Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Leeds, West Yorkshire
West Midlands
£32,000 per year inclusive of allowances
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

About Us

We are the charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, because we believe that life is better by water. Every role across the Trust plays its part in transforming our canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better, bringing wellbeing benefits to millions. 

Our Welfare Officer(s) acts as a key point of contact, responsible for offering advice, guidance and signposting for any person within the Trust who has a concern about the welfare of customers on the Trust’s waterways.

The role holder will work with our existing Welfare Officer to develop and maintain a network of external organisations who will provide some or all of the local support necessary to resolve particular cases; monitoring and dealing with 170+ welfare referrals per year. 

The Welfare Officer will be an expert resource within the Trust and provides assistance in the development of guidance to help cross-functional teams support boaters in need and reducing the number of vulnerable boaters entering lengthy and costly enforcement action. 

Location & coverage

Our Welfare Officer will be offered on a remote working basis, with a requirement to attend our main hub spaces as and when required for team working a collaborative meetings.   

Relavant hubs include: Leeds, Liverpool, Burnley, Newark, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Gloucester or London

The regularity & flexibility of travel will be discussed further at interview stage. 

See our network via our apply portal. 


The post involves regular unsupervised contact with adults at risk which may include providing support and signposting in relation to personal matters such as mental and physical health and finances and regularly making safeguarding referrals to local authorities. The postholder is regularly in one to one situations with adults at risk often on a one to one basis.

As this role is on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Exception Order applicants must state the details of any cautions or convictions whether spent or unspent on the self-disclosure section of the application form.

This job involves regulated activity with children and adults at risk as defined by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Therefore, an Enhanced Criminal Record check will be undertaken by the successful candidate prior to employment.

A criminal record is not necessarily a bar to employment with us. HR will advise and decisions made on a case by case basis.

About the role

Key Accoutabilities: 

  • Provide one to one, unsupervised support and signposting to vulnerable boaters and adults at risk.
  • Undertake home visits with customers some of which maybe vulnerable boaters, adults at risk and children.
  • Ensure personal details are inputted and maintained into Trust systems including risk register, safeguarding register and appropriate CRM systems.
  • Be an advocate for adults at risk / vulnerable boaters where necessary eg: attending boat evictions, boat removals etc.
  • Work with LSOs to agree equality adjustments and draft support plans, action plans for adults at risk / vulnerable boaters.
  • Provide expert advice for staff, volunteers, customers and stakeholders on matters involving vulnerable boaters, suggesting appropriate courses of action to ensure support networks are offered.
  • Be the point of contact in enforcement cases where the boat owner/occupier is discovered to have welfare needs or has entered into the enforcement process as a result of a vulnerability. Engaging the relevant support agencies as appropriate.
  • Review current enforcement cases where the boat is the occupier’s home, and if so support the customer and Trust employees to establish the appropriate welfare assistance. With specific input into enforcement cases of boat removals.
  • Develop a database of relevant organisations that can provide welfare assistance to boat dwellers. Support waterway and enforcement staff in maintaining and developing contact details for local support agencies and help them to engage in joint working opportunities through multi agency support networks.
  • Work with the Designated safeguarding Officer to agree startegies for external referral of vulnerable adult cases to statutory safeguarding agencies such as the police/social services etc.
  • Review working practice with Workplace Matters and develop best practise strategies so that the waterway chaplaincy can maximise the support they can offer our customers.
  • Help establish and support the Trusts policies on vulnerable boaters and assist in compliance with relevant legislation, for example the Equality Act and the Trust’s approach to safeguarding Vulnerable Adults; member of Trust’s Safegaurding Board.
  • Keep up to date with Equality and Diversity legislation, monitor any changes to future welfare provisions and benefit guidance
  • Develop recording plans and a reporting process ensuring confidentiality is maintained throughout.
  • Displaying the Trust values and behaviours at all times
  • Ensuring that diversity and inclusion are integrated into all aspects of Trust life and promoting inclusion by challenging behaviour, practices, actions, or decisions that are counter to the objectives of the Trust’s policies and values. 

Safety responsibilities

  • To be aware of your own responsibilities regarding safeguarding and to support our commitment to providing safe environments and working practises that promote and protect the safety and welfare of children, young people and adults at risk at all times. 

Knowledge, Experience & Skills: 

  • Demonstrable experience as a welfare advisor (paid or voluntary work basis).
  • Knowledge of welfare rights and the relevant legislation including equality issues and related policy & procedures.
  • Knowledge of core legislation and government guidance for the Safeguarding and Protection and Vulnerable Adults and Child Protection policies.
  • Basic knowledge of welfare roles and responsibilities of local statutory agencies (local authorities, police and health agencies).
  • Good understanding of welfare support available through charities and other third sector agencies. Recent experience of offering benefit and housing advice and information plus money advice, with a thorough knowledge of the benefits system.
  • Experience in dealing with issues associated with the transient lifestyle.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and networking skills.
  • Able to communicate effectively both internally and externally to a wide variety of customer.
  • Ability to show leadership and good team working skills.
  • High level of customer service skills, ability to deal with complex and challenging issues and a variety of customers in difficult circumstances.
  • Good understanding of fairness, equality and inclusion policy and practice.
  • Ability to work under pressure.

Ability to travel – driving is integral to the role.

To Apply:  click on the "Apply for this job" button and follow the process - complete the application form, upload current CV and supporting statement.  

If you have any questions about the role please contact our recruitment team. 

We are currently conducting our interview processes virtually as we continue to respect and follow necessary social distancing guidance to protect our team and our candidates. You may be invited to a face to face further stage interview which will always be conducted following strict social distancing guidelines. 

What We Offer

In addition to your annual base salary of £27,381, we also offer Car Cash Allowance (£390 per month), a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, and numerous other employee benefits, including several salary sacrifice benefits.  We are also open to flexible working arrangements.

Further details can be found via the Apply Portal. 

£32,061 inclusive of allowances

We are striving to represent the diverse communities that we are a part of. All candidates will be treated on the basis of their merits, skills and abilities and solely by being assessed against the requirements for the job. 

Find out more about the work we do on our website. 

Refreshed on: 23 October 2021
Closed date: 07 November 2021
Tags: Support Worker, Social Work