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The Hearts and Minds Partnership

The Hearts and Minds Partnership is a collaboration of two England-based perinatal mental health charities: Acacia Family Support and Smile Group, established to connect, support and celebrate the VCSE sector in this space. We are a thriving community of grassroots perinatal mental health services committed to sharing, learning and creating a coherent voice for our sector.

Our programme of work focuses around:

  • An England-wide interactive map of quality VCSE perinatal mental health services

  • The development of trusted spaces to share learning, make new connections and discuss challenges

  • The creation and delivery of dedicated training to support the emerging and established services in the grassroots PMH sector

What is a Root Maker?

A Root Maker is a newly developed role working alongside the core Hearts and Minds Partnership Team and contributing to our Phase Two stream of work, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund since July 2023. We have created the role to support the team to develop our programme of work with particular emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion.

The grassroots PMH community is rich, diverse, and brimming with insight and we envisage that Root Makers will work in a genuinely collaborative way with the Partnership in order to shape a more representative programme of work going forward. As such, we anticipate that there will be an organic nature to the work of the Root Makers, with specific tasks and priorities emerging from the ground up. This will require a level of flexibility though we expect the role to include:

  • Helping to shape the vision and direction of our EDI work

  • Reviewing our map and website through the lens of EDI

  • Influencing and potentially contributing to the direction of our trusted spaces

  • Influencing and potentially contributing to the direction of our training offer

Whilst the brief might seem broad, we are committed to ensuring that Root Makers feel supported and held as equals throughout the process, which includes keeping the workload realistic within the established time boundaries.

What are we looking for?

  • A team of five people with experience of working within the Perinatal Mental Health VCSE sector

  • People with a keen interest in supporting and shaping the PMH VCSE sector, especially in relation to increasing its ability to reflect the needs of diverse communities

  • Those who are skilled in active listening and facilitation, are reflective - with the capacity to see multiple viewpoints, and have the ability for strategic oversight

  • Individuals who share our ethos of balancing ‘hearts’ and ‘minds’ - combining integrity, compassion and meaningful connection with rigour, strong foundations and evidence-based rationale

  • People who feel they can realistically offer the time required for the role – we are only too aware of how busy life can be working within our sector, so we want to ensure this role feels manageable alongside any other responsibilities

  • We would like Root Makers to reflect the diversity of the PMH VCSE offer in England and also offer insight of EDI issues through lived experience. We therefore particularly welcome applications from people who can represent the diverse work happening within our sector e.g. fathers/non-birthing partners, young parents, diverse ethnic backgrounds, gender/sexuality, disability and neurodivergence as well as specialist areas of PMH e.g. baby loss

  • Someone who has the ability to question and challenge their own biases, explore sensitive topics, have difficult conversations, ask courageous questions with the capacity to see different perspectives

What will you be signing up for

Between 15 and 20 days work across the duration of the project (ending Summer 2026) – with some potential for this to be increased, to likely include:

  • Attendance at meetings with other Root Makers and Hearts & Minds staff. These will predominantly be online and travel expenses would be reimbursed if face-to-face meetings are required

  • Providing feedback and influencing the direction of our workstreams within the context of EDI using online platforms e.g. Slack, Jam Board, by email etc

  • Contributing to public facing events on Zoom and at a national in-person event

  • Designing and delivering content for our online training platform, Smart Space


The exact activities and contributions required from each Root Maker will be dependent on areas of expertise and availability.

What will you receive?

  • Payment (on a freelance basis) of £200 a day

  • An opportunity to help shape the sector through the lens of your unique perspective

  • A chance to be rooted in a collaborative peer community to create greater connection and opportunities for learning

  • Increased visibility and leadership opportunities for you and your service, within a reputable national community

  • A chance to be part of a friendly, warm and supportive core team

What happens next?

  • Please complete this short expression of interest form

  • The deadline for completion is 5pm on 24th May

  • After the deadline we will shortlist as required and arrange informal interviews on Zoom to explore what you might bring to the role and what you would like to gain from it as well as any questions you would like to ask us

Please note: this opportunity is not open to employees, trustees, volunteers or anybody else connected to the two core charities - Smile Group and Acacia Family Support.

If you’d like an informal chat about the role or to find out more please contact us on 

This role is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

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