Job vacancy

We are seeking a part-time Resource Centre worker (31 hours per week) to join our existing staff team. The deadline for applications is 9am on Tuesday 6th February 2024.

Please read through all the information on this page before applying. If you prefer, you can download the application pack as a PDF.

Conditions of employment

Pay: £30,678 p.a. pro rata, actual salary £27,172 p.a.

Pension: NEST workplace pension (3% employer’s contribution)

Hours: 31 hours a week: 9am-5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 9am-12noon Wednesday. Very occasional evening or weekend work for which time in lieu is taken. We are unable to pay overtime.

Location: Central Brighton. Normal place of work is at the Resource Centre. Occasional home working can be arranged by prior negotiation.

Paid Holiday: Bank holidays plus 30 days a year (pro rata)

Contract length: All contracts at the Centre are permanent. All posts are dependent upon grant funding.

Job share:  This post is not suitable for a job share.

How to apply

You will need to download the application pack and then send us:

1. Completed application form (p8-12 in the application pack)

This is the main part of your application. It is your opportunity to demonstrate the breadth and depth of your relevant experience, knowledge, skills and attitudes.

The questions in the form include descriptions of the essential and desirable qualities required for the post. Make sure you answer all four questions.

2. A CV as background information

3. Completed personal details and references form (p13 in the application pack)

Please email your application to [email protected] and send attachments in Word or PDF format.

The deadline for applications is 9am on Tuesday 6th February 2024.

We encourage applications from members of communities that face discrimination. The Centre is a wheelchair accessible workplace, located in central Brighton.

The application process

All of our current staff are involved in the appointment process. In order to keep the process as fair as possible, we are not able to discuss the job informally with people who are thinking of applying.

The volume of applications means we are unable to send letters to unsuccessful applicants or give feedback. We will be contacting people by email in the week beginning Monday 4th March to invite them for interview. If you have not heard from us by Friday 8th March, then your application has not been successful.

Shortlisted candidates will be called for interview on Wednesday 20th or Thursday 21st March.

The earliest start date for the successful candidate will be Monday 8th April, but we will be happy to negotiate a later date if notice is necessary in a current job.

The Resource Centre is on the ground floor with a ramp into the building. There are wide doors throughout and a fully accessible toilet. If you are shortlisted for interview, we will send you a form which you can use to request any specific facilities you may need to make the interview accessible (e.g. an induction loop, documents in large print).

About the Resource Centre

What does the Resource Centre do?

The Resource Centre offers a wide range of practical support to community and voluntary groups.

We offer three main services:

  • A well-equipped print room for design and production of newsletters, leaflets, posters and banners.
  • Over 200 items of equipment for hire, ranging from badge machines to data projectors.
  • Information and support on all aspects of organising and starting a group.

The Centre provides additional support to groups in areas of social housing, black and minority ethnic groups and those composed of disabled people. This work is responsive to requests from these groups and is based on resolving practical issues they are facing. Examples of work are: finding sources of funding and helping with funding applications; preparing budgets and keeping accounts; writing a constitution or getting charitable status; design of invitations, posters and newsletters.

The Centre is open to the public from 9am-4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (closed on Wednesdays).

610 different groups visited the Resource Centre in 2023, with an average of 38 visits a week. Our website was visited over 290,000 times during the year.

More information on the work of the Resource Centre can be found across our website.

Aims and values of the Centre

The Resource Centre recognises that our society is structured in such a way that some people have more access to money, facilities and influence than others. People in communities with less of these things – whether we call them ‘socially excluded’, ‘marginalised’, ‘discriminated against’ or ‘oppressed’ – often need to work much harder to achieve their aims. Meanwhile they often have the most pressing need to organise.

We aim to help redress this balance by giving priority to groups from these communities. We therefore only offer our most time-intensive services – one-to-one advice sessions, training, examinations of accounts, and artwork design – to groups run by and for:

  • Communities in areas of predominantly social housing
  • Black and minority ethnic communities
  • Disabled communities

We are committed to being led by the needs of our user groups, and our management committee is made up of, and elected by, volunteer activists from the communities we give priority services to.

In providing support services for priority groups, we aim to respond to the actual needs of groups, as they arise. While we are happy to pass on our experience of what has worked for other groups, and our knowledge of the law and the current preferences of funders, we take care not to impose our own agenda on any group.

We are aware at all times of the need for our expertise to be a resource that is on tap for the groups we work with, to use as they need it, not something that distorts or overrides their own aims and decisions.

