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Community Development Officer - Growing and Greening

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Arboriculture, Horticulture and Agri.
Town/City Birmingham community based & some office working (+ remote homeworking during the pandemic)
Salary Additional Information Up to £23,000 (dependent upon experience) Contract type: Fixed term contract until 28/12/2023
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level First Level
Deadline 23/01/2022
Company Name The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS)
Contact Name
The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS)  logo
Also Listing:

Working hours: This is a Full Time post working 36.5 hours per week Monday - Friday (part time or job share options may be a possibility for the right applicant).

We are looking for a team member that will be able to work in a flexible way, including occasional evenings and weekends to meet the needs of the service.

Contract type: Fixed term contract until 28/12/2023

Location: Birmingham community based & some office working (+ remote homeworking during the pandemic)

Introduction to The Active Wellbeing Society

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) is a community benefit society and cooperative working to develop healthy, happy communities living active and connected lives. We provide a wide range of services and programmes that support people’s mental and physical wellbeing. Services include community food support, telephone advice and listening services, physical and social activity programmes, social prescribing services and community development and engagement programmes. We also run virtual wellbeing support programmes for patients and citizens.

You may like to watch this introductory video which showcases the positive work of The Active Wellbeing Society: TAWS Launch October 2018 - YouTube

Introduction to the role and team

Our vision is to create stronger, healthier more resilient communities by connecting residents to each other and the places that they live. TAWS’ Food and Sharing team delivers a range of activities, from running community cafes using surplus produce, to providing opportunities for people to share skills, knowledge and resources for local benefit. The team has been increasingly working with a range of partners to explore the role of land use and the food system and how public land could be used to support food growing, spaces for nature to support wellbeing and for community connection and cohesion. We convene a food growing network, a multi-skilled community of organisations and individuals working in this area and have now been funded to deliver land reclamation projects by Sport England funded Active Communities programme as well as by the Future Parks Accelerator and Sustainable Food Places.

To deliver this work we are looking for a proactive and enthusiastic Community Development worker: growing and greening to work with the community and a range of partners to convert disused or underused green space to community use. The postholder will be responsible for engaging communities of all kinds and in particular reaching those for are not usually reached by growing and greening initiatives. They will also work with landowners to find ways of converting spaces to community ownership and/or management in ways that will lead more people to become connected to place, experiencing the wellbeing of being outdoors and in the natural environment. 

The postholder will be passionate about the benefits that green space, outdoor environments and nature can bring to people and will have experience of delivering growing and planting initiatives and community and stakeholder engagement. The successful candidate will be confident to work with groups, experienced at supporting people to develop “green” skills and able to articulate and explain the benefits to a range of partners. The community development officer will be excellent at partnership working across multiple sectors.

With Covid 19 resulting in so many people having to shield, self-isolate and spend significant amounts of time at home, there are increasing inequalities in access to green space, as well as increasing levels of loneliness and isolation. As such, engaging people in deprived communities will be a key part of the role, overcoming the complex barriers that prevent residents engaging in growing and nature-based activity and so supporting people to engage with their local green space will be a key aim of the role.


  1. Deliver programme to convert land in Birmingham and Solihull to community use for growing and nature-based activities.
  2. Create and deliver a process for land conversion that supports community ownership / governance / management of spaces to support community cohesion and wellbeing
  3. Build connections amongst a range of stakeholders, including local authorities and community groups to develop a cross-functional group to support community food growing.
  4. Support teams within TAWS to deliver growing and greening activities into a range of other community activities including low traffic neighbourhoods.
  5. Develop a process for skill and asset sharing amongst community groups ensuring that community best practice is captured.
  6. Develop workshops where skills and ideas can be shared between groups
  7. Develop outdoor initiatives to activate green spaces withing communities.
  8. Working with Programme Manager, Data and Insight Team and wider team to accurately record a range of data on our database/data collection systems.
  9. Work to develop new opportunities and capture impact
  10. Work with comms to develop appropriate materials and promotional info supporting the gathering of stories, case studies and good practice 
  11. Represent the organisation at external and internal meetings
  12. Promoting growing, green space and nature-based interventions to a range of stakeholders.
  13. Working to overcome the barriers to growing and green space experienced by many and the link to wellbeing outcomes.


1.  Delivering greening and growing programmes across a range of funded programmes.

2.  Developing a process for converting council owned land to community ownership and/or management in ways that can be scaled across the city.

3.  To build a network of community groups and organisations working to create thriving communities through growing and greening.

4.  To develop opportunities for skill and asset sharing through workshops and other means.

5.  To seek new funding and partnership opportunities.

6.  To activate converted spaces through a range of activities.

7.    Follow up to ensure they are happy, able to engage, included and receiving good support.

8.  To ensure you have a knowledge of all the services and activities that TAWs and other key partners in the locality deliver

9.  To ensure all data, monitoring and evaluation is kept up to date and reported back as required.

10.  To implement and maintain the comprehensive data and evaluation systems, including Happiness Pulse and report any issues highlighted through the HI process.

11.  To feedback on-going development, monitoring and evaluation of the programme. Highlighting any issues that need resolving.

12.  To provide regular reports detailing the progress of the service and updates as and when required, working with the TAWS team.

