Greater London (On-site)
£45,000 - £50,000 per year
Permanent, Contract, 2-year fixed term, with continuation subject to securing funding., Full-time
Job description

The Bow Foodbank Limited 

Position: Executive Director  

Charity Number: 1162185  

A company limited by guarantee: 08852728  



The Bow Foodbank Limited (BFBL) is a registered charity, founded in 2014. We are one of London’s largest independent food banks. Our mission is to support those in financial crisis through the provision of food and essential items, and through additional free confidential support with legal, welfare and benefits issues. 

The charity was formed by a coalition of community and faith-based organisations in response to the growing local need for emergency food support. Our operating model is underpinned by the desire to protect the dignity of those who ask for support.  

A key element of our approach is that we do not ask clients for personal information about themselves, only demographic questions. 

We have two foodbanks, both within Tower Hamlets - one in Bow which operates on a Monday and the second in Bethnal Green which operates on a Wednesday. We now provide food for over 400 adults and around 750 children, every week. This number continues to grow as the impact of the cost-of-living crisis hits those most vulnerable.    

Pre-pandemic the organisation was entirely run by volunteers, but as the scale of operations increased, we were fortunate in taking on staff to manage day to day operations and support the 200+ volunteers. In addition to the Executive Director post, we currently have a full-time Operations Manager and a part-time Volunteer Coordinator/Administrator.   


Role Overview 

The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring the smooth running and development of the services offered by the Foodbank, and lead strategic development and senior management functions. These functions include staff and volunteer management, finance, fundraising and communications. There are several teams of volunteers operating in different roles, such as foodbank and packing sessions, stock management, and communications, and the Executive Director will be responsible overall for overseeing an effective management structure. 

The successful applicant must have the qualities and experience necessary to lead our committed, dedicated, and diverse volunteer team. They will have proven experience in creating clear strategic business plans, being financially responsible at a senior level, and achieving ambitious targets. 

The Executive Director is appointed by and reports to the Board of Trustees or its delegate. Named members of the Board will provide advice and support to the Executive Director in key areas including strategy, fund raising, the search for premises, communications, and liaison with external organisations.  


Key Responsibilities: 

  • To take overall responsibility for the operational management of BFBL 

  • To lead on and take responsibility for the future expansion of BFBL into new projects - for example, a dispersed network of community-based food pantries or larders 

  • To work with the Operations Manager to ensure that the foodbanks are efficient, with adequate systems and procedures in place for their day-to-day operation 

  • To lead on and take responsibility for developing and implementing business and operational plans with clear objectives  

  • To develop an appropriate staffing structure, including both paid and volunteer positions 

  • To manage and support the paid staff team  

  • To manage and oversee the large number of volunteers including the establishment and management of a volunteer team structure 

  • In conjunction with the Treasurer, to take overall responsibility for BFBL’s finances to ensure long term financial stability for the organisation 

  • To lead on and take responsibility for securing suitable, long-term premises 

  • To lead on and take responsibility for fundraising  

  • To lead on and take responsibility for developing a network of donors of food and services 

  • To oversee the Welfare and Benefits Advice Service (currently provided by an externally commissioned provider) 

  • To ensure Health and Safety compliance, appropriate training of staff and volunteers, and understanding of and adherence to the charity’s policies 

  • To lead on the development of and take responsibility for delivering the charity’s communications strategy (including internal and external comms, digital media, website etc.) 

  • To build professional relationships with local government and other relevant statutory and third sector agencies in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring boroughs  

  • To ensure compliance with company and charity law, including attendance at, and 
    reporting to, Board meetings and other committees as agreed 

  • To be responsible for the development and implementation of the charity’s policies and procedures 

  • To advocate for equality and diversity within the organisation, developing our culture of inclusion. 


Person Specification 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience (essential): 

  • Experience of operating in a senior management role within a charity or relevant sector (e.g. unemployment, food poverty, mental health, local government) 

  • Experience of managing staff 

  • Experience of working with volunteers and an understanding of the volunteer culture 

  • Fundraising skills including bid-writing, donor acquisition and donor management 

  • A strategic thinker able to plan, anticipate, lead and adapt to organisational and operational change 

  • Financial management skills, including day-to-day book-keeping and an understanding of charity finance 

  • Excellent planning and organisational skills 

  • Able to demonstrate understanding of and commitment to the organisation’s core 

  • Good IT skills, with a working knowledge of MS Office applications and Google Docs. 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience (desirable): 

  • Knowledge of why people suffer food poverty and related legislative, benefit system and other issues. 

  • Knowledge of relevant local government and local voluntary and statutory services 

  • An effective networker 

  • Experience of working across a spectrum of cultures. 


Personal Qualities: 

  • Commitment to the goals, ethos, values, and vision of BFBL, including a belief in the importance of all people of different backgrounds working together and respecting and valuing each other’s’ contributions 

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the understanding to deal with vulnerable people 

  • Flexible to work at different times and in different places, with the ability to organise work, take responsibility and work on own initiative, adapting to the circumstances as 
    and when required 

  • An ability to work with a variety of stakeholders including clients, volunteers, paid staff, and members of the Board. 


Thank you for considering applying for the Executive Director position. We hope that you will feel inspired to join us and to play a key role in the development and growth of our organisation so that we can continue and develop our support to those in our community who are in food poverty. 

We are a diverse organisation serving a diverse client group. We actively encourage the widest possible range of candidates and welcome applicants regardless of race, age, disability, faith, gender and sexual orientation. 

We encourage candidates with lived experience of poverty and food insecurity. 


Reports to: The Chair of Trustees of The Bow Foodbank Limited  

Salary: £45,000-50,000

Contract: 2-year fixed term, with continuation subject to securing funding. There will be a three-month probationary period. 

Hours: 35 hours per week (days and hours to be agreed). Occasional weekend and/or evening working may be required. 

Holidays: 25 days plus public holidays. Pension contribution: 3% of gross salary. 

Location: Office based in Bow, with travel to the foodbank locations.  There is some flexibility with regard to hybrid working arrangements (ie. some home-working) 

The position is open to a suitable job share.


Application Process 

To apply for the post please provide a CV and, separate to that and on no more than 2 pages, answers to the following questions: 

  1. Why do you want to work for Bow Foodbank? 

  2. What examples can you give of your experience relating to the post? 

  3. What achievement relevant to work in this field are you most proud of? 

Please send your CV with additional statement to by 0900 on Monday 13th June 2022

First stage interviews will be held between 20th and 24th June 2022. Interviews will be scheduled for the evening between 6 and 8pm.  

Selected candidates will be invited for a second interview to be held on the afternoon of 30th June. In preparation, candidates will be asked to write a proposal, in no more than two pages, and making reasonable assumptions, about how you would go about obtaining sufficient funding to secure the charity’s future. 

Candidates selected for a second interview will be welcome to visit Bow Foodbank on the morning of Monday 27th June 2022 or Bethnal Green Foodbank on the afternoon of Wednesday 29th June 2022 to meet our volunteers and see the operations.  

Thank you. We look forward to receiving your application. 

Refreshed on: 04 June 2022
Closed date: 13 June 2022 at 09:00
Tags: Senior Management, Management

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.