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People and Culture Director Solent Mind

Join Solent Mind at a time of pivotal change and transformation as their new People and Culture Director, as the charity continues their ambition to support more people than ever to develop positive mental well-being.

  • Location: Hybrid / Southampton and other Solent Mind offices
  • Salary: £64,395 - £69,762
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Thursday 21st March

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.

To help drive our ambitious and exciting strategy forward, we are now seeking an experienced Director of People and Culture to provide strategic leadership and operational management to ensure that the newly shaped People team becomes an intrinsic part of all of Solent Mind’s operations.

Throughout, we need to sustain and nurture our inspirational and compassionate culture. Everyday, our staff work with passion and empathy and use their lived experience to support people develop positive mental well-being and live 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

This is an exciting time to join the organisation, as we reshape our people department and seek to embed HR more fully into all departments at Solent Mind; upskilling and supporting our managers and staff teams in delivering our services.

You will be a qualified senior HR professional, with extensive experience in an organisation of significant scale and a successful track record of change management.

With prior knowledge of the charity or broader health/social care sector, you will be highly astute to some of our challenges and nuances and the impact that this has on our people — including our need to adapt to the funding climate and our need to develop efficiencies and economies of scale around our organisation and services.

We are seeking an exceptional people leader; someone professional, empathetic and supportive, well versed in leading teams and bringing energy, gravitas and high levels of emotional intelligence. Furthermore, you will have the skills to bring people on the journey at an organisational and individual level.

Responsible for all aspects of HR, the ideal candidate will bring a range of strategic and operational HR experience across a broad remit and have experience of working alongside a senior management team and a Board of Trustees.

Benefits of working with Solent Mind

Solent Mind is committed to the health and well-being of employees. The benefits include:

  • 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 well-being groups
  • Access to Employee Assistance Programme (offering 24/7 support)
  • Employee Well-being 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 Well-being Training
  • Access to Mental Health Services
  • Mental Health and Well-being Hub

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

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

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


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Rachel Davies

View profile

Welcome from the Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for your interest in becoming the People and Culture Director at Solent Mind.

It’s an exciting time to join us, as 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 services users, our partners as well as our staff.

The People and Culture Director is a critical part of this task. The post holder will work across our organisation to understand the operational needs of our teams, ensuring they have the skills, scope and cohesion to deliver these objectives and feel supported to thrive. Our re-shaped people and culture team gives us renewed capacity to put our people first.

Up to 85% of our 400-strong staff team have lived experience of mental health. Everyday, they bring their passion and empathy to work, supporting people to develop positive mental well-being and live well.

We want to continue to foster our compassionate and collaborative culture, and use best practice in workplace well-being to ensure our employees contribute to the development of our organisation and are equipped to be their best.

Alongside this, we want to nurture our talented teams, encouraging development of skills and autonomy so they continually adopt new ways of working and evolve our services to respond to the needs of our communities and in line with our values. We know that these aspirations require an experienced leader, capable of strategic thought yet able to connect with and inspire our passionate staff teams. Your emotional intelligence will be evident as you build relationships across all levels of the organisation, steer the wider people and culture team, and effectively manage collaborative change.

Throughout, we need someone with deep understanding of employment law to ensure our policies and practices are compliant, reflect best practice in supporting our teams and help us manage and mitigate any staffing risks.

Solent Mind has long been recognised as an exemplar employer, with a gold Investor in People award and gold status for our workplace well-being practices. We want to sustain and grow this reputation as we deepen our support to people in our communities facing mental health challenges.

If you share our ambitions, values and determination, plus want to work as part 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 well-being, live well and thrive.

Last year, our 400-strong 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.

Applicants with a disability 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 role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    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 – People and Culture Director” into the subject field.

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

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

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

    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. Thursday 21st March 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Thursday 28th March 2024
    First stage interviews: Monday 8th April 2024
    Second stage interviews: Monday 15th April 2024

    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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