Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers. Collectively, we strive for better food, farming and fishing through policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, tackle climate change and restore nature, improve the living and working environment, enrich society and culture, and promote greater equality.
About this role
Sustain has around 20 to 25 staff running projects, campaigns and core support services such as finance, IT and design, and administration. The organisation is managed overall by a senior management team of three people – Chief Executive Kath Dalmeny; Deputy Chief Executive Ben Reynolds and Programmes Director Sarah Williams. We are now seeking an Executive Assistant to work with the senior management team – and closely with the Chief Executive and Trustees – to help manage effectively a range of important tasks for the running of a diverse alliance and national charity, through a positive period of growth and evolutionary change for Sustain. This is a new job opportunity within Sustain. We have undertaken some preparatory work with the help of a freelance Executive Assistant, but the role is open to further shaping and development by the successful candidate, within the context of the Sustain team.
Tasks and responsibilities
Sustain’s Executive Assistant will have a central, varied and stimulating workload working closely with the Chief Executive, Senior Management Team, Trustees and with other Sustain staff providing core support services. The Executive Assistant’s responsibilities will include:
1.Personal Assistant support for Sustain’s Chief Executive
- Helping the CEO to manage and prioritise her organisational relationships, appointments and diary commitments, as well as her email inbox, including drafting responses for sign-off.
- Helping the CEO to respond in a timely fashion and to keep time available to respond to requests and development needs of staff members, external stakeholders and priority issues. Examples of typical work include outreach to key decision-makers, alliance members and other stakeholders; briefing journalists, funders, trustees, alliance members and partners; facilitating alliance sessions to tackle issues of common concern; input on editorial and campaign development; catch-up meetings with key staff; and document/process sign-off.
2.Executive Assistant support to Sustain’s Senior Management Team (SMT)
- Helping the SMT to arrange external meetings and contact management.
- Helping the SMT to arrange monthly management meetings. Attending these meetings, producing meeting notes and supporting the SMT staff to pursue the actions identified in a timely and accountable fashion, in relation to Sustain’s Strategy, Organisation Development Plan and keeping staff informed of key developments.
- Helping the SMT to report to and consult with Sustain staff, union representative(s) and others on relevant developments (for example, preparing a report of key points from the SMT meetings for the SMT to deliver at staff meetings).
- Working with the Chief Executive and Head of Finance, collating and drafting quarterly papers for Sustain’s Council of Trustees and maintaining the Trustees contact list and other details.
- Attending quarterly Sustain Council of Trustees meetings (usually on a Wednesday afternoon), drafting the minutes for sign-off by the CEO and Chair, and ensuring these are checked and circulated in line with relevant deadlines; also helping the SMT with follow-up actions.
- Responding to Trustee enquiries about Council and administrative matters.
- Maintaining and tracking the process of HR and organisational policy updates – some as part of regular review; others through the process of consultation, re-drafting and sign-off.
- Managing and developing Sustain’s VIP database as well as Sustain’s communications with these individuals.
- Helping to prepare the Sustain Annual Report, to involve collating and editing material and ensuring that a range of contributors are meeting their deadlines.
- Helping to prepare papers and with the process of recruiting new Trustees for Sustain’s Annual General Meeting (usually takes place in November/December each year) and with organising follow-up work, such as pursuing actions, checking that the Annual Report to the Charity Commission and Companies House has been submitted, and helping to induct, get relevant information from and register new Trustees.
- Helping the SMT to organise a new outreach programme to cultivate relationships, partnerships and speaking opportunities with Sustain member organisations and others, with the Executive Assistant helping with tracking progress, relationship building, liaison and diary management.
- Booking travel and accommodation when required.
3.Support for management aspects of Sustain’s core work:
- Attending monthly Line Managers Team meetings, helping to develop the agenda, producing meeting notes and supporting SMT and line-management staff to pursue the actions identified in a timely and accountable fashion.
- Attending monthly Sustain staff meetings, participating as a member of staff, who share the chairing and minute-taking roles on a rolling rota basis.
- Taking part in one of the Sustain core teams as an active participant, for example contributing to Sustain’s development of communications, fundraising or approach to improving diversity.
- Building excellent connections with staff, Trustees, key Sustain alliance members, partners and contacts to enable ‘Sustain-style’ warm relationships, active listening, positive exchanges and timely action.
- Occasionally taking part in events out-of-hours, or outside London, to support events and activities that further the work of the alliance.
- Other duties and activities that may arise from time to time.
Diversity matters to us. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution. Diversity helps us identify where change is needed and what is required to promote equity as well as reflect the concerns of our wide alliance of members.
We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire.
Sustain’s Executive Assistant will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted.
How to apply
To apply for this position, please provide:
- a completed Application form
- a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form
Deadline: 10am, Thursday 28 October 2021
First-stage interviews for this position, for long-listed candidates, will take place virtually using Zoom on Thursday 4 November 2021. Second-stage interviews for short-listed candidates will take place either online or in-person during the week of 8 November 2021. Ideally the successful candidate would be able to start shortly after the interview process.