13.  To recruit and support volunteers and signpost to relevant and required training, matching them to activities for specific time-limited support in achieving positive engagement in activities promoting health and well-being to create future session leaders and to strengthen community resilience.

14.  To keep records of your work and adhere to confidentiality, information sharing protocols and provide monitoring information as required.

15.  To implement the principles of the TAWS in every aspect of your work and positively promote the principles of the policy amongst colleagues, service users and other members of the community.

16.  To comply with the TAWS Data Protection Policy and to protect the health, safety and welfare of yourself and others. Support local groups to act in accordance with information governance policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with the Data Protection Act.

17.  To work flexibly as required by the service and to take part in TAWS and other organisations’ meetings and events to promote, support and celebrate the work of the service and the partners.


  1.  Experience of supporting people to grow food or other plants and/or connect to local nature
  2. Experience of working proactively to co-create new ways of owning and managing green space for community use.
  3. Experience of collaborating with partners to develop new projects and initiatives
  4. Experience of leading on a service or project
  5. Experience of delivering citizen facing programmes
  6. Relevant experience or professional or academic qualification relating to green space, growing and or urban nature.
  7. Skills and experience of engaging diverse communities to co-create space for community use.
  8. Knowledge of the health benefits of green space and nature and experience in articulating these to multiple groups.
  9. Skills in planting, growing, gardening or urban nature.
  10. Experience of supporting, training, supervising, motivating and developing volunteers to ensure a high quality service that meets the needs and promotes positive outcomes for individual service users.
  11. Proven skills in collating information and data on community resources and organising these in up-to-date and accessible formats for a range of different service users from various communities.
  12. Excellent record keeping skills and the proven ability to write comprehensive reports for a variety of stakeholders.
  13. Group facilitation skills
  14. Excellent IT skills and ability to do own administration using database, PowerPoint and other IT packages.
  15. A confident and professional approach to working with a variety of stakeholders including community growers, voluntary sector organisations, Public Health and colleagues within BCC.
  16. Excellent written, verbal, listening and presentation skills.
  17. A proven understanding of safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults and ability to implement relevant policies and procedures.
  18. The ability to work autonomously where needed and to plan, prioritise work under pressure and adapt to new models of working.
  19. A commitment to equal opportunities and an understanding of the impact on individual’s, families’ and communities’ health and deprivation.
  20. Demonstrable leadership skills
  21. Ability to speak more than one language would be an advantage.
  22. A positive and can do attitude
  23.  Ability to work under pressure and be adaptable  
  24. Have mutual respect for everyone we work with, work for and support through our services.  
  25. The ability to work as part of the team to seek feedback, continually improve the service and contribute to business planning.
  26. To undertake any tasks consistent with the level of the post and the scope of the role ensuring that work is delivered in a timely and effective manner.

Duties may vary from time to time without changing the general character of the post or the level of responsibility.


  • Nest Pension – 8% employer contribution - 3 % employee contribution.
  • Heath Cash Plan – giving you discounts on everyday healthcare such as dental, optical, physio, prescriptions & more.
  • Employee Assistance Programme (counselling and DRs on call 24hrs a day)
  • Death in Service – x4 your salary paid to beneficiary.
  • Annual Leave – 25 days FTE (increasing to 29 days with service) plus 5 wellbeing days
  • Flexible working
  • Hybrid working options
  • Bring your own device - £20 towards your phone bill monthly
  • Fantastic volunteering opportunities within TAWS every month



When writing your cover letter we would suggest include an introduction of your experience of the 'Main Duties' and 'Skills & Experience' sections of the advert, but as a minimum please address the following:

  1. Skills in planting, growing, gardening or urban nature.
  2. Experience of supporting people to grow food or other plants and/or connect to local nature
  3. Experience of leading on a service/ project / programme (community facing)
  4. Skills and experience of engaging diverse communities to co-create space for community use.
  5. Experience of supporting, training, supervising, motivating and developing volunteers to ensure a high quality service that meets the needs and promotes positive outcomes for individual service users.
  6. A proven understanding of safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults and ability to implement relevant policies and procedures.
  7. Excellent IT skills and ability to do own administration using database, PowerPoint and other IT packages.

Closing date: 23rd January 2022

Due to the high numbers of applications we received for our job vacancies, we may close application windows early, so we would encourage you to submit your application ASAP

Interview date: TBC

Successful applicants will be required to be DBS checked prior to starting.

We will provide all applicants with an outcome on your application, this will usually be within 1 week of the application window closing.

Our customers come from all walks of life and so do we, in recruiting for our team we welcome the unique contributions that you can bring. The Active Wellbeing Society is committed to being an equal opportunity employer, we recruit based upon capability and all applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. At The Active Wellbeing Society we are searching for people who share the passion for what we do with different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, collectively making a difference.

If there is anything we can do to assist you in your application or preparations to be interviewed for one of our job vacancies please let us know and we can ensure you have a positive and comfortable experience.

Should you have any questions relating to this job vacancy please contact : jobs@theaws.org and we will be happy to help.

Thank you for your interest in working for The Active Wellbeing Society, we look forward to receiving your application.

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