to ensure their pioneering campaigns, information and research make a difference in Hampshire. Together, we make better mental health possible both locally and nationally.

Our values ensure that people can trust Solent Mind to be on their side:

  • Open: We reach out to anyone who needs us.
  • Together: We’re stronger in partnership.
  • Responsive: We listen, we act.
  • Independent: We speak out fearlessly.
  • Unstoppable: We never give up.

Our vision is for a world where everyone experiencing a mental health issue receives support and respect.

Our mission is to make sure anyone in our community experiencing a mental health issue has somewhere to turn to for advice, information and support.

Our Strategic Priorities

Delivering high-quality services

  • We want our services to effectively prevent people from becoming unwell and, where they do, help them recover and live safe and well in their communities.

Building and maintaining community partnerships – by working collaboratively and strategically alongside other organisations, we can:

  • better address areas of unmet need
  • build sustainable networks of support
  • give resilience to local communities and help people stay well.

Leading positive change

  • We want to influence and campaign both locally and nationally to tackle the underlying causes of poor mental health and raise awareness.
  • It is essential that the voices and perspectives of those with lived experience lead our efforts.

Promoting trust and confidence through excellence

  • Through transparency, sound governance and effective management of charity resources, people can always trust Solent Mind to be on their side.

Accessibility information

Solent Mind is a ­leading mental health charity, supporting people to develop positive mental wellbeing, live well and thrive. Last year, our 400 staff team worked alongside over 45,000 people across Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton. We are well respected by both NHS colleagues and local communities for our commitment to the highest quality of practice and commitment to reaching people of all backgrounds.  Solent Mind has a Gold award for Investors in People and is signed up to being a Mindful Employer.  We positively support the development of our staff teams, encouraging personal growth and engagement in diverse opportunities, whilst demonstrating best practices in workplace wellbeing and living our values.

Our policies, practices and measures reflect principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

We aim to remove barriers in our workplace. If a barrier cannot be removed, we will seek to provide reasonable accommodations.

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Solent Mind is committed to the health and well-being of employees:

  • Mind Wellbeing Index Gold Award Winner 2023
  • Mindful Employer
  • A fantastic team of people who are passionate about mental health and supporting their colleagues
  • 25 days holiday increasing to 30 days per completed year of service (pro rata)
  • Flexible working to promote a healthy work-life balance
  • A diverse variety of staff wellbeing groups
  • Access to Employee Assistance Programme (offering 24/7 support)
  • Employee Wellbeing Champions
  • Suite of enhanced family-friendly benefits for maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave
  • Part of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Peer Support Network
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Training
  • Access to Mental Health Services
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub

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

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Rachel Davies | rachel@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07961 208037

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


    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 “Solent Mind – 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:

    Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

    Rachel Davies | rachel@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07961 208037

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 7th February
    Candidates informed of outcome: Wednesday 14th February
    First Stage Interviews: Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th February
    Second Stage Interviews: Tuesday 27th February

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Solent Mind 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 will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. 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.

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