Jobs

Please read the information below, and on the pages about applications, workers, and policies.

Potential applicants with dependents and/or disabilities –

As an organisation we are striving to make this job accessible for all women, however at present we are aware that our facilities/accommodation for workers may present some difficulties for women with dependents and/or disabilities. Please contact us if you need to discuss any issues relevant to this.

JOB DESCRIPTION

This post is only open to women, under the exemptions in the Equality Act 2010.

You will be one of the two full-time paid workers, with a remote and voluntary Management Committee (MC) of 5 or 6 women that meets every 4-6 weeks, sometimes online, plus a wider co-operative that meets twice yearly (20-25 women are co-op members). There will be times when you will be a sole worker, such as to cover annual leave, or during recruitment of a new co-worker, though some volunteer support will usually be available. Public transport is limited, so having your own car would therefore be an advantage. There is no on-site management, so good communication, negotiation and task-sharing with your co-worker and volunteers is really key to good mental health in this role.

Accommodation for workers is in the coach house, a recently renovated 3-bedroom building adjacent to the main house, with its own bathroom and simple kitchenette/living space, which is shared with your co-worker, and occasional volunteers. Each worker has their own bedroom. The main house facilities are shared with visitors. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to bring pets.

Potential applicants with dependants and/or disabilities –

As an organisation we are striving to make this job accessible for all women, however at present we are aware that our facilities/accommodation for workers may present some difficulties for women with dependants and/or disabilities. The accommodation provided is for a single person only. Please contact us if you need to discuss any issues relevant to this.

This is a job with significant essential physical aspects and requires the ability, for example, to lift up to 10kg at a time (including carrying this down a flight of stairs), and up to 80kg per day to refill the biomass boiler/ unload deliveries of pellets. While there is some scope for task negotiation with your co-worker, on occasion these tasks will need to be completed by both workers. Please contact us if you need to discuss any issues relevant to this.

Purpose of the job

Workers are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Women’s Holiday Centre (WHC) including house keeping, dealing with all aspects of visitors’ stays, administration, maintenance and publicity. The examples below are not exhaustive, and you may well be required to do other tasks at times.

Responsibilities

Domestic Work

  • Ensuring the house is clean, tidy and welcoming to visitors

  • Ensuring WHC fire safety, H&S procedures, cleaning schedules etc (eg re CoVid) are followed

  • Ensuring the house is adequately stocked with essentials such as food, fuel, etc. within a tight budget

  • Laundry of all bedding, towels etc.

  • Maintaining the playroom and play equipment in a safe and inviting state

Visitors

  • Ensuring visitors are made welcome and shown how the house works

  • Providing bus/train time-tables, and info on things to do in the local area etc.

  • Ensuring women with disabilities can use the house as fully as possible

  • Encouraging women to cook together and do chores so that the house is kept in a reasonable state

  • Ensuring visitors comply with WHC CoVid requirements

  • Organising frequent special activity weeks/weekends

  • Producing routine and new publicity (including monthly newsletter via Mailchimp) and developing ideas for attracting new visitors and maximising mid-week and winter bookings

  • Ensuring that the WHC maintains a positive image with the visitors and in the village

  • Abiding by and promoting the WHC policies and procedures, and ensuring visitors comply with them

  • Setting appropriate boundaries with visitors, who often have unrealistic expectation of workers availability e.g. to offer support, childcare, party all night

Administrative and Financial

  • Answering verbal, email, phone and written enquiries

  • Maintaining the social media pages connected to the house

  • Sending out information, posters, leaflets, etc.

  • Maintaining bookings diary, and securing deposits and payment of balance

  • Maintaining financial systems and keeping to agreed budgets, including reporting regularly to the Treasurer and providing feedback to funders

  • Keeping up-to-date and utilising the database of women interested in house-sitting; work weeks; fund-raising; special activity weeks etc.

  • Maintaining the computer and paper filing systems in an efficient and accessible way

  • Assist with the provision of updates to funders, and to maintain any necessary records to achieve this

  • Shopping for and ordering groceries and maintenance items locally or online

Maintenance

  • Identifying and reporting to MC on structural needs of the buildings

  • Maintaining the general fabric of the house and organising repairs

  • Organising, promoting and co-ordinating/supervising 2-3 volunteer work weeks per year as needed

  • Maintaining a schedule of required work so that eg fire appliances servicing etc is done at suitable times, and that visitors are informed in advance of the presence of any such male workers

  • Maintaining Garden e.g. hedges, lawn mowing, safe state of trees, general tidying. There is also a space for growing vegetables if you want to

Health and Safety

  • Conducting regular checks and reporting these to MC

  • Improvements – taking immediate action as needed plus making recommendations to MC

  • Making sure visitors are aware of and comply with health and safety regulations and procedures

Development Work

(This work is done jointly with the MC)

  • Attending and reporting to MC meetings about development, administration, policy, finance, maintenance and any problems or difficulties. It is essential to attend these meetings as they are the main conduit of information between workers and the MC.

