Permanent, Full-time
Job description

We are a medium sized grass roots charity working on the refugee crisis within Europe.  We are recruiting an Operations Manager for a 12 month contract, to join our team based at our main distribution centre. Reporting directly to the CEO this is an excellent opportunity to work for a great cause and gain international leadership experience with the support and direction of someone who knows the workings of the charity inside out. Whilst this is a challenging position, you will be given a thorough induction and will be working closely with a highly experienced  supervisor.

The complex logistics of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of refugees and people continually on the move is one of our key challenges with aid needed in various locations and a consistently fluid situation.  Candidates will naturally need strong organisational skills, and have the temperament to make numerous important, and compassionate, decisions every day.

With a changing team of more than 2,000 volunteers assisting us in 2019, the relationships you build with your voluntary team leaders will be key to the success of this role.  We have recruited some strong team leaders who are highly valued and truly live our values.

The Operations Manager will be required to: lead operations, ensuring the good name of the Care4Calais brand, the health, wellbeing and overall positive experience of volunteers; plan distribution of aid to refugees, including risk assessments in challenging situations; and oversee warehouse operations and logistics.

The refugee crisis is politically controversial, and the debate and sensitivity around this often heightens within Europe.  An awareness of the risks and consequences of public actions and statements by of our personnel is therefore necessary.


The candidate needs to display clear leadership ability, with the capability to act with initiative and drive in a variety of situations. Requires a positive mental attitude with a warm friendly persona, who will be able to motivate and enable volunteers to complete challenging jobs over long hours in our warehouses and coordinate deliveries across the region. Also needs to be aware of surroundings, risk management and safety issues whilst working inside unauthorised settlements on distributions of essential items and food to a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Is required to present a professional, respectful attitude towards police and other government authorities to enable the charity to continue working in controlled areas.


Lead Distributions

Will be required to lead distributions of essential supplies and clothing, ensuring volunteer safety through calm, confident leadership. Will be able to plan distributions and perform risk assessments, clearly brief volunteer teams on safety procedures within informal settlements. Will possess ability to assess threats and reduce tensions through appropriate body language and measured verbal communication with a variety of cultures and backgrounds. Will manage large volumes of data coming in from across centres ensuring a good knowledge of conditions across the region with support provided as appropriate.

Coordinate Warehouse Work

Will have the ability to motivate volunteers in warehouse operations, enabling a positive work environment and solving problems as they arise. Will be able to quickly train and brief volunteers in sorting and organising donations, ensuring quality checks and procedures are adhered to. Will have knowledge of or be open to learning basic warehouse management and storage procedures, recognising the importance of tidiness and maintaining appropriate processes to enable quick access to resources.

Manage Volunteers

Will be capable of managing volunteer motivation and expectations, with respect to activities likely to be conducted, and the importance and relevance of these actions to the overall operations conducted by the charity. Will have ability to challenge and motivate people to approach new situations whilst recognising individual limitations and difficulties. Will enable a good working environment by mediating volunteer differences and leading by example with acceptance of a range of attitudes, backgrounds and cultures, recognising that each volunteer has an ability to contribute if utilised in the right manner.

Secondary Desired Functions

Degree in appropriate field

3 years or more driving experience

Experience working in informal settlements or abroad

Experience working in volunteer organisations

Word processing and data entry skills

Note: the above represents a challenging role which will enable development and demonstration of high level skills.  Appropriate training and support will be provided.  Please note that we receive a high number of applications and are a small internal team so if you do not receive a response in the first round this means you have not been selected.

Please provide a covering letter that explains why you are suitable for this role and why you want to work for Care4Calais. We will only consider applications that are accompanied by a covering letter.

More about Care4Calais

Care4Calais is a volunteer run charity delivering essential aid and support to refugees living in the worst conditions... Read more

Refreshed on: 22 August 2020
Closed date: 11 September 2020
Tags: Intl Development, Operations