It is strange coming into a new organisation; new people, new ways of doing things. At the Michael Wood Centre, however, I felt immediately at home.
This was partly because of the way I was recruited; once I had passed the interview with the Trustees, I was invited to the annual LASS and Well for Living planning day. I met staff, trustees, service users and people from other organisations that work closely with LASS and Well for Living. All of them were scoring me on how well I did in the discussions and exercises. Scary stuff! But even then, I saw how welcoming everyone was and how much everyone cared about delivering excellent services to the community.
Going into a new place you always wonder if you’ll fit in. I think it will be a good match as my background is in charity management, including running a Citizens Advice Bureau. I have worked with older peoples’ charities, been Chair of a Healthwatch Stakeholder Panel, worked for an environmental charity and lead a charity working with international students (useful in this neck of the woods!).
For the last few years, I have been running my own community interest company, working with small to medium sized voluntary sector and community groups helping them to get volunteers, funding and other resources and to manage and govern themselves effectively. All of this is going to come in very handy at LASS and Well for Living.
Originally from Hertfordshire, I have lived and worked at various points around the UK. I now live on the Leicestershire-Rutland Border and I am fast growing to appreciate the vibrancy of the City and the beauty of the countryside. I might even land up a Tigers supporter!
Jenny, the outgoing CEO, and the teams at both LASS and Well for Living have made me feel so welcome. I hope that we can have a long a fruitful relationship.
Jenny Hand LASS CEO since 2008
Jenny Hand has been the CEO at LASS, Leicestershire’s HIV specialist charity for almost 10 years and will retire in June this year . With Jenny at the helm, LASS has moved forward with the changes in HIV medication and support, advice, information, prevention and awareness needs. In 2013 LASS was recognised best 10 health charities in the country with a £30,000 Impact Award from GSK with the Kings Fund. LASS continues to benefit from being a member of the Impact Award alumni attending Kings Fund training with other Award winners and taking part in research and reviews.
LASS was among the first charities in the Country to introduce free instant result HIV community testing, demonstrating huge savings for the health service through enabling people to know their HIV status and be referred for appropriate support and medical treatment through a fast track arrangement.
LASS also set up a social enterprise – trading as Well for Living and through this has worked in partnership with other small local HIV services in the region to provide enhanced awareness and prevention services. Most recently the regional partnership has delivered a public health England funded innovation project promoting HIV testing in the workplace. A full report on this pioneering work is due to be released this spring. Jenny says ‘the findings are very encouraging not only for HIV but for other workplace health awareness developments.’
Patrick Bowe, Chair of the trustees at LASS, is immensely proud of the work achieved at LASS over the past 10 years and while he would have hoped Jenny might stay for a few more years sees this as an opportunity for LASS to recruit a new CEO who will be able to lead both LASS and Well for Living into the future. ‘LASS will enter its 30th year in June and there is still a huge amount of work to do before people living with HIV can live without stigma and discrimination and to ensure late diagnosis is prevented. The CEO’s role will be critical in taking forward the organisation.’
Jenny is looking forward to continuing some part time work focussing on partnerships and in supporting organisations through bid writing. She will have more time with her family and for holidays and travel. She enjoys playing cello in local orchestras, walking, and playing bridge. You may even find her volunteering in the local community when she retires.
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LASS was recognised as one of the best health charities in the Country by the Kings Fund with GSK, gaining an Impact Award in 2013. We are an independent, non-profit organisation providing information, advice, support and advocacy services for people who are living with or affected by HIV. A large part of our work is also raising awareness about HIV, providing training, workshops, free confidential HIV testing in community settings. We work in partnership with other agencies to challenge stigma and discrimination. The services we provide aim to improve people’s health and well-being, ultimately helping them to live life to its fullest and contribute to the prosperity of their communities.
LASS now seeks to appoint an exceptional Chief Executive to continue the successful delivery of our services whilst further developing the charity and its social enterprise ‘Well for Living’. The Chief Executive will be expected to provide both strategic and operational leadership of both our charity and our social enterprise, working effectively with funders, local government and leading a passionate, dynamic team of staff and volunteers.
We are looking for a successful visionary leader who can combine excellent strategic and functional delivery with a natural ability to empathise and work directly with vulnerable adults. With proven income generation and business development experience, your leadership will ensure LASS and Well for Living’s services are sustainable and of the highest quality, and your inspirational style and personal credibility will help to leverage our profile, networks and connections even further.
Critical to your success will be a genuine passion for equality and making a difference to the wider community as well as a commitment to developing a long standing charity which aims to be a leader in its field.
To learn more about this unique opportunity, download the Job Description with Person Specification and application form and return by post or email as specified on the application form.
- Closing date for applications: 24th February 2017
- Interviews and presentations: First stage 9th or 10th March 2017.
- Final stage: Saturday 18 March and Friday 24th March.