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Lived Experience Lead for Service User Network

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
£45,753 to £52,067 per annum pro rata (Incl. HCAS)
Closing date
19 Mar 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 7
Contract Type
Part Time
We have an exciting opportunity for a part time (30 hours/week) band 7 Lived Experience Lead, to join our team and work as part of our Service User Network (SUN).

SUN (Service User Network) is an initiative aimed at improving services for people with complex emotional needs or difficulties often associated with the diagnosis of 'personality disorder'. The SUN service provides community-based, peer support groups that offer members a space to provide and receive support. SUN is a self-referral service that is open to anyone, irrespective of whether they are under the care of mental health services. Members accessing the service may or may not have a formal diagnosis of 'personality disorder' however, may have common experiences relating to difficulties around emotions and relationships.

As the SUN Lived Experience Lead, you will be jointly responsible for recruiting, developing, supporting and supervising the SUN Lived Experience group facilitators within the team. Your role will also include group co-facilitation, alongside additional line management responsibilities for the SUN Lived Experience workforce. You will work closely and collaboratively with the SUN Team Manager to ensure a joined-up approach to managing the service. You will have regular supervision and support in this role.

Your main base will be at Erlegh House, Reading, whilst also having an option to work from home when appropriate. The post will involve travel across all localities in Berkshire.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will:
  • Support in the recruitment of SUN Lived Experience group facilitators.
  • Support and develop SUN Lived experience facilitators, offering regular supervision to support and enable professional development.
  • Co-facilitate SUN groups - either in person or online.
  • Participate in regular SUN meetings and weekly group clinical supervision.
  • Attend promotional events and support opportunities to network and promote SUN within the community.
  • Work closely with colleagues more widely across the organisation to promote, develop and support the wider strategic development and delivery of the Trust's Peer Support and Lived Experience workforce.
  • Have opportunities for supporting wider clinical and non-clinical work within the Intensive Management of Personality Disorder and Clinical Therapies Team (IMPACTT).

  • About us

    Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust isa specialist mental health and community health services trust. Rated 'outstanding' by the CQC, we're committed to providing the best possible care to people across Berkshire.

    We value diversity and are proud to be a Stonewall Top 100 Employer.We work hard to create an inclusive environment where you'll be supported by friendly and professional colleagues to flourish.

    Our values at Berkshire Healthcare:
    • Caring for and about you is our top priority
    • Committed to providing good quality, safe services
    • Working Together with you to develop innovative solutions

    We welcome people who share these values to come and work for us.

    Benefits of working for us include:
    • Flexible working options to support work-life balance.
    • 27 days' annual leave rising with service + opportunity to buy and sell
    • Generous NHS pension scheme
    • Excellent learning and career development opportunities
    • 'Cycle to Work' and car leasing scheme
    • Access to a range of wellbeing tools and services
    • Discounts at hundreds of popular retailers and restaurants
    • Staff networks for race, diversity, disabilities and armed forces community to support equality
    • Generous maternity, paternity, adoption and special leave.
    • Free parking across Trust sites

    Job description

    Job responsibilities

    The must haves for this role:
  • Lived experience of difficulties associated with a diagnosis of personality disorder.
  • Experience and passion for working as a team and working with and supporting lived experience colleagues.
  • Passion for group work and supporting people with complex emotional needs or difficulties associated with personality disorders.
  • Experience or strong working knowledge of mental health services, peer support and co-production.
  • An ability to be self-reflective, open to learning and to reflect sensitively on your personal experience of recovery to support others.

  • For more further information please attached Job Description and Personal Specification.

    We welcome a conversation about flexibility and any other questions you may have. Please dont hesitate to call Charlie Thomas, SUN Team Manager, on 0300 365 8000 or Jennie Parker, Lived Experience KUF Development Lead, on 07800 918 330, wholl be delighted to help.

    We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sections of the community, regardless of any protected characteristics. Reasonable adjustments will be made for disabled applicants where required.

    Person Specification



    • Educated to degree level in a relevant subject, or equivalent experience
    • Evidence of continuing professional and personal development


    • Mentorship or Supervision Training

    Previous Experience


    • Lived experience, as a service user of difficulties associated with personality disorder
    • Experience of accessing mental health services or strong working knowledge of mental health services
    • Experience of peer support or co-production
    • Experience of leadership, managing, mentoring, and/or supervision of junior colleagues
    • Experience of facilitating focus groups, meetings, or workshops
    • Experience of relationship building and partnership working including liaising and working with colleagues from other disciplines


    • Previous experience of working in the NHS
    • Group facilitation skills for people with mental health difficulties
    • Experience of developing and delivering services

    Knowledge, Skills & Abilities


    • Ability to demonstrate first person experiential knowledge of challenges associated with 'personality disorder' or complex emotional needs
    • Demonstrable skills in effective leadership
    • Ability to demonstrate knowledge of the concept of personal recovery as it may apply to others
    • Working knowledge of staff groups dynamics - including the ability to tolerate and contain the anxiety of colleagues
    • Skilled in understanding and responding to emotional content of sessions
    • Awareness of the importance of service user input including knowledge and commitment to service users' rights, involvement and service-user led initiatives
    • Understanding of the issues and concerns of mental health service users
    • Ability to manage own workload, prioritise, delegate as appropriate and seek creative solutions to problem solve
    • Demonstrable communication skills including interpersonal and presentation skills
    • Ability to treat service users with respect and dignity at all times, adopting a culturally sensitive approach, which considers the needs of the whole person.
    • Good IT skills


    • Understanding and practical knowledge of a variety of recovery approaches including knowledge of Trauma Informed Practice
    • Awareness of community resources and service user groups related to 'personality disorder' or complex emotional needs

    Additional Requirements


    • Declared medically fit by the Occupational Health department to perform the duties of the post.
    • Ability to travel to locations across the Trust

    Employer details

    Employer name

    Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust


    University of Reading

    Earley Gate


    RG6 6BZ

    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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