This is a fantastic opportunity to join Forestry England’s national operations team. You will be passionate about empowering colleagues, communities and individuals to drive forward our ambition to connect more people with the wellbeing benefits of forests.
As the ‘Active Forests Health and Community Officer’, you will support the site-based Active Forests Coordinators to develop their local programme of activity with a focus on: engaging people with health conditions, those who are inactive and fairly active (as defined by Sport England’s Active Lives activity levels), and those communities which are under-represented in the outdoor sector.
This role sits within the Active Forests programme team which is part of Forestry England’s national recreation team. The Active Forests programme is a partnership initiative with Sport England with the aim of making it easy for visitors to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle, by connecting them with the nation’s forests and providing opportunities for improved health, wellbeing and social interaction.
Taking part in forest activities encourages people to become more active, increases confidence, helps maintain a healthy weight and can alleviate symptoms of long-term health conditions. For these reasons and many more, we aim to connect people with the health benefits of forests and address the inequalities in access to forests and natural spaces.
Activities at each forest site that is part of the Active Forests Programme are coordinated by that site’s Active Forests Coordinator. The Active Forests Coordinator develops an in depth understanding of their local community, sources local activity leaders to deliver a programme of activities at their site, and is responsible for coordinating the marketing and evaluation of the activities.
Purpose of the Job: To provide direction and support to site teams to deliver and demonstrate the health and wider community benefits of participation in the Active Forests Programme at Forestry England sites.
Key Work Areas
- Working with FE staff and in partnership with local stakeholders, support the delivery of the Active Forests Programme, with a focus on using insight to engage inactive and fairly active people (as defined by Sport England’s Active Lives activity levels), those with long-term health conditions and physical and mental health conditions, and under-represented groups in physical and wellbeing activities in forests.
- Support production of the annual programme delivery strategy and specific site delivery plans .
- Work with Forestry England colleagues and other partners to tailor and deliver a programme of activity that will provide opportunities for improved health benefits for specific customer groups.
- Develop new ways of working by building strong relationships at both a District and National level with Forestry England staff, private sector activity providers, local community groups, health authorities and providers; champion community engagement within Forestry England and raise Forestry England’s profile within the health and community sectors.
- Support and engage with initiatives allied to this approach, to develop long-term sustainability opportunities.
- Contribute to delivery of: national products and services; communication plan; monitoring and evaluation programme.
- In line with the Active Forests delivery strategy compile reports monitoring performance and results, taking corrective action as required.
- Provide project updates to the programme Board and funders, as required, identifying achievements, monitoring budgets and identifying any risks to business plan targets.
Person Specification – required experience and skills
- Experience of coordinating the delivery of successful community engagement and/or health and wellbeing programmes for diverse audiences.
- Demonstrable understanding of the barriers specific demographic groups face to engaging in physical activity and with the natural environment (including experience of working with audiences facing mental health issues and/or social exclusion).
- Knowledge of the health sector, public health and social prescribing.
- Experience of managing and delivering innovation in a multi-disciplinary environment/team through effective collaborative working with internal and external stakeholders; proven ability to forge and maintain strong networks and partnerships.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Competent user of Microsoft suite.
- Full UK Driving Licence.
- Understanding of the physical activity sector and its organisation/delivery at both national and local levels.
- Knowledge of safeguarding best practice and experience of implementing safeguarding procedures in a community programme setting.
- Experience of developing and working within a successful visitor centric culture.
- Proven project management experience, including experience of successfully delivering project through others.
- Experience of securing funding for community projects.
- Experience of managing project budgets.
- Existing contacts with national and local community groups, services or networks for inclusion and wellbeing.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.