Project Manager and Lead Facilitator

The Mental Health Foundation has secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund for an exciting new project, working with Housing partners to train volunteers and to run self-help/peer support groups for older people experiencing mental health problems, early-stage dementia or loneliness, living in extra care and sheltered housing in the south east of Wales.

We are looking for someone with experience of working with older people who may be lonely, have mental health problems, or conditions such as dementia, in an empowering, co-producing and supportive way.

The person needs to have excellent group facilitation skills, experience of managing projects, supervising staff, an understanding and commitment to self-help, peer support, co-production, and ability to work in keeping with the Foundation’s core values. The post will be based at our Cardiff office and be part of our programme of work on later life mental health.

About the Mental Health Foundation

Our vision is for a world with good mental health for all. Our mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.

Prevention is at the heart of what we do, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We inform and influence the development of evidence-based mental health policy at national and local government level. In tandem, we help people to access information about the steps they can take to reduce their mental health risks and increase their resilience.

How to apply

To apply please complete an application form and an equal opportunities form and email them to: by 9am Friday 27 July 2018.

Interviews will be held on Friday 3 August 2018 (Cardiff).

Strictly no recruitment agencies please.

Funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund

Download the job pack in English

Download the job pack in Welsh

Job description

Main purpose of the job

  • To co-produce, design, develop and manage a three-year project providing and facilitating self-help groups for older people experiencing mental health problems, early stage dementia living in sheltered and extra care housing
  • To line manage project staf
  • To assure the sustainability of the project through developing housing staff, tenants and volunteers to become peer support leaders.
  • To maintain effective links between the project and the Foundation, to ensure effective corporate working.

Principal tasks and responsibilities:

  • Work with the MHF's Programmes Manager for Empowerment and Later Life, the Wales Programme Lead and later life housing partners in the design and delivery of self-help groups for tenants living in sheltered and extra care housing.
  • Liaise closely with later life housing partners working in the schemes involved in the project to identify suitable group participants by assessment of levels of loneliness, potential to overcome barriers etc using co-production principles.
  • Facilitate directly the running of four cohorts of groups over the course of the project and oversee the facilitating of 30 other groups.
  • Help recruit, supervise and line manage the three other project staff who will also be facilitating groups.
  • Keep a record of key issues discussed in each group, any significant incidents that occur, and any positive or negative feedback from the group, and to discuss these with the Programme Manager for Empowerment and Later Life.
  • Oversee the outreach to local communities and build networks of people to contribute to groups on a long-term basis.
  • Participate in Project Management group meetings, and lead the Facilitator forum meetings.
  • Actively recruit suitable volunteers from the groups and elsewhere who can assume responsibility for running individual groups for the sustaining of the project once the Foundation withdraws.
  • To observe confidentiality in all matters relating to group participants consistent with organisational policies and legislation.
  • To keep up to date with new evidence and information about effective self help and coping strategies for older people, and to share this with group participants, as appropriate.
  • Participate and share information about the project with the Advisory Group, MHF, policy makers and other stakeholders.
  • Working in partnership with the Research department to ensure effective evaluation.
  • Promote and support the achievement of the MHF’s corporate goals and values.
  • Act as a positive ambassador for MHF in all opportunities.
  • Maintain a high standard of probity in professional, personnel and financial matters, maintaining good relations with colleagues and external partners and to act in accordance with the Foundation’s code of conduct, safeguarding policies, and other relevant organisational policies.
  • Uphold and promote the Foundation’s commitment to equality and diversity and the value of lived experience.
  • If you’re working at a desk (i.e. having access to a phone line, monitoring an inbox or social media account), you may be in contact with distressed people via the phone or social media and you will be offered training for that.
  • Undertake any other duties as may reasonably be required.

This job description is not contractual and is liable to change over time

Person specification


Skills and Abilities
  • Excellent group facilitation skills
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including use of IT
  • Ability to work flexibly, independently and unsupervised
  • Experience of group facilitation (2 years if qualified, 3 years if unqualified)
  • Experience of working with people with mental health issues including dementia and their families (2 years if qualified, 3 years if unqualified)
  • 3 year minimum experience of project development and management including managing and supervising staff
  • Broad and in depth understanding of and interest in issues relating to older people’s mental health and dementia
  • Understanding of diversity and equal opportunities
  • Understanding of self-help approaches and empowerment in mental health
  • Understanding of safeguarding issues
  • Understanding of co-production and peer support
  • Understanding and previous experience of project management, including budgeting and project sustainability
  • Understanding and previous experience of project evaluations
Personal Qualities
  • Excellent personal organization and reliability
  • Able to demonstrate a commitment to personal reflection and learning in relation to work
  • Empathy with the aims of the Foundation
  • Natural team player and able to build a positive team
  • Willing to take direction
  • Values diversity and shows commitment to equality of opportunity.
  • Values health and safety and shows a commitment to ensuring a safe working environment
Qualifications (Essential)
  • Relevant health or social work qualification, or significant relevant experience of working in this sector.


