Job Description: North Regional Lead, Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance
Salary: £35,000 pro rata, 0.6FTE (3 days per week)
Application deadline: 5pm on Monday 27th February
You can listen to this information as an audio file below
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance (CHWA) is looking for a Regional Lead for the North of England.
CHWA is the national membership organisation for creative health. We use the term “creative health” to mean any arts or cultural activity that supports health or wellbeing. Our main roles as an organisation are: advocating for creative health, supporting networks for creative and cultural workers and partners in health and social care, and building resources to help make this work more possible. We don't provide creative activities that support health and wellbeing ourselves - instead we support other people who do.
This new regional post is a key part of our work as an Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO) funded by Arts Council England from 2023-6. Based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the role will focus on creative health in Barnsley and the wider South Yorkshire region. The postholder will also have a wider remit for advocacy and networking across the North of the country, working closely with CHWA’s volunteer regional champions.
The post is about developing strategic and infrastructural support for creative health rather than delivering projects. We want the postholder to bring together local and regional partners, and to scope and develop models for commissioning, investment and practice, learning from existing work and partnership across Barnsley and South Yorkshire. With committed support in place from local and national partners, this is an exciting opportunity to build on this momentum and create long-lasting change.
National and local recognition for the role of creativity and culture in supporting health and wellbeing is steadily increasing. We know, though, that we don’t yet have the infrastructure in place to allow this work to benefit as many people as it could. Arts funders are increasingly prioritising this work; and at the same time our health and social care structures are changing, opening up new opportunities. If we want to take advantage of this, we need better local and regional infrastructure so culture and creativity, and health and wellbeing can work together on equal terms.
This is the first of three new regional roles for CHWA, designed to catalyse and support work the North, Midlands and East of the country.
We want the new regional leads to help us understand what the enablers and barriers to regional and local development are and to develop and test systems that will make a positive difference.
Key national partners for this work include the National Centre for Creative Health, the LENs (lived experience network), and our funders Arts Council England. The post will also be supported by local cultural ‘anchor institutions’, who will provide physical space and back-office support, and who will help you work with existing local networks.
Barnsley Museums, which is a local authority museum and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, will provide part-time office space for this role as well as additional physical space for conversations and networking meetings. Creative Recovery, a local grassroots organisation specialising in creativity for mental health, will sense-check our approach and help us reach local networks of smaller organisations and freelancers.
This role is funded until April 2026. At this stage we imagine a similar role will continue beyond this point, funded through local investment; but this will depend on what we discover across the three years for which we are funded.
We anticipate the role being two-thirds focused on local development, and one third on broader regional support across the North of the country, in liaison with CHWA’s volunteer regional champions. This is an exploratory and developing role and we expect it to evolve rapidly. Some core aspects are outlined below, however.
In Barnsley and South Yorkshire…
The role will draw partly on a Creative Health Plan on a Page developed by a project team led by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC). The full plan can be read here (please bear in mind that this is an iterative document and subject to change).
We’d like the postholder to
- Convene and manage a local or subregional working group. The group should be as diverse and representative as possible, and include key partners, grassroots organisations and people with lived experience of health conditions.
- Map the existing commissioning processes and networks for creative health across South Yorkshire. (This “synergy map” will also be used to evaluate the longer-term impacts of this role.)
- Scope the idea of a new local and/or regional consortium model for practitioners and organisations who do creative health (building on existing models like the Gloucestershire Creative Health Consortium).
- Work with the working group to assess how best this role can contribute to BMBC’s Plan on a Page. This is likely to include plans for workforce development – providing support for both creative health ‘providers’ and commissioners.
There is huge demand for infrastructure support and we don’t expect to comprehensively meet this need with this role. Instead we want to prioritise in-depth learning about local and regional structures and strategy.
The broader ‘north’ role will focus primarily on advocacy and networking. We also expect the postholder to work with the key colleagues across the region including CHWA’s volunteer regional champions and partners at the National Centre for Creative Health. This is likely to include time helping to develop or support networking or knowledge-sharing meetings across the region.
We want to understand the potential impact of this kind of strategic role. The postholder will work with other CHWA staff and the working group to assess progress against the synergy map (described above) and where possible to find external support for evaluation.
