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Executive Director of Operations | The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

Join an award-winning, innovative and pioneering charity providing best-in-class retirement living communities where individuals are empowered to thrive and live life to the full.

  • Location: Head office in Coventry with national travel to Villages and Schemes
  • Salary: £120,000 + benefits

About the role

ExtraCare Charitable Trust has been operating retirement villages and smaller housing developments around its Midlands base for over 30 years. Our vision is to create “better lives for older people”, with a mission to create sustainable communities, with homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it is needed.

We are the leading not-for-profit developer and operator of retirement villages and housing schemes and we currently support over 4,400 residents in c.3,900 homes in 21 retirement villages and smaller housing schemes. Our latest developments are our Solihull Village (260 apartments, opened in January 2021) and an extension at our Earlsdon Park Village (60 apartments, opened November 2020).

Our approach is unique in many ways. As pioneers of supported independent living, our ambition is to continue to innovate; providing best-in-class retirement living communities and advocating on behalf of older people.

The focus of our next corporate plan will be ‘Operations’ to ensure we fully support our existing residents. We also want to continue our journey to become greener and more digital, introducing more ‘smart’ technology that supports our residents to live independently and our staff to operate more efficiently.

To help us achieve this we are now looking for an energetic, resilient and innovative Executive Director of Operations who can critically review our current operations and drive customer focused improvement, enhance our processes and systems, and look at all the opportunities we can harness in terms of digital.

Who we are looking for

You will be a customer focused and commercially astute senior operations professional, used to leading a broad operational remit in a large and complex operating environment which places customers at its heart. Can-do, with a track record in driving continuous improvement, you will be compassionate and caring with proven experience in developing commercially sustainable services.

This is a role which requires you to be both strategic and hands on and to be genuinely interested in engaging and working with our customers. Furthermore, your collaborative and people-oriented style will enable you to provide inspirational leadership to our multi-functional and multi-locational teams.

This is a fantastic opportunity to build on our already high standards of care and customer satisfaction and take our operations to the next level. You will be working with a talented & multi-disciplinary operations and senior leadership team and be the champion for changing the lives of older people through our integration of housing, care and lifestyles.

If you believe you have a valuable contribution to make in our work to address the needs of older people and would like to apply for this role, please contact our recruitment partners Philippa Fabry at philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk or Lucy Mavers at lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk to arrange an informal conversation.

Closing date for applications: 9am, Monday 10th May 2021

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Philippa Fabry

View profile

Welcome from Mick Laverty, Chief Executive

 

Thank you for your interest in the role of Executive Director of Operations at the ExtraCare Charitable Trust.

Established over thirty years ago, we are proud to be a charity that supports older people. Our vision is “better lives for older people” and our mission is “creating sustainable communities that provide homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it’s needed”. To deliver our vision and mission we essentially do three things:

  1. We develop new villages;
  2. We operate villages and schemes; and
  3. We support our villages, schemes and our ‘extra-care’ model through fundraising, advocacy and research.

Our model focuses on creating an environment where diverse, inclusive, compassionate, active and inspirational communities are formed and where individuals are empowered to thrive and be themselves, whatever their circumstances or their capabilities.

We were the pioneers of supported independent living and our ambition is to remain pioneers by continually innovating and by providing best-in-class retirement living communities and advocating on behalf of older people.

Our approach is unique in many ways. Nobody else builds villages the size of our largest villages (320+ home units). Nobody else has an affordable multi-tenure model that allows residents from all walks of life to live in one of our locations. Nobody else has a truly integrated model that focuses on developing communities, encouraging active lifestyles and volunteering, as well as building homes and providing care. Nobody else has worked with universities to validate the benefits of what they do and use the research findings to drive innovation. Our model is genuinely unique, much admired and really does change people’s lives for the better.

Since 2012 we have commissioned research which demonstrates that the ExtraCare Charitable Trust model delivers measurable improvements in the physical and mental health for those residents in our schemes and villages as well as generating significant savings for the NHS and social care funders. In 2018, we were the subject of series two of the Channel 4 hit documentary “Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds”, which was filmed at our village in Nottingham.

