Ian Wilson

Senior Manager, Mental Health Services

Tell us about your background.

I’ve worked in support and social care since graduating. I’m of the mind that all people deserve fair treatment, the opportunity to thrive, and to feel safe and supported. I’ve worked in care homes, supported living, community outreach, homelessness services, and mental health services. I’m passionate about mental health as it captures the diversity of us all, and because recovery is underpinned by compassion, kindness and understanding which are all values I hold in high esteem. BHT Sussex put people at the centre of the services that they provide, and so I’m very happy to be working in mental health in such a person-centred and compassionate organisation.

What brought you to work for BHT Sussex?

I moved to Brighton when I secured a role as manager of one of the local homelessness services run by a different organisation. As part of this role I attended a Hostel Managers Forum which was chaired and attended by BHT Sussex. I was instantly impressed by the knowledge, experience and approach BHT Sussex were taking to support their clients and services, and decided I would seek to work for them in the future. A year later an opportunity came up at Shore House which I leapt at, and very fortunately was successful at applying for. I’ve not looked back since and struggle to imagine working for a nicer organisation.

What do you like most about working for BHT Sussex?

The people. BHT Sussex is filled with passionate, experienced, skilled, and kind people! The culture is inclusive; everyone’s voice matters! The organisation is big enough to make real and tangible changes to people’s lives, including the most disadvantaged and marginalised. It is also small enough that you can get to know people and trust in the tam effort.

What is the best part about your job?

Two things:
1) Seeing our clients doing well. There’s nothing quite like watching a person grow in confidence, learn to take care of themselves, and build independence. Oh, and seeing someone smile for the first time in a long time is another special experience to be a part of!
2) Seeing our teams deliver excellence and support one another. We have brilliant teams within the MH Services and it’s always a pleasure to watch them do what they do best! We have some truly remarkable people that go the extra mile to support our clients, and that take good care of one another.

What impact does your job have on others/the community?

Simply put, BHT Sussex changes lives. We collaborate with our clients, get to
know them, and support them to grow in confidence and apply their own agency to their own lives. From supporting rough sleepers into accommodation, helping
people understand their experiences of trauma and learn how to stabilise
themselves and trust again, providing a safe home for people to access support
and re-engage with the community following mental health hospital admissions,
providing support and advice that means people can stay in their homes and stay
in the country, to supporting people on their recovery journeys – BHT Sussex puts
people at the heart of what it does.

How have you been supported to succeed in your role?

I have always felt well supported and looked after within BHT Sussex. Line
management place an emphasis on individual wellbeing as well as work
development ; a wide range of training is available within BHTS including
psychologically informed practice & trauma informed care and training can be
sourced from outside of the organisation (of particular note was some fantastic
‘working with voices’ training) ; I have had flexibility afforded to engage with
mentoring opportunities ; and my health has been held paramount throughout the
pandemic, both mental and physical. I’m proud of what BHT Sussex does to
support its staff, including offering an Employee Assistance Program and a range
of flexible working arrangements and tailored support.

Why do you continue to work for BHT Sussex?

It’s the friendliest place I’ve ever worked. My values align with those of the
organisation. I trust BHT Sussex to do right by people.

What are you passionate about (regarding working in your sector of work)?

The thing that keeps me interested and motivated about working in mental health
is that it is about people. We are all different, we all have different strengths, and
we all have the capacity to learn from one another. It’s a privilege to be afforded a
view into another person’s experiences and worldview, and to work together to
identify value, meaning, purpose and personal resilience and recovery.

How has your career developed at BHT Sussex?

I’ve been really lucky with the opportunities that have arisen since working for BHT
Sussex. I started on a fixed term contract with Shore House as the Deputy
Manager, stepped-up into the Operational Manager post, secured a permanent
contract as Archway’s Operational Manager, and am now the Senior Manager of
MH Services in Brighton. I’ve been supported throughout with supervision,
training, mentoring, and advice; it’s a great place for anyone wanting to develop
themselves and their career.

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