Home » News » JOB VACANCY: Oxford City Farm – Oxford City Farm Lead

JOB VACANCY: Oxford City Farm – Oxford City Farm Lead

September 13, 2021

Role summary: Oxford City Farm is a community led charity based in the heart of Oxford. It’s vision is to empower local people to learn and work together to produce food locally and live healthy, enriched and sustainable lives.

The Farm has grown substantially since its inception in 2008, and is a beautiful space with committed, passionate staff. It has some clear and ambitious priorities to focus its continued growth and we are looking for someone with the vision, experience and enthusiasm to join the team and ensure the delivery of this exciting next stage of development.

Working closely with a highly skilled staff team the Trustees, and a wealth of wonderful of volunteers you will be someone who understands small organisations and has been successful in previous management and leadership roles, and who is able to and enjoys moving between the very operational to strategy planning and delivery. Fundraising experience is essential, Health & Safety and/or animal management experience is also desirable. We do not require a specific academic background, although a relevant higher ed qualification that underpins practical knowledge and experience would be welcome.
Ideally, you will also have experience in growing a community based organisation and working in a small charity at Board level but this is not essential. Creating a positive organisational culture for all to flourish in is essential and is integral to your style of working.
Given the breadth, the role could be fulfilled by one or more individuals. Therefore, as well as inviting applications from candidates who want a full-time role and meet the requirements, we are also very happy to receive applications from candidates who would be receptive to a job-share arrangement of 2 roles @ up to 3-days per week (0.6FTE). Specific details would be discussed at the interview.

Note, there will be some occasional evening and weekend work so flexibility with working hours is necessary. Successful candidates will also be subject to a DBS check.

This is an exciting time to join us in a role that can have a real impact on our delivery and development. If you feel you have the right mix of skills and experience, we would love to hear from you.
We actively welcome applications from people traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles.

Job location (usual place of work): Oxford City Farm – Cornwallis road, Oxford OX4 3NH

Pay rate: £30,000

Pay is pro rata?: Yes

Job title: Oxford City Farm Lead

Applications close on date: midnight 2/10/21

Hours are: Full time

Contract is: Fixed term

ROLE OVERVIEW: The Farm Lead is a key role at Oxford City Farm with responsibility for leading the organisation, supporting and enabling staff and volunteers, building relationships with partners and funders and working with the Staff and Trustee Board to grow the Farm in line with our mission and vision.

Organisation Leadership
Supported by the Board of Trustees, and with active input from staff, volunteers and wider community stakeholders, develop and continually refine the business plan to deliver on its’ mission and goals and enable the long term sustainability of the organisation
Maintain a positive environment and culture that enables all members of the Farm’s community to flourish
Develop and maintain a strategic overview of current and future possible partners and funders.
Support the Team’s day-to-day activities as needed
Fundraising and income generation
Maintain/develop existing sources of funding
Steward major donors (individual, corporate and charitable)
Identify and pursue new sources of funding that support and enhance current projects and the strategic direction of the Farm.
Lead on the development of the Farm’s charitable enterprise activities.
Explore and develop new fundable services with existing and other service user groups.
Explore and develop opportunities for social enterprise to generate revenue streams in support of existing and new services.
Ensure the development and implementation of Monitoring & Evaluation schemes for all programmes; maintain and update M&E schemes as required for donor reporting.

Staff support and development
Support, enable, inspire and coach team members successfully to deliver high quality educational, therapeutic and socially beneficial activities based on food, farming, arts, play and the environment.
Support the development and management of the volunteer groups across all areas of the Farm
Manage the selection, development and employment of staff in line with the organisations’ goals, policies and practice guidelines,

Communication – external and internal
Manage and oversee communications with external audiences (e.g. supporters, Farm Forum, local media, donors, Charity Commission reports etc.)
Ensure high quality internal communication so that staff are informed, involved and engaged with the Farm’s activities.
Develop and oversee the management of the Farm’s online marketing and social media strategy.
Optimise all and varied communication channels to promote the Farm in a way that ensures the messages are inclusive for all parts of the community

Compliance management and development
Ensure all Farm activities conform to Health and Safety requirements; manage and instigate H&S policy and procedure reviews annually or as necessary.
Maintain and update the organisation’s policies and procedures in line with current legislation and industry best practice and to ensure that they are properly implemented.
Own and manage relevant processes in respect of the requirements of the day-to-day running of a charity (e.g. reports to the Charity Commission, managing and filing accounts etc.)
Working closely with the trustee and staff teams, develop, manage and maintain all policies and processes in relation to safeguarding so that the farm, its staff and users are safely supported when working on and with the Farm.

