Head of Communities
Based: Cornwall – St. Agnes
Probationary Period: 3 months
Holidays: 25 days per year plus Bank Holidays
Benefits: An additional 1-day holiday per year accrued after each full year of service, up to 3 years / Employer pension scheme / 24-hour employee support line
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Direct reports: 3
Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is one of the UK’s leading marine conservation and campaigning charities. Our mission is simple, to Create Ocean Activists Everywhere. Our projects and campaigns inspire, unite and empower individuals and communities to take action to protect our ocean, beaches, waves and wildlife. Our vision, Thriving Ocean, Thriving People, is about connecting all humans to the ocean and creating communities of people who want to make real change happen. We support and empower people to campaign together as the authentic voice of the ocean.
The organisation was founded in 1990 and became a charity in 2013. The charity is made up of a board of 11 trustees, an executive team of 22, 200+ Regional Reps and over 100,000 active volunteers around the UK. The charity also founded and runs the only marine conservation All Party Parliamentary Group in Westminster – the Ocean Conservation APPG, bringing together a collaborative voice for ocean in Westminster.
The charity has one of the biggest community volunteer networks in the UK, with grassroots ocean activists involved in ocean conservation campaigns, beach cleans, plastic-free initiatives and fundraising initiatives around the country. In 2021, we anticipate bringing our communities back together with a focus on:
- Supporting the innovation and ongoing impact of the UK’s largest beach clean network involving 100,000 volunteers annually;
- Enhancing and expanding our award-wining Plastic Free Communities programme, reaching more diverse communities nationwide;
- Growing the Plastic Free Schools programme to reach 3,000 schools;
- Securing new partnerships to support Plastic Free Schools and Plastic Free Communities from 2023;
- Managing the collection of new supporter data from our networks – ensuring we deepen engagement with all volunteers and communities;
- Supporting the existing management team, ensure we train, protect and empower our volunteer networks appropriately.
The latest annual report and accounts can be accessed through the Charity Commission.
The Role and Opportunity
Our communities and volunteers are central to the success of our campaigns to protect and restore the ocean. We engage millions of students and hundreds of thousands of volunteers annually, with a shared vision for our seas. Our award-winning community projects and highly experienced team now need the guidance, support and experience of a talented and driven professional to take our community impact to the next level in this Decade of the Ocean.
Our belief is that long-term systematic change comes from tackling four interlinked areas: community actions, business practices, laws and policies, and this holistic approach to change is reflected in our campaigns and projects. Effective project execution is critical, not only for our day to day delivery at SAS, but also for our longer-term success in achieving our vision of Thriving Ocean, Thriving People.
We need someone with great project management experience, a professional who can see the bigger picture, but also can drill down and help deliver the detail when needed. You will have experience of innovating and delivering significant community-based projects. You will understand the importance of good measurement and analysis, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
You will be highly results orientated, but also agile and adaptive to change. You will understand the importance of prioritisation and instinctively guide the team to focus on what matters.
We are a small, agile team with the ability to deliver big and you will need to be collaborative, inspirational and decisive. You will be skilled at empowering teams to create and deliver consistently utilising project management techniques and approaches. We are a practical charity, and you will be able to roll up your sleeves, and work on tight timeframes, capacity and budgets.
Ideally, you will have a strong grasp of environmental issues, spot opportunities, and understand how to engage and mobilise our supporters at this crucial time for our environment.
This new role with the charity will be both strategic and hands on, delivering trackable and meaningful uplift on a backdrop of extremely strong project impact and delivery. The main responsibilities are outlined below but this is not a definitive list and it will change and evolve over time.
- Oversee and develop the ongoing community and events portfolio, supporting an experienced management team delivering education, beach cleans and community programmes;
- Support and empower the team to grow volunteer engagement, school enrolment and community participation across key projects including Plastic Free Schools, Plastic Free Communities and the beach clean programme;
- Ensure that our deliverables are consistent with our authentic ocean-focused mission, strategy and campaigns;
- Work closely with the Head of Campaigns to embed campaign actions in community projects;
- Co-chair the Campaigns and Projects Committee;
- Project management – accurate and timely scoping and planning, managing capacity and resources to deliver high levels of impact and engagement;
- Line management: Motivate, support and monitor performance within the projects team;
- Deliver complex projects accurately, on time, and to budget;
- Spot potential risks and challenges and mitigate/adjust plans accordingly;
- Monitor and communicate progress and produce relevant reports and necessary documentation;
- Understand and utilise appropriate project management tools, training staff where needed (We currently use Asana, Teams within SAS);
- Team leadership – direct line management of Community and Events Manager, Plastic Free Communities Manager and Education Manager;
- Understand CRM systems, their relationship with strong project delivery and supporter engagement;
- Scope and implement a major CRM project in collaboration with Head of Individual Giving and Head of Campaigns;
- Develop project pitches and budgets to secure funding for our education and communities programmes in 2023;
- Implement the strategic goals set out by the CEO and Board of Trustees and shape these collaboratively.
Other Duties and Responsibilities
- To adopt a positive approach to personal and professional development;
- To play an active role as part of the SAS Management Team;
- To be aware of, and act on, relevant governance responsibilities and requirements as an employee of SAS and adhere to these wherever you are working;
- To maintain confidentiality in all areas of work at SAS;
- To work with the broader SAS team and to perform any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the post;
- To demonstrate a strong commitment to creating an inclusive, equal and diverse workplace.
- Thrives in a fast-paced campaigning environment and has flexibility and agility in approach where necessary;
- An energetic, committed and strategic individual, with the ability to turn ideas into real impact;
- Has experience of managing complex, time-bound projects, ideally within a campaigning charity;
- An agile, flexible leader able to inspire others to act;
- Develops open and collaborative relationships, able to delegate and empower;
- Deals with conflict and pressure maturely and rationally;
- Works positively to address challenging personal and organisational goals, taking responsibility for resolving problems;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
- Adept at engaging a variety of cross-sector stakeholders and managing diverse relationships.
Knowledge and Passion for the Cause
- Is passionate about marine conservation and the wider environment;
- Fully supports the aims and objectives of the charity;
- Understands the critical role the ocean plays in current environmental challenges;
- Committed to supporting investigative work, empowering ocean activists in action and movement building.
Surfers Against Sewage values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
Please apply with CV and covering letter, explaining why you would be suited to this role. All applications and enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Closes Wednesday 10th February 2021