Solace Project Officer
If you are driven by meaningful and rewarding work, and want to make a real difference to peoples lives, then this a role for you!
West Kent Mind enriches lives through better mental health by offering support to get well, stay well and thrive. We are an ambitious, award-winning organisation. The Solace Café is a much-needed resource for people who may be heading towards or experiencing an emotional crisis, offering out of hours mental health support. The service aims to prevent escalation of problems and thereby avoid a mental health crisis and reduce referrals to secondary mental health services, emergency departments and use of other emergency services.
The Solace Project Officer will be part of the leadership team delivering the service in accordance with the funders’ specification and ensuring the project achieves the outcomes required. You will have a high-level ability in working with vulnerable adults and be skilled at supporting people on their recovery journey. You will work with our key partners including the NHS, social services, and the police to deliver a high quality out- of-hours support service with and for people with mental health problems.
Adopting our fundraising culture
West Kent Mind operates and encourages a fundraising culture, this means that our staff, volunteers and trustees are all fundraising advocates and contribute to an organisational fundraising ethos. We expect all colleagues to play their part in generating income, this could be anything from being pro-active working with colleagues to secure funding for your area of work, to writing a heartfelt thank you note to a donor, or putting together a testimonial from a beneficiary to demonstrate funding impact for a grant application. Securing income is vital to our survival and we expect everyone to embrace our ethos. We don’t expect you to be a fundraising expert but we do expect you to fully adopt our fundraising culture with energy and passion.
· To be responsible for the successful delivery of the Solace Café service both in person and online, establishing an effective blended approach.
· Provide regular supervision for Solace Café workers and volunteers, as well as support for clients using the service.
· Run a staff and volunteer rota to ensure cover to run the café sessions effectively and efficiently.
· Communicate effectively with the team, including through team meetings, emails, and briefings.
· Ensure that clients are supported to develop self-management strategies and to make the best use of the local resources around them, signposting or making referrals as required.
· Undergo mandatory training as required for this post.
· Perform all other duties as may reasonably be expected by your line manager.
· Lead and support practical development within the team and provide coaching and mentoring to team members as required.
· Develop and deliver with the team a programme of activities that are engaging, of interest to clients through co-design, and that contribute to an improvement in individual mental wellbeing.
Marketing, networking and communications
· Establish excellent working relationships with out-of-hours services such as police, crisis teams and GPs, around inward and outward referrals.
· Ensure that timely and accurate are reports completed and returned as required by the funders.
· Participate in individual supervision, training, and appraisal, as agreed with the Therapeutic Services Manager.
· Network effectively with other working professionals and organisations to ensure new referrals come through, effective moment is seen throughout the service, and adequate signposting is provided to those who engage with the service.
Carry out all the above in accordance with the aims, values and policies of West Kent Mind, in particular confidentiality, safeguarding, and equality & diversity; and also in accordance with the requirements of Kent & Medway Integrated Care Board (ICB).
All experience may be paid or voluntary, full or part-time, in the UK or overseas.
(E) – Essential (D) – Desirable.
No specific qualifications are required, though a counselling, social work or mental health nursing qualification is desirable. If you have qualifications that you feel are relevant to this position, please tell us about them in your letter of application and CV.
· At least two years’ experience of providing a support service to vulnerable adults
to increase their independence and to develop self-management strategies (E).
· Experience of mental health services. This could be from working with young people or adults with mental health issues, either paid or voluntary. Your experience could also be from your personal circumstances – looking after someone with mental health issues or dealing with your own mental health issues (E).
· Experience with supporting and supervising staff and volunteers, with excellent team management skills (E).
· Experience of developing and delivering a high-quality service that meets a broad range of mental health and wellbeing needs (E).
· Knowledge and understanding of the relevant statutory authorities including NHS and social services (E).
· Knowledge and experience of supporting vulnerable adults to increase their independence and to develop self-management strategies (E).
· Safeguarding and risk assessing the welfare of vulnerable adults (E).
· Equality and diversity (D).
Skills and competencies
· High level of ability to develop positive and constructive relationships with external agencies (E).
· High level of ability to undertake monitoring and evaluation, to ensure further development of the service by setting objectives and collating outcomes (E).
· Ability to communicate effectively and clearly with people of all levels both verbally and in writing (E).
· Ability to deal effectively and calmly with challenging situations as they may arise from time to time (E).
· Ability to initiate and manage projects as required (D).
· Ability to collect and analyse information to create accurate and timely reports (D).
· Discretion and judgment when dealing with sensitive and/or confidential information (E).
· Ability to prioritise your own workload and manage time effectively (E).
· Excellent IT skills including use of Microsoft Office, videoconferencing platforms (MS Teams, Zoom etc.), and an ability to learn and develop new systems (D).
· A self-starter, able to work effectively on your own initiative and as part of a team to deliver the overall aims and aspirations of the West Kent Mind (E).
· Creative, innovative, and able to motivate and inspire others (E).
· Understanding and empathy for people with mental health needs, with the ability to listen and communicate effectively (E).
· A can-do attitude, collaborative and flexible (E).
· Understanding and commitment to the aims and values of West Kent Mind, and to equality & diversity (E).
We’re a charity and we’re here to make a positive difference to lives and communities. You’ll work with a passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated team with a big heart.
It’s important to take time off. We give you 23 days a year, increasing by one day per year of service up to 30 days, plus bank holidays (all calculated pro-rata for part-timers).
To refresh and recuperate before the start of a new year, we also give you an extra three days of holiday between Christmas and New Year.
For part-timers this is all calculated pro-rata.
We’re committed to supporting our staff with learning and professional development, so we offer opportunities for coaching, training and mentoring. Everyone, regardless of role, is offered free Mental Health First Aid training.
If eligible you’ll be auto-enrolled into our pension scheme, and our contribution is based on 3% of your salary.
Employee Assistance Programme
Everyone can access our Employee Assistance Programme. It’s confidential and includes 24/7 telephone advice, counselling and a suite of online tools to help you stay happy and healthy.
Please send a current CV of your recent experience and a statement evidencing how you meet each of the requirements within the person specification (no more than 2 sides of A4) no later than 12 noon on Thursday 23 November 2023 including the job title in the email subject. Due to the volume of applications, we may not acknowledge your application; thank you for your understanding.
We invite you to complete an Equality & Diversity monitoring form on our website. This information is detached from your personal data and is processed anonymously.
We aim to hold face to face interviews on the morning of Tuesday 28 November 2023 and we will let shortlisted candidates know no later than Friday 24 November 2023 if they are invited to interview.
As part of our recruitment process, some of the questions for candidates will be sent in advance of interview to allow candidates to consider their answers.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.