  • Proposing and planning improvements to the general facilities, especially to increase access for women and children with disabilities, and to increase visitor numbers. Working with the co-op members, MC and volunteers to achieve these aims.

  • Fund-raising initiatives including applying to funding bodies for grants, organising and facilitating sponsored events, inviting visitors to make a donation or standing order in addition to their visitor payment etc.

  • Assisting with managing, monitoring and evaluating specific development projects when required by MC, and training and supervising volunteers and house-sitters to help with this and the general running of the house

  • Helping to maintain an active group of house sitters by recruiting and training new volunteers to this role, and supporting those already undertaking this task.

  • Actively promoting the WHC wherever possible

This role has a split between practical, interpersonal and digital tasks – while there is some negotiation between workers about job preference, both workers need to be able to complete all the tasks.

PAY AND CONDITIONS

Hours of Work

This is a live-in job with usually about 30 hrs per week, but as you might imagine, living and working in the same place, with guests almost constantly staying, is very demanding. Workers negotiate between themselves their time off work so that reasonable cover of the house is maintained. This flexible approach has proven to be satisfactory to all.  It is the responsibility of the workers to arrange house-sitters to cover holidays or illness, from an approved list.

Holidays

30 days per year as per contract. No overtime payments are available; however, in certain circumstances, time off in lieu may be negotiated with the MC.

Wages

Wages are £1158 gross per month. There is a deduction of about £254 from this each month to cover accommodation (rent, bills, laundry etc). Workers are also able to eat at the house, which does make the wage far more reasonable than first appears. Some workers might also be able to claim Working Tax Credit.  The wage is increased annually in line with the national living wage.

Contract

In accordance with our constitution, posts are offered for a minimum of 12 months, subject to a satisfactory 6 month probationary and training period.  After each year there is a review and the contract can be extended up to a total of 3 years.

Responsibility

The workers are responsible in the first instance to the MC of the Women’s Holiday Centre and ultimately to the WHC Co-operative. There is no direct supervision or line management: the workers have to take a lot of responsibility. It is the intention of MC to provide regular, monthly one-to-one sessions. The workers should not hesitate in contacting this person or the MC for support or advice.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Essential Personal Qualities

  • Ability to collaborate, negotiate and compromise in a close working and live-in relationship with your co-worker

  • Ability to problem solve remotely and independently

  • Friendly and non-judgemental manner

  • Assertive

  • Ability to deal with conflict

  • Ability to get on with people from different backgrounds, cultures and needs

  • Ability to work in a physically and socially isolated environment, including some lone-working, and build own remotely accessible support network.

  • Ability to learn new skills quickly, identify own training needs and up skill as needed, and willingness to uptake training where applicable

  • Ability to cope with personal and emotional challenges

  • Ability to set clear personal boundaries and develop and use own support systems

Essential Skills/Experience

  • Understanding of co-operative principles

  • Ability to plan, share and prioritise the workload with your co-worker

  • Ability to work unsupervised and on your own initiative and to structure your own work

  • Ability to balance regular tasks and development work

  • Ability to liaise with other agencies, MC and the Co-op via phone, email and other means e.g Zoom

  • Ability to work within a low budget and monitor this

  • Ability to maintain the accounts, including handling petty cash

  • Commitment to and ability to implement the policies of the house

  • Good written and spoken communication skills

  • Experience of and a positive approach to children

  • Ability to maintain computer and paper admin systems efficiently, including financial systems

  • Computer/IT skills for publicity, maintaining guest records, accounts etc – eg experience of using documents, spreadsheets, zoom, photoshop, mailchimp etc

Highly Desirable Skills/Experience

(Whilst these are not strictly essential, they may well be significant in the selection process, as they can have a significant impact on the way the workload can be shared between the workers. Appointment may be conditional on acquiring these within a specified time-frame)

  • Experience of recruiting, training and supervising volunteers

  • Experience of book-keeping / financial systems

Other Desirable Skills

(These are not essential, but may be taken into account where the decision between applicants is very close)

  • DIY skills

  • Experience of project management and evaluation

  • Experience of ordering and shopping for large numbers

  • Experience of organising or co-ordinating fund-raising activities or grant applications

  • Experience of shared living

  • First Aid knowledge

  • Driving Licence (it will be highly beneficial to you if you can drive in this remote location)

4 comments

  1. lynn turner · · Reply

    Hello I would like to apply for the house worker job.

    1. Hi Lynn! Please email managament@hortonwhc.org.uk for an application form.

  2. Julie Jackson · · Reply

    Hi, please let me know when tha next vacancy comes up to manage Horton Lodge.

    Regards

    Julie Jackson

    07947378883

    jacksonjulies357@gmail.com

    1. Hi Julie, Any upcoming vacancies will be advertised here and on our Facebook page.
      Have you stayed here at all – it’s a good idea to get to know how the house works if you are considering applying to work here.
      We also welcome volunteers, for 5 hours volunteering you receive a free stay.

      best wishes

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