NSUN is hiring: Synergi Director

This vacancy is now closed.

Contract: fixed term for 3 years
Salary: £50,000, full-time. We will also consider 4 days per week, salary pro-rated
Hours: 5 days per week (although enquiries about flexible working are welcome)
Location: remote working in the U.K. (NSUN does not have a physical office. Some occasional travel for team meetings will be required, with expenses covered by NSUN)
Deadline: 5pm, Tuesday 1st March
Interviews: Thursday 17th March and Thursday 24th March

As a UK mental health charity, we are a network of people and grassroots groups with lived experience of mental ill-health, distress and trauma. We come together to create, challenge and campaign. NSUN is a user-led organisation, and all staff and trustees have lived experience of mental ill-health, distress or trauma. Over the past 18 months, NSUN has scaled and changed. This is an exciting time to join an organisation which is growing.

From February 2022, NSUN will be hosting Synergi, a programme of work at the intersection of mental health and racial justice.

In its first phase, which ended in January 2022, Synergi created a knowledge hub, bringing together qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, place-based work, storytelling and network building, in order to reframe, rethink and transform the realities of ethnic inequalities in severe mental illness and multiple disadvantage. In its second phase, from February 2022, Synergi will be hosted by NSUN, and will be centred on lived experience and community action.

An ambitious and exciting programme of work has been envisioned by Sandra Griffiths from Catalyst4Change and Akiko Hart from NSUN, building on the legacy of the first phase of Synergi. Workstreams will include:

  • Remembrance as Resistance: developing a multimedia and digital exhibition and festival programme that will act as a window to community action tackling mental health and racial injustices over the last 40 years in the UK, to reimagine mental health services and support for racialised communities
  • Democratising Policy: managing an annual small grants programme to distribute to grassroots campaigning groups working on the intersection of racial justice and mental health
  • Building as Abolition: working with and influencing funders to better understand abolitionist work in this space so that it is resourced and elevated
  • Creative Spaces: building on the place-based creative and collaborative work which was developed in the first phase of Synergi
  • Transformative Governance: embedding ethical and collaborative ways of working within Synergi and beyond it

The Director of Synergi will lead the programme and work alongside the Synergi Governance Board and Synergi stakeholders to determine the best structure and possibly home for Synergi in the future. The Synergi Director will also work alongside the NSUN team, and share reflective practice sessions with them as well as have access to training and development opportunities.

We recognise this is a multifaceted role and are keen to attract candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. Accordingly, we have listed essential elements of the role in the recruitment pack, and a range of beneficial elements, recognising that no one candidate will bring everything.

Job description and person specification


The application form and equality and diversity monitoring form must be completed and returned to info@nsun.org.uk by 5pm, Tuesday 1st March.

Please note that we do not accept CVs/cover letters. Please make sure that all the information about your skills and experience is included in the application form. We recommend you use the full two pages allowed in the “supporting information” section in the application form to explain how you meet each of the points in the person specification.

If you would like to discuss this role in more detail please contact Akiko Hart, CEO, by emailing Akiko.Hart@nsun.org.uk.