Applications invited for role of Independent Chair of Contact from April 2022


The current Independent Chair of Contact, Charles Winstanley, will complete an extended term of office at the end of March 2022. Applications are now invited from individuals interested in taking up this important voluntary role sitting at the heart of UK military mental health policy, treatment and research, from April 2022. The Chair-designate will be appointed by members in December 2021 to enable a three month induction starting in early 2022.

This is a senior role, and candidates will be confident working at UK level with ministers, senior health officials, researchers, and senior charity managers. You will ideally have experience of a membership organisation, and will have chairing experience in depth. Military service is not necessary, but an understanding of military culture will be essential. Your management experience will include knowledge of financial management, IT systems, and research oversight. Working from home with quarterly meetings around the UK, you will be supported by an experienced part-time Project Manager. Key details about the role, recruitment process and a downloadable application pack including a role description and person specification are available below.

Key details:
2 days a week (equivalent)
Unremunerated (reasonable travel & subsistence expenses provided)
Start date: 1 April 2022 (with induction Jan-Mar 2022)
Deadline to apply: 31 August 2021
Online interviews: November 2021
To apply: CV & covering letter (letter max 2 A4 pages; CV & letter should highlight relevant skills & experience, by email to:

Download application pack (includes role description and person specification)

Charles Winstanley has served in the role of Independent Chair of Contact since 2018 and has provided the following statement about his experience in the role to aid prospective applicants:

“I have been lucky enough to have had leadership roles in the army, in business, in the NHS, and in central government. But I can honestly say that I have had no role as challenging and as worthwhile as that of Chair of the Contact Group. 

UK veterans, particularly those from recent conflicts, need mental health services where the staff understand the stresses of active military service, and recognise service people’s perspective on life.

The Contact Chair has no true authority, just the influence derived from clear strategic thinking. The Chair has limited direct resources, but can harness the immense capacity of Contact members. 

The leadership challenge is to encourage a team of already busy and senior people to advocate the merits of Contact’s collective work streams, and to subsequently consider them as urgent and significant as their own local projects.

I commend the role to you, and would be delighted to chat to applicants.”

If any prospective applicants have queries or would like to request a brief, informal conversation with the current Chair about the role and/or the Contact Group, please contact Anna Owen, Contact Project Officer:

No agencies please. Any CVs received from agencies will be treated as a direct approach from the candidate and no agency fees will be payable.

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 54 years ago

Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here