Stakeholder engagement
Oversee the development and management of a diverse programme of events and activities on site that respond to the identified needs and aspirations of the local community and achieve income growth.
Actively reach out to relevant community organisations to explore opportunities for partnering and co-supporting.
Ensure effective feedback mechanisms for users as well as other stakeholders so that services can be continually developed and improved
Develop and sustain relationships on behalf of the Farm with stakeholders including local authority, community groups and local businesses.

Financial management
Develop and monitor the annual income and expenditure budget (with support from the Board of Trustees).
Ensure that restricted funds are spent on their allocated projects.
Oversee the management of all billing and invoicing.
Ensure that all financial transactions are properly recorded and that the accounts are prepared for annual audit.

Liaison with the Board of Trustees
Work with the Board of Trustees to develop and implement organisational strategy.
Fully participate in Trustee meetings and sub-committee meetings and provide relevant reports and data as required.
Meet with the Chair of Trustees on a regular basis to review activities as well as wider Farm, team and personal performance.
Support Board members in their acquisition of corporate sponsorship and support.

Person Specification:
Career experience Essential:
Has an established track record of success in management and leadership role/s within an SME, ideally within the 3rd sector
Has had an extensive focus on sourcing and maximising funding channels and partner/donor development
Has practical experience of engaging with and delivering through volunteer communities
Has been accountable for financial performance, and building and managing budgets
Has experience of strategic planning and delivering against the strategic goals
Has actively worked to develop and sustain a positive, inclusive organisation culture
Has experience working for and growing a community-based organisation
Has experience in a related area (e.g. sustainability, health and wellbeing etc.) or in an organisation with a similar purpose to the Farm
Has worked with a Board of Trustees in a charity context
Some Health and Safety expertise/experience
Some animal and/or land management experience
A relevant higher ed qualification that underpins practical knowledge and experience
Skills and experience:
Organisational development: Understands the challenges and opportunities in a growing a diverse and inclusive organisation and how to effectively manage these
People management: A proven track record in leading, coaching, developing and delivering through teams
Fundraising: A proven track record in generating and maintaining funding and income sources, in a stand-alone capacity and/or in partnership with others
Relationship building: Effective in building and maintaining lasting relationships with a range of diverse stakeholders including staff, volunteers, donors, community organisations, health and social care providers, and other agencies
Strategic thinking: A strategic thinker with vision and the ability to translate ideas into tangible positive results
Financial awareness: Demonstrable skills and experience in financial management
IT skills: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel), accounting packages, familiarity with social media

Personal attributes:
Emotional intelligence: Adept at identifying and managing and supporting the strengths, weaknesses and styles of others, as well as their own, and uses this awareness and empathy to guide thinking and actions
Communication: excellent written and oral communication skills, adapts style and approach to appeal to the mix of the farm’s audiences
Resilience: copes effectively with setbacks and enjoys overcoming difficult challenges and situations, easily bounces back
Collaboration: Enjoys and thrives on supporting and collaborating with others to deliver what is needed, whether it’s a need to “roll sleeves up” or think “big picture”
Decision making: accepts responsibility for, and takes, decisions that affect the charity. Does so based on relevant information, in a timely manner.
Integrity: Possess values that chime with those of the farm – passion and commitment to promoting diversity, equality, empowerment, community cohesion and sustainability.
Proactive: Anticipates events in the short, medium and longer term. Considers their impact on our people, the Farm as well as the wider stakeholder community, and takes action to achieve the right overall outcome in the right timescales.
Passion: commitment to the organisation’s purpose and an optimism in how this can be delivered is demonstrated in all areas of work

Other Factors:
Personal checks: Please note, as you might expect this position will be subject to a DBS check in addition to the normal employment references
Flexibility: A willingness and ability to be flexible with working hours is essential as there will be some evening and weekend work
Role structure: 1 FTE or combination to create a 1.2FTE across multiple role holders
In appreciation of the breadth of the role, as well as our commitment to being inclusive in all we do, we are fully supportive of applications from candidates who may fulfil part of the specification (but not all) and who would be receptive to a job-share arrangement. This may be created through candidates known to each other or through a pairing we identify through the recruitment process.

To apply, please contact: The application process

Please submit your CV and a cover letter highlighting your suitability for the role to

Lucie@oxfordcityfarm.org.uk . via our website oxfordcityfarm.org.uk

In your application, please confirm what work pattern you are interested in i.e. full-time or part-time. If part-time, please state your preferred working pattern.

Applications close at Midnight on Saturday 2nd of October

Interviews will take place on Monday 11th of October

We welcome enquiries regarding informal visits prior to the closing date – please email Lucie@oxfordcityfarm.org.uk to arrange.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to receiving your application. And if this role is not for you, but you know someone who might be interested, please encourage them to apply!

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