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Community rail support & sustainability manager vacancy – Community Rail Network

We are seeking an adept manager to join our support and development team, which provides dedicated support and advice to hundreds of community-based partnerships and voluntary groups around Britain. As well as providing strong management within the team, you’ll be developing our work with partners and communities on sustainable travel and social inclusion, enabling and leading positive grassroots change.

  • Location: Home based, with regular travel, including into our Huddersfield office
  • Salary: £28,500 – £33,500 pro rata pa
  • Days: Part-time, four days per week (full-time applicants will be considered)
  • Contract: Fixed term until 31.10.22, with the potential for extension or being made permanent

About us

The Community Rail Network is a not-for-profit organisation supporting a growing ‘community rail’ movement, which helps communities get the most from their railways, promotes sustainable and inclusive travel, supports local development, and brings people together.

Spanning Britain, community rail is made up of 74 community-based partnerships, plus more than 1,000 station volunteer groups and social enterprises, striving to put railways and stations at the heart of communities. Their activities range from station-based arts projects for young people, to advising train operators on service improvements, to enabling groups with disabilities access rail travel, to promoting green tourism.

Our enthusiastic team of 18 is partly home-based, in a range of locations, and partly based in our Huddersfield office. We work together to support and advise our members, provide training, events and resources, and champion community rail and its unique insights. We believe in developing our staff and helping every team member reach their potential.

About this role

This role is being created as part of a small re-organisation within our support and development team following a staff member taking a sabbatical. It is initially a fixed-term contract, with the potential for extension or being made permanent (funding dependent). 

You will be responsible for providing effective, inspiring management within our support and development team (line managing three team members), ensuring community rail partnerships and station groups across the North, Wales and Scotland receive high-quality, empowering support and advice that helps them succeed. You will need to collaborate across our wider team and with partners, to ensure our member support is coherent and needs-orientated, and helping us to champion community rail and get its messages out more widely. You will also be nurturing external partnerships that can help community rail influence positive change and spearhead more sustainable and inclusive transport, such as working with active travel and youth organisations.

The role will include some travel by rail around Britain, plus occasional trips to our office in Huddersfield. We therefore encourage applications from people who have good rail links.

Principal responsibilities

Reporting to our experienced head of support and development, you will work with our team, members and partners to ensure our effective support of community rail on the ground, and to help community rail play its part in creating a sustainable, inclusive transport future. This will include:

  • Effective management of three members of the team, ensuring high quality, empowering support is provided to our members in line with our membership offer and strategy, and that our service delivery commitments are met; 
  • Contributing to the organisation’s leadership and development as a member of the management team, including input into annual planning, and identifying and pursuing opportunities to improve our effectiveness and benefit our members and their work;
  • Responsibility for funder and partner relationships related to your area of work – such as with train operators and devolved governments – and their ongoing development, including review and planning meetings, reporting, overview of budgets, and troubleshooting;
  • Nurturing new opportunities and partnerships that can help community rail to deliver positive impact on sustainable and inclusive travel, such as taking forward collaborative working with active travel, community transport, bus, youth and conservation organisations, and developing linkages across our networks;
  • Coordinating your team’s work effectively with your training, events and communications colleagues and external partners to ensure our members can access coherent support to develop their knowledge and capacity in sustainable and inclusive travel, community development and local engagement;
  • Working with our communications and policy team to ensure that community rail good practice is continually shared across our membership and beyond, and helping us to raise the profile of the movement and draw on its unique insights through PR and public affairs;
  • Feeding in as relevant to strategic discussions and advisory work on sustainable and inclusive transport with the rail industry, national/devolved/local government, and third sector, and keeping informed about progress in this field, helping community rail to respond to and help inform wider developments;
  • Supporting the head of support and development with management and monitoring of our community rail and integrated sustainable transport grant schemes and their outcomes;
  • Getting involved with our wider work to help community rail succeed, such as supporting our national events programme and PR campaigns.

Skills and competencies

  1. Demonstrable experience of working with community projects and voluntary groups, ideally with a sustainability focus, and a robust understanding of how they can be supported to develop, achieve sustainable funding, deliver successfully, and demonstrate their impact;
  2. Strong management skills, including experience in managing and developing staff and achieving results in line with service delivery plans and targets;
  3. A proven track record of developing and maintaining partnerships with businesses, the public sector and third sector, working collaboratively, delivering joint activities, and achieving mutually-beneficial results;
  4. An understanding of community engagement, and how to deliver services and local activities in an inclusive way that is responsive to members/service users/communities’ needs and input;
  5. An understanding of and commitment to sustainable and inclusive transport, and its importance to communities, ideally with experience of working with communities on this or related issues;
  6. A demonstrable ability to manage your time effectively and juggle a range of activities in an organised, professional, productive manner, including planning and scheduling, coordinating with colleagues and partners, and bringing projects to fruition; 
  7. Excellent communication skills, articulate, assertive, and with the ability to work diplomatically and astutely with staff and diverse stakeholders at different levels, and good written English;
  8. Proactive, positive and self-motivated, able to work on own initiative and inspire and enthuse others, and overcome hurdles to achieve results;
  9. A commitment to continual improvement, and an ability to draw on the input, ideas and advice of others to review, plan and improve;
  10. IT literate with a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office, the internet and social media.

To apply

Email by 11pm on 4 August 2021 with two attachments: your CV (including daytime phone number) and a covering letter of up to two sides of A4 summarising why you are the ideal person for this job and your relevant skills and competencies. Please state if you are interested in part-time or full-time hours.

First interviews take place 11 August 2021 on Zoom. Candidates shortlisted for interview will be contacted by phone. Due to our limited resources, we are unable to provide feedback to candidates who are not shortlisted.

Other information

This is a part-time position, working 29 hours and 36 minutes per week (four days). We are flexible which days these would be and use a flexi-time/TOIL system, with core hours usually 10am-3pm. However, we will consider applications from full-time candidates.

We are committed to being a flexible, supportive and understanding employer.

This is a fixed term position until 31 October 2022, but with the potential for extension or making the role permanent, subject to funding. There is a probationary period of three months.

Community Rail Network is an equal opportunities employer.