Arc is an arts and health charity based at the Hat Works building in Stockport.  We engage with hundreds of vulnerable people each year in creative activities that build confidence, skills, and resilience, which lead to improved mental health and wellbeing.

We work with approximately 150 adults per year in a community outreach and studio programme, with mums, with older people, with patients at Stepping Hill Hospital, and with many groups via partnership projects.

Part of our service offers informal wrap-around support to vulnerable adults in need of direct help. This support takes the form of empowering service users through advocacy, signposting them on to the most appropriate local service, helping them complete forms or attend meetings regarding benefits, and contacting health professionals on their behalf.  This support is delivered by a team of social work students on 70-day placements.

In response to the growing need for this support, Arc is creating the new role of Mental Health Support Officer to coordinate this work.  The role forms an essential part of ensuring the best support is available to Arc service users.

Role description

Reports to: Artistic Director/Lead Officer

Key aims:

  1. Supporting service delivery by enabling vulnerable participants to make best use of Arc’s programmes and facilities as part of their recovery
  2. Coordinate and support the team of social work students, ensuring there is capacity to meet the level of demand
  3. Maintain and update Arc’s safeguarding policy and procedures, ensure safeguarding issues are dealt with safely and efficiently, review safeguarding issues with line manager and when necessary contact SMBC Safeguarding Services to address urgent cases.
  4. Work closely with the Artistic Director to further develop the service user experience of participants in the service

Detailed description

Supporting Service Delivery

  1. To oversee referrals – and sign them off
  2. To conduct one-to-one assessments & evaluation with participants using Arc’s monitoring and evaluation documents
  3. To record details of one-to-one conversations where additional support with issues outside of sessions is required
  4. Work with social work students to offer 1-1 sessions for each service user to establish their needs
  5. Advocate for service users, support them and signpost service users to appropriate support services
  6. To meet potential participants, with social work students if available
  7. Attend sessions across adult programme, in rotation (with social work students when available)
  8. Work with the Arc team to identify support needs across our programmes
  9. Ensure the service can respond to people in crisis situations – having a clear understanding of how to use Safeguarding policies, recording incidents appropriately and evidencing our input
  10. To maintain and update records and online systems for evaluating participants progress

Coordinate and support social work students on placement

  1. Mentor social work students in the support of service users with mental health needs
  2. Coordinate and supervise the Arc social work student cohort
  3. Contribute to the student assessments
  4. Carry out student observations, feeding these back to the Artistic Director and the external Practice Educator
  5. Raise any concerns about the students to the Artistic Director
  6. Support social work students in participant advocacy

Safeguarding & Risk

  1. Contribute to minimising risk in all service settings
  2. Deal promptly and effectively with safeguarding concerns and issues
  3. To be aware if there is a vulnerable person at risk and to support with managing that risk safely.
  4. To maintain Arc’s GDPR systems as applicable to participants to ensure confidentiality

Other Responsibilities

  1. To be a key holder at Arc
  2. Attend regular line management supervision with the Artistic Director
  3. Carry out other administrative or operational functions commensurate with the role and after agreement

Person Specification



Timescale: Late Feb to  5th June 2020

Place of Work: The role will be based at Arc Centre, Hat Works, Wellington Mill, Wellington Road South, Stockport SK3 0EU but travel to other sites, including Oldham, will be expected.

Hours: An average of 16 hours per week, ideally split across the week.

Fee: £17.50 per hour. Total Fee £4,200

This is a freelance (self-employed) fixed term contract. Arc is currently exploring further funding for this role beyond the contract dates.


Please send a letter of application, explaining how you meet the criteria outlined in the person specification and role description in no more than 2 sides of A4 (approx 600 words) and your CV

Closing date for applications: 23:59 on 29th January 2020

Send details to Jacqui Wood via email:

For further information contact Jacqui via email by 2pm Friday 24th January.

If you have been successful in an interview for this post we will let you know by Tuesday 4th February 2020 .

We apologise but we will be unable to contact all applicants to let them know if they have been unsuccessful.

Interviews will be held week of 10th February and a start date will be arranged as soon as possible following that.