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Bridging the Gap Advisor paid opportunity (x6)

  • Would you like to help Mind use the power of your mental health experience to improve inclusive recruitment practices?

  • Do you believe that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people with direct experience of mental health problems should play a role in advising, influencing and making decisions on Mind’s work?

  • Do you want to help increase BAME representation within Lived Experience roles at Mind?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, please consider applying for the role of Advisor with Mind’s Lived Experience team!

At Mind, we have identified a discrepancy between the ethnicities of those that apply to take part in lived experience roles and those that are shortlisted and interviewed.  We recognise that our own structures and practices must be improved and we must be proactive in challenging ourselves to recognise and address racial bias.

To address these issues, we are looking for a minimum of six advisors to inform the development of new approaches in recruiting for Lived Experience roles. Together we will explore and design processes to understand the issues and develop a co-designed ‘static product’ to help bridge the gap between application and shortlisting. 

This is a paid opportunity where you will be working a minimum of 4 half days for £115 per half day session between January-April 2021. All half days will be via Zoom. We are looking to recruit a wide range of people to these roles and would welcome applications from all communities most especially from under-represented groups.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people who 

  • Are either:
    • Currently or have taken part in a Lived Experience/Co Production role in a charity
    • those who are actively involved in recruiting for charities/projects especially with BAME communities
  • Are willing and confident to share your views, thoughts and comments within the group about recruitment experiences.
  • Are willing to prepare for meetings (e.g. reading information provided beforehand)
  • Are able to commit to meeting 4 times between January to April 2021. These are likely to be half days and over zoom.

How do I apply for this role?

If you are interested in applying to be part of the group please note that the deadline is Monday 11th January at midday. Please answer the four following questions.

  1. Why would you like to be involved in this project?
  2. Do you have personal experience of a mental health problem? How will you bring these experiences to the role? You can disclose as much or as little information as you feel comfortable with
  3. What current experiences can help you contribute as a member of the group? For example:
    • Experience of doing Lived Experience/Co-Production work
    • Influencing organisations, participating in relation to BAME, mental health or recruitment
    • Actively involved in recruiting minority ethnic groups
  4. What other qualities, skills or knowledge would you bring that could help change the way we recruit for lived experience roles in Mind?

In your email please also include your:

  • name
  • telephone number
  • and email address

There are 2 Options on how you can send us the above:

  1. Email [email protected] a Word document using a maximum of 2 A4 pages answering the above questions. We do not accept applications longer than this.
  2. Email [email protected] a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video you have uploaded of yourself answering the above questions with or without an image (audio only). Please note that only these two platforms are accepted. Please check your privacy settings and make sure to share passwords or private links so we can view your video. Please ensure your video is 3-5 minutes long. We do not accept videos longer than 5 minutes.

We cannot accept applications which are a combination of video and a written document. You should only use one medium to submit your application.

We will review all the applications and let you know if your application has been successful by Friday 15th January 2021. If you have not heard from us then on this occasion you have not been successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you apply and are selected to be on the CoProduction Group you will be involved in reviewing evidence collected on discrepancies and providing feedback on the key issues that can:

1) encourage people with mental health problems from BAME communities to apply for Mind Lived Experience roles considering effective recruitment preparation to reach the widest talent pool

2) Share experience of lived experience recruitment and identify alternative recruitment practice considering learnings and good practice that can inform future processes e.g. language use: writing role descriptions and selection criteria

3) Plan the testing stage that can contribute to potential solutions for example how to sift and shortlist without bias

4) Share the learnings of this project with Human Resources team who may consider adopting some of the findings on a wider scale

If you apply and are selected to be on the Co-Production Group you will receive the following:

· You will be paid £115 For each half day

· Being part of a group that shapes and influences inclusive recruitment for Lived Experience roles which you can reference on your CV.

As a charity that puts people at the heart of its work, we want everyone to be able to take part and influence what we work on and how we go about it. Last year almost 18,000 people influenced our work, of these, 13.7% identified their ethnicity as Black, Asian or mixed heritage. Although we appreciate that these figures are quite close to being reflective of the ethnic diversity of the U.K. population, we also know and acknowledge that marginalised groups tend to have higher rates of mental health problems than the general population.

At Mind, we follow a fair recruitment process, widely used in the charitable sector, which requires applicants to demonstrate how they meet essential and desirable criteria for roles via an application form. This process is used for jobs and many lived experience roles. This project is intended to focus on lived experience roles, exploring the reasons behind the discrepancies and to identify the action(s) that can bridge the gap between shortlisting and interviewing.

We would like you to help explore all these and more issues identified and then explore potential solutions and co design a pilot which will be an alternative recruitment approach.

We have tried to answer some of your key questions below but if anything is missing or you require further details please email: [email protected]

Mind is a mental health charity working in England and Wales. We work hard to understand the needs and experiences of people with mental health problems. This drives everything we do, and, wherever we can, we actively seek opportunities for people with lived experience of mental health problems to get involved with and guide our work.

Mind defines ‘lived experience influence and participation’ as:

“The development and promotion of opportunities in order that a diverse range of people, with lived experience of a mental health problems, influence and participate in our work. This recognises that people want to take part in a variety of different ways and there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach”

There are many definitions of Co-Production. This one, from Involve, provides a helpful statement explaining the concept:

"The term Co-production refers to a way of working where service providers and users, work together to reach a collective outcome. The approach is value-driven and built on the principle that those who are affected by a service are best placed to help design it."

Co-production can help to challenge the notion that people with lived experience – traditionally, those who have used services – are unable to participate on an equal level with people in professional roles. It can be an extremely effective way for people with lived experience to be able to influence change.

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