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Operations Manager Compassionate Companions
Age Concern Colchester & North East Essex

Job Description

About Age Concern Colchester & North East Essex

Age Concern Colchester & North East Essex is a charitable organisation that looks after the welfare of individuals of 60 years+ to support making life better in later years. Key ways that we do this are: -

- To provide support in identifying benefit applications and support in completion - £1.3m per year in benefits delivered
- A befriending service matching individuals with the needs of the older generation - we have 150+ people befriended
- Developing Volunteering in the Charity and to benefit our Community
- Connecting people in later years through clubs, activities and interest groups

The charity has gone through significant growth over the last couple of years and is now an independent charity but reaches people across Colchester and North East Essex. Recently we have been asked to deliver a pioneering new service across North East Essex in partnership with St Helena Hospice and CVS Tendring. It is for this reason that we are looking for an Operations Manager in a project called Compassionate Companions to lead this new initiative.

The project is to provide friendship (non-clinical) for individuals who have chosen to manage their end of life at home through My Care Choices or otherwise between the hours of 8am-8pm 7 days a week.

What do we offer?

Age Concern is a friendly and enjoyable place to work. We work hard but also enjoy some downtime together. This is essential due to the nature of our work. We all have tougher days and need to be there for each other to work through these days when they happen. Leading a team to support people at end of life needs a unique individual. We are an extremely caring organisation and so are the partners in the program being developed. It is essential that this same sympathy and empathy is displayed from the person who leads this work now and into the future.

The opportunity is about creating something unique and therefore it would suit someone who has a pioneering approach to make good plans, trial activity, listen well, learn from mistakes and iterate on a continuous basis. There is requirement to report activity into a large Board of multiple partners outside of the three main delivery partners. This is particularly important as the earlier phases of the project develops. The ideal candidate would have developed something from scratch either in a charity, a health setting or in some other way supporting those at of end of life.

We offer excellent coaching and support from both colleagues and the senior team. We appreciate that starting an operation from the outset can be a challenge. The good news is that we have established systems and structures that allow us to support getting things locally up and off the ground well. There is an existing befriending unit operating in Colchester, Witham and Tendring District which includes a manager, team leader and two coordinators. 

We have recently appointed the Operations Manager - Befriending and Friendship Clubs and you will have the benefit of recruiting a coordinator to provide administrative support for some of the day to day activity. We are also able to draw on expertise and support from our partners in St Helena Hospice and CVS Tendring who are accomplished in managing and developing projects.

There is potential for career development due to the growth of Age Concern Colchester & North East Essex.

What are we looking for?

Leadership & Management

- Experience managing projects from the ground-up and setting a positive tone for project development
- Working well internally across teams and externally with partners to develop ideas and joined-up working
- Ability to ensure good processes are embedded from the outset so the team record results well
- Monitor and review activity of the befriending coordinator providing coaching, support and development
- Develop capability within the team by developing individuals
- Model excellence for the team, volunteers and those we work with
- Create our story for Compassionate Companions, manage the budget and write grants for continuity beyond the pilot
- Work closely with the Befriending & Friendship Groups Manager to ensure information is captured
- Work closely with the coordinator and volunteers to listen, learn and evolve the service

Befriending Activities

- To recruit, train and inspire a successful team of compassionate companion volunteers
- In conjunction with the Befriending & Friendship Groups Manager and our partners develop and evolve the service
- Work in partnership with key organisations acting as an ambassador and the main contact point for the service
- Develop a schedule of available volunteers across North East Essex between 8am-8pm to be on call in 4-hour shifts
- Put processes in place to ensure Salesforce for Charities is effective; work with the Salesforce Developer
- Work closely with the coordinator and volunteers to listen, learn and evolve the service
- Support bereaved families by ensuring the right referral systems are in place

Your Qualities

- You will need to be outgoing, confident and able to juggle a range of priorities well
- The amount of work on Word, Computer Systems and general admin is busy so proficiency is essential
- We are looking for an inspirational leader who is keen to develop a new service and the team
- Able to understand the confidential nature of our work and put in place relevant safeguarding and monitoring procedures
- You will have a genuine desire to make a difference to people in very challenging personal circumstances

Key Questions to ask before applying?

- Do you have experience on ground-up project launches in either the third sector or health sector?
- Do you have extensive experience of working with volunteers in projects?
- Do you thrive on developing others?
- Do you have experience working in tough environments such as end of life (or similar)?
- Are you comfortable with developing a service and associated funding applications?

Practical Considerations

- All our staff and volunteers go through the DBS process and thorough vetting (no costs)
- The role involves a balance of work on a PC and a degree of travelling across North East Essex
- You will need to have a car, licence and before joining business class insurance.
- Often we deal with people who are upset and distressed. We need an individual who is a calming influence on others and can keep a cool head, think logically and be prepared to find support before jumping to a resolution

The role is 37.5 hours a week from 9am-5pm Mon - Fri although some flexibility may be required to support outside of regular hours as volunteers operate from 8am-8pm. There is current funding for a 1-year Fixed-Term Contract although because it is a pilot there is the opportunity for future funding built-in to the programme review.

Finally, team is really important to us. You will be pivotal to developing a positive culture in the befriending unit for those we serve, other charities and the wider team as we grow. If you like a new challenge and are a good fit for the above apply today to join us on our mission at Age Concern Colchester & North East Essex and the shared mission of our partners St Helena Hospice and CVS Tendring to make life better in later years.

Please provide current salary and ntoice period in any applications.

We have a provisional closing date for applications as 15th January 2020. The advert will continue to run past this date if we are still interested in receiving additional applications.

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.