At the heart of all our work are these key principles:

  • Providing practical help for specific problems
  • Being led by the needs of our user groups
  • Supporting people who are working to transform their own communities
  • Concentrating our efforts to provide support for grassroots volunteers, not paid professionals.

Our workers’ group is run collectively, with everyone receiving equal wages and playing an equal role in the organisation. We believe this maximises the skills and participation of all our workers, and is central to our provision of an efficient and flexible service. We make all important decisions as a collective, and have clear systems for doing so. Smaller decisions are made using an online platform, and bigger decisions are made through discussion and consensus.

About the job

Our management committee is responsible for overseeing the work of the Centre. Within this the workers’ group has considerable responsibility for directing the work of the Centre. Workers at the Centre are all equal members of the workers’ group, receive the same level of pay, and share responsibility for the day-to-day running and management of the Centre.

Areas of work

At present, Resource Centre work is organised into eight different areas. Areas of work are rotated among workers so that every worker, over a period of years, is likely to be involved in most areas (with on-the-job training provided as necessary). The areas of work themselves, and the time given to them, change as the Centre’s work develops. All workers share responsibility for the front desk, and each worker is also responsible for one or more other areas of work. This means it is not possible to specify a set job description.

Our work is centrally timetabled and is organised into sessions. A typical week working at the Resource Centre will include some time on the front desk, helping members of the public use our facilities. The rest of a worker’s sessions are divided among the other areas of work they’re responsible for, and will almost certainly include some internal administration.

Work on the front desk is often fast-paced, high-energy and very active – especially during our busier periods. It involves interacting directly with groups and juggling multiple demands. In contrast, our internal administration and most other areas of work require focused solo working, usually on a computer. Resource Centre workers need to be comfortable with, and equally capable of doing, both types of work.

The new worker will start by being trained to work on the front desk and one or two other areas of work (to be agreed after appointment).

The main areas of work at present are:

1. Front desk

We have one or two workers on the front desk during our opening hours. This is a busy and varied service, dealing with all the queries raised by groups when they visit or contact the Centre. This area of work entails some physical work, such as lifting and carrying equipment.

The main responsibilities are:

  • Print and finishing services: showing people how to use our wide range of printing and finishing equipment and dealing with any problems. Giving design and print advice, and supporting people using the Centre’s computers and printers. Using the equipment to do print work for groups who have chosen to use our ‘print service’, where we do the printing for them.
  • Equipment hire: booking equipment for hire; collections and returns of equipment; repairs and maintenance of equipment.
  • Information, advice and support: information and advice on starting a group and issues that come up when you are involved in a group – for example keeping accounts or registering with the Charity Commission.
  • Administration: answering phone calls and dealing with emails; keeping records of groups who use us; booking in work; invoicing, taking money and cashing up.
  • Social media: updating our X(Twitter) and Facebook feeds, responding to messages.
  • Design and print service: printing leaflets, newsletters, and posters; design work for priority groups.

2. Internal administration

This includes:

  • Keeping the Centre’s finances and preparing reports and budgets;
  • Preparing grant applications and general fundraising, liaising with partners in other infrastructure organisations, preparing the Annual Report, evaluating our outcomes and reporting to funders;
  • Planning and timetabling work;
  • Maintaining and troubleshooting the computer network, website, and database in liaison with external consultants;
  • Monitoring health and safety at the Centre;
  • Keeping Centre policies and procedures updated;
  • Liaising with Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project regarding shared management of the building;
  • Attending Resource Centre management committee meetings and providing secretarial support to the management committee.

3. Information service and website

Making sure the information pages on our website continue to provide clear and straightforward information on running small groups and on useful sources of funding. Tasks include: updating existing information; researching and drafting new information; producing paper versions of information sheets; maintaining our library and offering guidance to groups using it; liaising with external consultants on the website design and structure.

4. Support sessions

One-to-one advice sessions with priority groups on all aspects of running a group. We respond to requests from groups, but some of the most common issues are: help with fundraising; budgeting and book keeping; starting a group; choosing a legal structure; writing a constitution; working together in a committee; chairing meetings; and minute-taking.

5. Financial management support

Independent examination of accounts for priority groups; training in the basics of book-keeping; support and advice to treasurers; technical support to groups using our Excel-based accounts systems.

6. Residents’ meetings

Providing secretarial support to the resident-only meetings which are part of Brighton & Hove City Council’s consultation structure with residents in areas of social housing.

7. Workers group meetings

Taking part in meetings to discuss the development of Resource Centre work, evaluate current work, and deal with the day-to-day running of the Resource Centre.