Between 2017 and 2020, our corporate plan (2017-20) focused on growth, and we built and opened five new villages. Our most recent village, in Solihull, opened in January 2021. I have no doubt that demand for what we do will continue to grow. This view is endorsed by research we recently commissioned with the International Longevity Centre. Our challenge will be to grow sustainably whilst continuously improving our offer and our services.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our focus has been on the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff, and on the ongoing viability of our Charity and its unique model. Although the pandemic has been extremely difficult for our residents, who are particularly vulnerable from Covid-19 by virtue of their age, we have succeeded in keeping people safe and well. Independent research into our Covid-19 response, conducted by Aston University, showed that mortality in our villages among those aged 85 or over was significantly lower than in England as whole, that 90% of residents had felt safe and secure and 80% had felt supported in areas such as delivery of groceries and medication. In addition, daily wellbeing calls, balcony exercises and online streaming of classes helped protect residents’ mental wellbeing. At the same time, a range of financial measures ensured our Charity has remained financially resilient.

While it is not clear what the lasting impact of the pandemic will be on the Charity, and whilst our current focus remains supporting our residents and staff through these unprecedented times, we continue to be ambitious about the services we offer and the difference we make.

Our next corporate plan will be for the period 2022-27 which will give us time to reflect on the more lasting impact of the pandemic. Whilst we will continue to develop and grow the number of locations we own; the focus of our next corporate plan will be ‘Operations’ to ensure we fully support our existing residents. We also want to continue our journey to become greener and more digital, introducing more ‘smart’ technology that supports our residents to live independently and our staff to operate more efficiently.

We are governed by an experienced, talented and committed Board of Trustees, all of whom share our vision and mission of promoting balanced communities which are accessible to all older people regardless of their health or wealth.

If you believe in our vision and mission and feel you could help shape our plans and drive our innovation as the new Executive Director of Operations, I would be pleased to hear further from you.

Best wishes,

Mick Laverty
Chief Executive

About us

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust is a registered Charity and was established in 1988. We operate retirement villages and smaller housing developments around our Midlands base and further south. We are the UK’s leading not-for-profit developer and operator of retirement villages and housing schemes and we currently support over 4,400 residents in c.3,900 homes in 21 retirement villages and smaller housing schemes. Our latest developments are our Solihull Village (260 apartments, opened in January 2021) and an extension at our Earlsdon Park Village (60 apartments, opened November 2020).

ExtraCare is not an average provider of retirement homes. Our Charity was founded on the principle that age, health or financial means should not be a barrier to an enjoyable quality of life. ExtraCare services are activity-based and residents are supported and encouraged to do things they may never have done before and to enjoy their later years. Alongside a fabulous community setting, where residents enjoy daily activities from exercise to social events, ExtraCare is not afraid to push the boundaries. There is a hugely positive sense of energy and vitality to be found in an ExtraCare village or scheme. ExtraCare also operates c.45 charity shops nationwide that provide income to support the organisation’s activities, particularly for those older people who are disadvantaged through ill-health or poverty.

Residents have a range of housing tenures, with new villages offering full ownership, shared ownership and social rented apartments. Many of the residents are entitled to receive assistance with their housing and care costs. This mix of tenures leads to a diverse community, where everyone, regardless of their personal circumstances, has the opportunity to enjoy their retirement. ExtraCare works closely with partners such as Health & Well-being Boards, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities and other housing associations delivering services for residents and non-residents. In a typical village, less than a third of residents require care, with services including personal care and an integrated well-being service. This model generates significant, and proven, benefits to our residents, which reduces the pressure on the NHS and the social care system.

We are governed by a Board of Trustees who ensure that we stay true to our unique model and vision. We believe that the best way of doing this is for ExtraCare to remain as an independent Charity – and one that both directly supports, and advocates on behalf of, older people.

Our mission, vision and values

Our Vision captures our aspirations.

Better lives for older people.

Our Mission describes what we do.

Creating sustainable communities that provide homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it’s needed.

Our Values reflect how we operate and behave with our residents, staff and stakeholders.

We have four values and these are:

  1. Empowering – we encourage and support our staff to provide outstanding services to our residents.
  2. Compassionate – we show empathy and compassion to our residents.
  3. Collaborative – we work together as one team for the benefit of our residents, staff, volunteers and customers.
  4. Transparent – we are open, transparent and honest in our dealings with our residents, staff, volunteers and customers.

