Head of Social Investment, Big Lottery Fund

About this role

This role will lead the development and delivery of all our social investment work across the UK, with a particular focus initially on our work in England, including the DCMS Life Chances Fund and Commissioning Better Outcomes. As owner of the overall aims and outcomes of this work you will be responsible for total oversight of our work on social investment, with a key focus on building effective partnerships, and leading the development of our future social investment work.  You will ensure we manage relationships with key strategic players in the social investment market, and develop ways to enable frontline VCSEs to have a stronger voice in shaping future priorities around social investment.

You will be expected to provide, develop and maintain up to date knowledge of the social investment policy context, proactively looking to make connections and share this knowledge. You will be responsible for ensuring learning from Life Chances Fund and our social investment initiatives is recognised and shared to inform further development both across the wider Big Lottery Fund but also externally, identifying opportunities for shared learning and collaboration, maximising the impact of investments and developing new initiatives.

You will work to effectively manage the full range of operational matters such as staff development, change management, performance management, talent management, financial management and continuous improvement, providing strong, effective and inspirational leadership. You will help us to develop our strategic financial skills and ability to critically analyse and manage complex funding proposals which blend different kinds of financial resources.

This role will be based in London, with travel to Newcastle where members of our Social Investment team are based, and across the UK. We are offering this role either as a permanent role or as a secondment opportunity.

Person specification

You will be an excellent leader who is passionate about enabling others to improve the lives of people most in need, building networks and bringing people together to make change happen.

You’ll bring with you the ability to understand complex national and local systems and challenge established thinking. You will have excellent grant making, social investment and VCSE sector knowledge. You will also preferably have significant experience of working in the social investment field, and of how local or health commissioning works.

You’ll need experience in leading, motivating and inspiring managers in a flexible manner during a period of continuous change, as well as shaping and championing a connected culture, embedding new ways of working and working beyond immediate management responsibilities.

You will need to demonstrate outstanding operational and stakeholder management skills, as well as an understanding of how to maximise the generation, sharing and implementation of learning, in order to develop new initiatives. You will have outstanding communication and interpersonal skills and will need to demonstrate excellent negotiation and influencing skills, as well as demonstrable experience of developing and supporting strategic partnerships.

In return, you’ll receive access to a wide range of generous benefits including company pension scheme, generous holidays, flexible working, childcare vouchers, season ticket and cycle to work loans, childcare vouchers, and company health care cash plan.

To be considered for this exciting role, you will need to demonstrate the following specialist knowledge, experience, skills and expertise:

  • Evidence of leading teams to deliver high performance.
  • Outstanding stakeholder engagement skills, including conflict management, influencing and negotiating skills.
  • Extensive people management experience in a team environment, enabling the development of strong strategic financial and analytical skills in members of the team
  • Significant knowledge of social investment (the use of finance with an expectation of social impact and it being repaid, often with interest), of commissioning practice, and of blended finance approaches which combine social investment and grant funding
  • A strong understanding of the VCSE sector and issues faced by communities.
  • Excellent communication skills, with an ability to express ideas and views clearly and confidently, tailoring your content and style to the audience.
  • Advanced reasoning, problem solving and analytical skills, including the ability to respond effectively to changing operating and policy contexts.
  • Experience of working in a similar or related role.
  • Advanced planning and organising skills.
  • Significant experience of working in the social investment field, and/or with advanced knowledge of how local or health commissioning works and/or experience of managing change in a local government context

For more information, or if you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail with Gemma Bull, Development Director, please email