Skills and Abilities
  • Ability to develop, inform and sustain professional relationships, partnerships and networks
  • Ability to work in collaboration with older people with mental health problems or dementia, family carers and other staff/services involved in their support
  • Public speaking skills and the ability to lead & participate in workshops, seminars and other learning or promotion events
  • Experience in developing training and building capacity in the workforce using peer support
  • Welsh speaker
  • Experience of running self-help groups
  • Understanding of sheltered and extra care housing
  • Understanding of policy related to this topic
Requirements for all roles at the Foundation
  • Willingness to work flexibly to meet the reasonable needs of the foundation
  • Commitment to working in accordance with the foundation's values
  • Prepared on occasions to work unsocial hours
  • Self-sufficient in use of information and communications technology
  • Ability to self-manage a full and varied workload
Competencies for working at the Mental Health Foundation

We expect all employees to be able to use these competences to a high level in their roles. During the recruitment process, at interview stage, we look for evidence of all these competencies

  • Expertise, knowledge and analysis.
  • Communication, influencing and promotion
  • Relationships and partnership working.
  • Service focused.
  • Business aware.
  • Strategic thinking and decision making.
  • Leadership.
  • Adaptability and personal responsibility.
  • Innovative and creative.
  • Committed to personal development. 

Equal opportunities information

As an equal opportunities employer, we encourage applications from all sections of the community, whatever your background.

We value each and every person in our team and are very good at working with people. Our workforce is made up of talented individuals from all sections of the community and we are committed to providing a working environment that encourages, and is supportive of, workers with mental health problems. We therefore welcome applications from anyone with personal experience of mental distress or learning disabilities, and positively encourage people with experience of using mental health services to apply.

We believe the way in which we effectively work together will enable our charity to fulfil its mission.

This commitment to equality and diversity means that we benefit from the widest range of experience and talent, and are fully representative of the world in which we live. We aim to create a working environment in which everyone is treated in a non-discriminatory manner.

Recruitment agencies may be employed as appropriate. We ensure that all such agencies operate an equal opportunities policy comparable to that used by us.

Benefits of working for us

The Mental Health Foundation is a great place to work and offers generous benefits.

All our members of staff are entitled to the following benefits. Please note that some of the benefits are available after a qualifying probation period.


We consider it important to encourage people to save for their retirement and therefore we provide staff (after successful completion of a probation period) with a 10% pension contribution paid into an Age on Personal Pension. Contributions can be invested in a variety of funds according to your investment preference, or alternatively a default fund is available. Staff will also receive death in service life cover at four times salary.

Annual leave

Staff receive 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays.

Maternity/parental leave

Enhanced maternity/parenthood leave entitlements are in place, including extended maternity leave and benefits. Available after a qualifying period.

Flexible working/work life balance

The right to request flexible working is available to all employees. There are a number of different flexible working arrangements available throughout the organisation, which can be arranged by mutual consent.

Child Care Vouchers

This is a flexible way to meet the costs of your childcare. Part of your salary can be given up or ‘sacrificed’ in exchange for Childcare Vouchers. Within specified limits, these vouchers are non-taxable and exempt from National Insurance contributions and therefore present a saving for employees who receive them as part of their total employment package. The Childcare Vouchers received are then exchanged, in whole or part, for the approved and registered childcare services you use.


We are required to make statutory sickness payments (SSP) where staff qualify. We also have our own sick pay scheme, including full pay for a period subject to certain conditions.

Employee Assistance Service

At times staff members may face and need help with a variety of issues throughout their lives. As part of our commitment to staff members we provide a 24/7 independent and confidential counselling and information telephone service, free of charge. Support is available on a range of issues including legal, financial, emotional, health issues and work-related concerns.

Season ticket loan

Interest free loans are available to purchase season tickets for the journey between home and work.

Cycle to Work Scheme

The Cycle to Work scheme is a UK Government tax exemption initiative introduced in the Finance Act 1999 to promote healthier journeys to work and to reduce environmental pollution. It allows employers to loan cycles and cyclists' safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit.

Through the scheme, employees will be able to purchase a bike of a value of up to £1,111, repaid over 18 months through deductions from your gross monthly salary. The loan will be interest free and the benefit will be offered after successful completion of the probationary period.