Think Ahead
Voluntary basis with expenses reimbursed

We are the national charity that promotes and develops the mental health workforce in health and social care. Mental ill-health can turn lives upside down and it affects our whole society. One in four adults in England have experienced mental ill-health, and a third of families include someone with a mental health problem. Improving people’s mental health can transform lives, and supporting people with their mental health is good for everyone in society. We urgently need access to better, more consistent, person-centred support – enabling everyone to flourish, transform wellbeing, improve our society, and boost our economy.


At Think Ahead, we believe that advocating for, promoting and co-producing a social approach to mental health within the health and social care workforce is essential to address the national challenge. We also believe sharing knowledge and learning in workforce development, service design and innovation helps to build a more effective response to the growing need for mental health support and ultimately enables and empowers people, their networks, and their communities. We are delighted that our funding to deliver our flagship mental health social work training programme is secure for the next few years; and we are building a new strategy which will see business growth in the next five years, taking our mission from strength to strength, and expanding our reach, influence and impact in the sector.

Our founding Chair, Professor Dame Carol Black GBE, steps down in the Autumn of 2024. We are seeking a credible and profiled successor to lead our Board, support our organisation and engage with a significant range of stakeholders as we navigate the next exciting phase of development and growth. As Chair, you will help us drive forward an ambitious and pioneering strategy while ensuring our governance remains of the highest possible standard. It is likely that you will have been involved with another organisation active in the mental health, or broader social care, field. Whatever your area of professional expertise, you will be a highly experienced and intuitive non-executive leader with advanced skills in diplomacy, strategic reach, integrity and personal presence.

We are a collaborative Board, made up of individuals who are themselves highly accomplished, working supportively with our CEO, Philippa Mariani, and her Executive Team. Effective influencing, interpersonal and communication skills will be essential for this high-profile appointment, along with a genuine personal commitment to our mission and values. We also want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity in its broadest possible sense.


Download the candidate brief to find out about the role.

How to apply

To make an application, please click on the apply now button below, with the following prepared:

  • a CV (no more than three sides) or equivalent biographical information
  • a short covering letter that explains your motivation and availability and confirms that you would not be subject to any conflict of interest
  • please tell us if there are any dates during the selection process (outlined below) when you would not be available to participate.


Closing date
2nd September 2024

Longlist meeting
11th September 2024

Shortlist meeting
20th September 2024

Final Panel
w/c 23rd September 2024