Director of Service Delivery


We mark our fiftieth year in 2021, and as we take stock of all we’ve achieved, and set out our high-level objectives for the coming years, it’s an incredibly exciting time to join the organisation. COVID’s short-term impact has been mixed – a desperately worrying rise in the incidence of domestic violence and abuse, yet with a consequent exponential rise in awareness that we’ve turned into solid support – but we believe that its long-term consequences may well pose structural challenges to our funders and commissioners. We have always responded creatively and imaginatively to resource constraints, and you’ll play an important part in our thinking about how services – and the skills needed to deliver them – might change and adapt in the future.

Expressed at its most concise, this role will manage all of Refuge’s varied and demanding frontline service delivery (except the National Domestic Abuse Helpline) by leading a large and geographically dispersed team. Our services are already acknowledged to be of the highest quality, but survivors need us to continue improving, and that’s what we’re going to do. 

In greater depth, that will mean taking responsibility for our range of geographically dispersed front line refuge and community services, instilling an uncompromising culture of high standards, where all of our services users feel safe and supported, and are respected and valued. There will also be specific ongoing programmes of work with Director colleagues who form the Senior Leadership team – from reporting against agreed plans and budgets to supporting new business work, and from contributing to our campaigning and fundraising work to developing organisation-wide policy, strategy and management.

The importance of skilled, inspiring leadership can’t be overstated. This role is rooted in making sure that our people are safe, motivated, and resourced as well as possible, so that in turn they can focus completely on giving their best to survivors. The work they do is often very challenging and requires a lot of personal commitment: in return, we need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to support them in their role.

Candidates will bring significant experience of leadership, most likely to have been acquired in the field of domestic abuse or a closely related discipline. You will need a track record of actually running something big and complicated, where you will probably have managed in crisis situations; we’re looking for examples of developing, implementing and monitoring performance standards against operational targets, as well as an ability not only to think strategically, but also to translate those strategies into achievable goals.

Strong and detailed knowledge of safeguarding practice and policy in relation to adults and children is essential. Sound judgement, including risk analysis, will be essential, as are excellent communication interpersonal skills. Finally, you must have an active and well-informed interest in our work, and a personal commitment to our ethos and philosophy – including feminism, empowerment, support and equality – which underpin everything we do. There is a genuine occupational requirement for the postholder to be female.

Download role profile document here

Find out more and apply here