Kathryn Smith, Director of Operations answers questions about the charity’s exciting range of career opportunities.
Alzheimer’s Society is just one year into its ambitious five-year strategy, Delivering on Dementia, and is looking for a number of professionals to help take its vision forward.
Can you tell us briefly about Alzheimer's Society?
Everything at Alzheimer’s Society comes back to our core vision of a world without dementia. We exist to help make that happen. Today, we are a membership organisation with over 2,000 employees and nearly 7,000 volunteers. It’s all about working together to build a better world for people with dementia and the people who care for them.
We now have nearly 2,500 services providing care, information and support to people affected by dementia across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – services that touch the lives of over 30,000 people every week. We are also a campaigning organisation that actively works to raise awareness of dementia and influence policy. And we invest in important research into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia.
What does the future look like for Alzheimer’s Society?
These are exciting times at Alzheimer’s Society. We know that by improving the way we work together, we can do so much more to improve the lives of people with dementia. Our five-year strategy has set out who we are, where we’re going and how we’ll get there. It outlines four ambitions for the Society to achieve by 2017 through our services, our campaigning and our research programmes. The Operations team will be instrumental in making this happen – from ensuring that our people have the right skills and tools to developing the processes and systems needed to deliver results.
So, yes, the challenges ahead are substantial. We need to make people stop and listen. We need to keep dementia high on the public agenda and actively influence and shape the way dementia services are delivered. But in all these ways, we will help reduce the impact of dementia on the lives of people with dementia today and create a world free from dementia tomorrow. Professionals who share our vision will find that incredibly stimulating and rewarding.
Can you tell me a bit more about the Operations Directorate?
Having an ambitious five-year strategy is not enough. We need professionals who can deliver on our promises and put the people, systems and processes in place to respond to new challenges, opportunities and changes within the social care sector. That’s where our Operations Directorate comes into its own. We are responsible for developing and delivering all our community-based services and we also work nationally to manage the Society’s wider knowledge, advice and information activities. As such, we play a vital role in helping the Society achieve our key organisational and service goals.
What roles are you recruiting for – and why do they matter?
Alzheimer’s Society has achieved great things over the last three decades. But over a million people in the UK will have dementia by 2021 and now is the time to push even harder towards our vision of a world without dementia. Our five-year strategy provides a clear direction for our charity, and we’re building our leadership team to take us forward.
So we’re looking for Operations Directors for our North and Central regions. Each will lead around 800 employees and volunteers and use their social care and dementia expertise to deliver services within budget, champion user involvement and develop strong relationships with key policy and decision makers.
We are also looking for a Business Improvement Manager to enhance the effectiveness of what we do – and how we do it. By identifying operational improvements and putting lean systems and processes in place, this person will have a significant impact on the performance and ongoing development of the Society.
In addition, we’re recruiting a new Head of Service Improvement and Safeguarding to help us articulate and implement our vision for dementia services and service improvement. This person will be responsible for all aspects of quality, compliance and service performance, of course, but they will also help us to generate positive organisational change and produce innovative solution to new needs.
And finally, we are looking a Regional Operations Manager for the North West, five Operations Managers to join us in different locations throughout the North of England and one in North East London. They will coordinate all of our activities at regional and local level – from planning and financial management to generating business, leading teams and raising our profile through media and awareness campaigns.
What kind of people are you looking for?
We’re certainly not looking for functionaries or bureaucrats. All these roles call for strong leadership skills and the ability to build collaborative relationships within the Society and beyond. They will almost certainly have experience in a health, social care or similar setting – and, in the case of the Operations roles, they will also need an in-depth knowledge of dementia and best-practice approaches to dementia care. Regardless of the particular job title, we need professionals who can engage our stakeholders, organise our resources, implement change and create a robust platform for the Society’s future development and growth.
Why should someone come and work at Alzheimer’s Society?
We are the UK’s leading support and research charity for all people affected by dementia.. In a very real sense, we are leading the fight against dementia – not just by providing excellent services, but by involving those affected by this cruel disease in everything we do and working to change society’s attitudes to dementia for good. Join us and you will be do more than just implement best practice; you will be helping to actively shape it and help to set standards of performance that are recognised both nationally and internationally
This means you will be working within a very special career environment. This is a forward-thinking organisation that values your ideas, encourages your initiative and recognises your contribution. The benefits and rewards are competitive, of course, and we invest heavily in training and development too. But ultimately, you get to make a difference and that’s what drives everyone on our team.
If you're interested in finding out more about Alzheimer's Society and the vacancies they offer, click here.