8. Cleaning & maintenance

All Resource Centre workers share the cleaning and basic maintenance of the building.

Application form questions (preview)

Please note, the application questions are provided here as a preview only. In order to apply, you need to download the application pack.

In the pack, you will need to complete the four questions on pages 8-12. The answers you provide to these questions are the main part of your application for this job (see How to apply for other parts of your application).

Questions 1-3 are about the essential qualities you need to work at the Resource Centre. Make sure you include details of how your attitudes, skills, knowledge and experience match the essential qualities we describe. There are no word limits for your answers. Question 4 is about the qualities that are desirable, but not essential, for the post.

We can only interview a small number of candidates. Even if you have all the essential qualities, you may not be shortlisted for interview.

Question 1. Values, attitudes and beliefs

The following are essential attitudes and beliefs for the post:

  • Commitment to the aims and values of the Centre (see About the Resource Centre).
  • Commitment to working as part of a team and sharing equal responsibility with other workers for the day-to-day running of the Centre.
  • Co-operative, flexible, and patient. Accepting that consensus decision-making takes time.
  • A lively interest in how groups work and what makes a successful and effective organisation.

With reference to these essential attitudes and beliefs, tell us why you are interested in working at the Resource Centre.

There is no word limit for this question. Write as much as you feel necessary to make the points you would like to make.  

Question 2. Experience of community groups

It is essential for Resource Centre workers to have experience of being involved in a community group. This can be current involvement, or in the past, ideally within the last 2 years.

By ‘community group’ we mean any activity where a group of people get together to do something, from running a football club to campaigning for a zebra crossing. Other examples include: helping to organise a playscheme; involvement in a tenants or community association; involvement in a self-help group; active participation in a trade union or campaign.

If your only experience with voluntary or community activity has been as a paid member of staff or an occasional volunteer for a large charity, then you do not meet this requirement.

The following are essential experience and abilities for the post:

  • Experience of active participation in the decision-making and direction of at least one community group
  • Ability to think about how groups work, acknowledging difficulties and challenges, as well as things that work well
  • Ability to respect the ideas of others and be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Ability to reflect on your experiences and draw lessons from them

In a way that demonstrates these essential abilities and experience, tell us about your involvement in a community group or groups. Reflect on what you have learned about how groups work.

There is no word limit for this question. Write as much as you feel necessary to make the points you would like to make. 

Question 3.  Ways of working

The following are essential skills and abilities for the post:

  • An organised, careful and systematic approach to work
  • Ability to take individual responsibility for organising your own work and time, within a collectively agreed framework
  • Ability to work calmly and effectively despite conflicting pressures and demands on your time and attention
  • Ability to listen to a range of different people and assess what services will be most helpful
  • Willingness and ability to learn new skills and information
  • Willingness to be involved in all aspects of Resource Centre work, including less satisfying tasks.

Drawing on previous experience (from your involvement in a community group, paid work, or any other area of your life), demonstrate how your skills and abilities match these essential qualities.

There is no word limit for this question. Write as much as you feel necessary to make the points you would like to make. 

Question 4. Desirable qualities

You will be asked to fill in a table, indicating your level of experience, knowledge or competency in a number of areas.

These are desirable qualities for the post, not essential. If you have no experience or knowledge in a particular area, it will not necessarily go against you. All Resource Centre workers are required (and supported to) learn new skills, programmes, and knowledge as we go along.

You will be asked to indicate your level of competence/experience in the following areas:

  • Recent involvement (within the last 2 years) in a community group in Brighton & Hove
  • Knowledge of local community development and support agencies in Brighton and Hove
  • Knowledge of charity law and organisational structures for not-for-profit groups
  • Dealing with the public e.g. reception, shop counter, or advice work
  • Secretarial work or office administration
  • Organising events e.g. conferences, group outings, fundraisers, performances
  • Chairing meetings
  • Taking minutes at meetings
  • Accounts / book-keeping / being group treasurer
  • Fundraising through grant applications
  • Design and layout skills
  • Publicity and media (including social media)
  • Straightforward arithmetic
  • Using Microsoft Word
  • Using Microsoft Publisher
  • Using Microsoft Excel
  • Using Adobe InDesign
  • Using Adobe Acrobat Pro/DC
  • Using databases in Microsoft Access
  • Creating/managing websites in WordPress
  • Maintaining computer networks
  • General ‘handy person’ skills e.g. putting up shelves, mending broken equipment