- Funding is in place for this role until March 2026. CHWA will work with the postholder to investigate options to support the same role or equivalent support beyond this point.
- CHWA will also work with the postholder to increase provision for and around this existing role.
We always aim to be collaborative; caring; inclusive; and committed to positive social change. These are our values as an organisation and it’s essential you feel comfortable with this, and that you feel you can work in this way.
We also consider the following to be essential for this role. It's important to note though that we are interested in hearing about any transferable skills or experience you have as well as direct experience.
- Diplomacy and experience of working with a wide range of people and groups with a variety of professional and lived experiences
- Experience of collaborative leadership and / or coproduction
- Attention to detail, persistence and patience
- Optimism and lateral thinking – willingness to use imaginative new approaches to strategy
- Good, proactive communication skills
- Flexibility and willingness to listen and learn
- Knowledge and/or experience of working with creative health
- Experience of working at a strategic level in different kinds of organisations (e.g. organisations in different sectors, or of very different sizes)
- Experience managing budgets
If you have any of the following knowledge or experience we would like to hear about it:
- Work with local authorities and / or health or care institutions
- Work with large cultural institutions
- Work with small grassroots community organisations
- Work with people with lived experience of health issues
- Experience of fundraising
This is a hybrid working role. We are ready to adapt our working processes in discussion with applicants; please let us know about any access needs we can support.
£35,000 pro rata for 0.6FTE. All CHWA salaries are subject to annual review.
This is a three-year contract running until the end of March 2026.
The postholder will be paid monthly by BACS. CHWA will be responsible for paying Tax and NI when due. The postholder will be eligible for the Nest pension scheme.
Hours of work
This is a three-day per week role, or 22.5 hours per week. We’re happy to explore flexible working arrangements, provided they also work for our partners at Barnsley Museum.
Place of work
CHWA doesn’t have an office. A desk space will be made available by our partners, Barnsley Museum. We can decide how many hours you work from home and at the Museum in discussion with both CHWA and the Museum. We would, though, expect a significant proportion of your time to be spent in Barnsley and South Yorkshire. There are also likely to be offsite meetings with partners across the region.
CHWA will reimburse reasonable travel and subsistence expenses on the basis of agreement prior to travel. We will also reimburse any expenses incurred through the interview process.
How to apply
if you'd like to speak to us before applying, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal conversation.
We would like to receive a CV and covering information explaining why you think you would be suitable for the role, referring to the Key Duties and Person Specification outlined above. Your covering information can be submitted as an email, an audio recording or a video recording as you prefer. We would prefer a written CV, but if this is not possible for any reason, please let us know and we can adapt accordingly.
Please tell us about any access needs we can meet to support your application process. We’d also appreciate it if you could click on this link and fill out this Equality, Diversity & Representation form when you apply. This form is anonymous and we won’t be able to connect it with your application, but it helps us assess whether we are reaching a wide pool of candidates. If the link doesn’t work for you let us know and we will find an alternative.
When you apply, please let us know whether you would be able to attend an interview on 16 or 17 March in Barnsley (we may be able to hold interviews during the evening if that’s easier for you). If you can’t make those dates and are shortlisted for the role, we will aim to find another mutually convenient time with you.
We are committed to ensuring our organisation is as diverse and representative as possible and are using the IncArts Unlock tool to support this recruitment process. We particularly want to encourage applications from people identifying with any of the protected characteristics as defined in the 2010 Equality Act, or who are from less affluent socioeconomic backgrounds.
Please send us your application by 5pm on Monday 27th February. We will let you know of our decision by Monday 6th March and we will aim to hold interviews in Barnsley on Thursday 16th or Friday 17th March.
Interviews will be in person and will last up to 90 minutes. We will send plans for the interview including any questions in advance, and let you know who will be on the interview panel before we meet you.
 You can read more about this in a recent CHWA blog here: https://www.culturehealthandwellbeing.org.uk/news/blog/end-year-directors-blog
 It should be noted that our funding agreement with Arts Council England (which includes this role) states that “Arts Council England can only guarantee future instalments of the grant as long as sufficient funds from the Government and/or the National Lottery are available to it. Therefore, it is possible that indicative amounts may be reduced.”