What makes us different

Whilst others provide homes, care or both and focus mostly on those that can afford to pay. Our model is an integrated home, lifestyle, care, multi-tenure model which is inclusive and focuses on ‘lifestyle’, which we consider to be the most important element of supporting older people to live better lives. Encouraging older people to live their lives to the full is one of the keys to our success.

ExtraCare at a glance

Update figures, take from 2019-20 Annual review:

  • 21 retirement villages or schemes (end 2021, rather than annual review)
  • 95% CQC good or outstanding
  • 4,238 homes (end 2021, rather than annual review)
  • 4,416  residents
  • Average age of 80
  • Volunteers 2,169
  • Turnover £44.2m
  • Reserves £247.3m
  • Staff: 1,307

Where we are

The demand for new ExtraCare villages is strong. However, building sustainable communities that can flourish for years to come is difficult and requires careful planning and design, choosing the right location, continuous innovation and the right number and mix of residents, as well as revenue and capital funding and ongoing support. We have the in-house skills and expertise to do this – but our capacity to grow is partly constrained by the need to grow cautiously, drawing on finite in-house resources.

One particular challenge we face is that there is very little public funding available to support the development of new villages. We are competing with the private sector for sites and, in many instances, we pay near full-market value for sites. New villages are funded by a mixture of bank loans and income from the sale of apartments. Given this reliance on sales, we can only build villages in areas where house prices can support the purchase or part-purchase of an apartment. In general, this has meant that we have expanded around our Midlands base and further south, although we are exploring options further north and may consider the development of a new cluster during the next five years.

We have developed ‘clusters’ of locations and are now working hard to use this cluster approach to improve our operational efficiency and sustainability – sharing resources, ideas, learning, facilities, activities, opportunities and good practice. Our cluster approach also allows us to consider developing new villages that are either mainly owned/part owned by residents or villages with a higher proportion of tenants – by maintaining a tenure mix of owners, shared owners and tenants across the cluster.

Covid-19

Like many organisations we have been tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. Our immediate focus has been supporting our residents and staff through these unprecedented times.

The early lockdown of our locations (before a national lockdown was announced), combined with significant PPE orders and a very robust infection control plan, meant infection, illness and mortality in our locations has thankfully been low compared to that of the general community and beyond comparison with the tragedy that unfolded in care homes. At the same time, whilst our Charity has suffered the consequences of lower-than-expected sales and the drop of retail income as our Charity shops were forced to close for much of the year, we expect to end the year with a healthy surplus to re-invest in our services and facilities.

Finance

Our finances over the last five years have progressively improved with our annual surpluses, reserves and the value of our assets all increasing. This is illustrated in the graphic below:

More recently, we have weathered the pandemic well, securing an additional investment of £15m from one of our funders and extending our revolving credit facility from May 2021 to May 2022. January 2021 saw the opening of our Solihull Village, the last of six opened over the last five years, and we have currently paused our development activity whilst we build up our cash reserves, talk with existing and potential funders about securing new development funding and better understand the impact of the pandemic.

Our strategic priorities

We are ambitious about a wide range of areas. We want to continue our journey to become greener and more digital, introducing more ‘smart’ technology that supports our residents to live independently and our staff to operate more efficiently. We also want to open our locations to older people, and staff, from more diverse backgrounds. Our priorities are captured in the image below:

    To access a full job description and application details,
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    To arrange a confidential chat, please contact our executive search advisers at Peridot Partners:

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902 071

    Lucy Mavers |  lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935 068

    To apply, please submit a CV and a supporting statement (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4). The supporting statement should clearly outline your suitability against the essential experience criteria in the person specification and give details of why you are interested in applying for the role.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Executive Director of Operations, ExtraCare” into the subject field. In your covering email, please let us know of your availability against the dates in the timetable given below.

    Diversity

    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 any operational difficulties presented by the role.

    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.

    Timetable

    Closing date: 9am, Monday 10th May 2021
    Sift and applications provided: Wednesday 12th May
    Longlist meeting: Friday 14th May
    Preliminary interviews: w/c Monday 17th May
    Shortlisting: w/c Monday 24th May
    Final interview: w/c Monday 31st May *Bank Holiday

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and ExtraCare 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 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 Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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