Job vacancy

We are looking for someone to join our team as a Resource Centre worker.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon, Tuesday 30th October, 2018.

Please read through all the information on this page before applying. You can download this application pack as a printable pdf if you prefer.

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 and flyers.
  • Over 170 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 a practical issue they are facing.

Examples are: finding sources of funding and helping with funding applications; preparing a budget 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 Monday to Friday (closed Wednesdays).

841 different groups visited the Resource Centre in 2017-18, and an average of 50 visits a week were made to the Centre. Our website was visited over 500,000 times during the year.

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. We therefore give priority to these groups, and especially those of them that receive no help from other agencies, when providing our most time-intensive services: advice, training, examination of accounts and other practical support.

In providing specific support services for these 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.

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:

  • Areas of predominantly social housing
  • Black and minority ethnic communities
  • The disabled community

Our staff 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.

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.

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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

Each worker is responsible for one or more areas of work. Areas are rotated and each worker, over a period of time, is likely to be involved in most aspects (with on-the-job training provided as necessary). As all the work is shared, it is not possible to specify a set job description. The areas of work themselves, and the time given to them, change as the Centre’s work develops.

It is difficult to say what a typical week at the Resource Centre involves, but it is likely to include some time on the front desk, helping members of the public use our facilities. 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:

Front desk

We have 2 people 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 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.
  • Equipment hire: booking equipment for hire, hiring out 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 getting charitable status.
  • Administration: answering phone calls and dealing with emails; keeping records of groups who use us; booking in work; invoicing, taking money and cashing up at the end of the day.
  • Social media: updating our Twitter and Facebook feeds, responding to messages.
  • Design and print service: designing and printing leaflets, flyers, newsletters, and posters for priority groups.

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.

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 and working together in a committee, chairing meetings, minute-taking.

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.

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.

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 and database in liaison with external consultants
  • monitoring health and safety at the Centre
  • liaising with Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project regarding shared management of the building
  • attending Resource Centre management committee meetings and secretarial support to the management committee

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.

Cleaning & maintenance

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

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What sort of person are we looking for?

We can only interview a small number of candidates. Even if you have all the essential qualities, you may not be shortlisted for interview. Please use your application statement to demonstrate the depth and breadth of your relevant experience for this job.

Experience

Essential

Present or past involvement in a community group: we’re looking for someone who’s taken an active part in the direction and decision-making processes of at least one community group.

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.

However, 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.

Desirable

  • Involvement in a community group in Brighton & Hove in the last 3 years
  • Dealing with the public, eg reception, shop counter or advice work
  • Accounts, secretarial or office administration
  • Chairing meetings
  • Taking minutes at meetings
  • Organising events, eg conferences, group outings, fundraising events, performances
  • Publicity and media experience (including social media)
  • Fundraising experience

Attitude and beliefs

The following are essential qualities 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.
  • A lively interest in how groups work and what makes a successful and effective organisation.
  • Polite and friendly manner.
  • Flexible, co-operative, helpful. Able to respect the ideas and expertise of others and be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Organised, careful and systematic approach to work.
  • Willingness to be involved in all aspects of Resource Centre work, including less satisfying tasks.

Qualifications

No formal qualifications are required. If you have qualifications that demonstrate you have skills, knowledge, or other qualities listed here, please tell us about them.

Skills, knowledge and abilities

Essential

  • Willingness and ability to learn new skills.
  • Ability to take a large degree of responsibility for organising your own work and time.
  • Ability to listen to a range of different people and assess what services will be most helpful.
  • Ability to work calmly and efficiently despite conflicting pressures and demands on your time and attention.
  • Ability to communicate clearly in writing.
  • Ability to do straightforward arithmetic.
  • Ability to use computers competently and a willingness to learn new applications.

Desirable

  • Knowledge of local community development and support agencies, and other sources of support for community groups in Brighton & Hove
  • Knowledge of charity law and organisational structures for not-for-profit groups
  • Book-keeping skills
  • Design and layout skills
  • Fundraising skills and knowledge
  • Familiarity with WordPress
  • Knowledge of VBA, Access databases
  • Good IT skills and familiarity with computer networks
  • General ‘handy person’ skills eg putting up shelves, mending broken equipment etc

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How to apply

Please send us:

  1. A statement explaining why you are interested in working at the Resource Centre and how you can contribute to our work and our aims.Please include details about how your skills and experience match the essential and desirable qualities we have listed in this pack.In particular, we are interested in your experience of active participation in the direction and decision making processes of community or voluntary groups and what you have learned from this.Don’t worry if this experience is not prominent in your CV. We are not necessarily looking for someone with a history of paid work in this area. The statement is the main part of your application.
  2. A CV as background information.
  3. The personal details and references form.

You can send in your application by email to jobs@resourcecentre.org.uk or on paper to Resource Centre, 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton, BN2 0GY. Any of the following file formats are fine, if you want to send your statement as an attachment: .doc, .docx, .odt, .rtf, .pub, .pdf.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 30th October 2018.

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 19th November to invite them for interview. If you have not heard from us by Friday 23rd November, then your application has not been successful.

Shortlisted candidates will be called for interview on Tuesday 4th or Wednesday 5th December. Unfortunately our financial position means we cannot pay travel expenses.

The earliest start date for the successful candidate will be Wednesday 2nd January 2019, but we will be happy to negotiate a later date if notice is necessary in a present 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 (eg an induction loop, documents in large print).

Conditions of employment

Pay: £27,264 p.a.

Pension: NEST workplace pension

Hours: An average of 37 hours a week, usually from Monday to Friday. Occasional evening or weekend work for which time in lieu is taken. We are unable to pay overtime.

Paid Holiday: Bank holidays plus 30 days a year.

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.

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