A forctivLives is seeking a Session Leader for its thriving ActivSheds project in Ipswich.

This position is suitable for someone with a passion for carpentry and construction, who enjoys working with people and passing on their skills. You will gain experience of working in the charity sector as part of a diverse, award-winning community project.

The post holder will have a commitment to bringing the benefits of woodworking and construction to a wide range of people, responding to the charity’s core themes of improving health and well-being, providing opportunities for learning, and building local communities.

Excellent carpentry and construction skills are key to the role, providing opportunities for people who experience disadvantage or face challenging circumstances in their lives – including young people with complex barriers to learning, and older people with long-term health issues. Experience of developing people’s skills and confidence in a similar setting will be a distinct advantage.
You will bring fresh ideas to the project and help develop the service, combining an innovative, creative approach with a sound practical sense and good organisational skills.

You will be a “people person”, responding sensitively to people’s needs, with a good sense of humour and an ability to remain calm in a busy environment.

Closing Date for applications: Friday 29 April 2022

Rate: £12 per hour (7.5 hours per day) – freelance
Hours: 15 hours per week on Thursdays and Fridays. Additional hours may be offered, including occasional evenings or weekends
Duration: From May 2022
Base: ActivSheds project, at the CRESS Pavilion (an ActivGardens project near the People’s Community Garden) Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE
Reporting to: ActivGardens Fundraising and Development Manager
Supported by: ActivGardens Operations Officer

About ActivGardens
ActivGardens are lively, inspiring and busy community sites which support people to lead an active, healthy life, learn and share skills, and contribute to their community. Our projects work with a wide range of people, including long-term unemployed, people experiencing mental ill health, depression and anxiety, people with disabilities, older people, and refugees and asylum seekers. Our core Volunteer Team helps with the day to day maintenance of ActivGardens.

About ActivSheds
ActivSheds began as an innovative social programme to improve the health and well-being of older men, by keeping them socially connected during unemployment, ill health, as a family carer, retirement and widowhood. The service has now extended its remit to work with people of all ages and genders.

Friday session: A group of men from diverse backgrounds work shoulder to shoulder on construction projects – learning and sharing skills, while creating social networks, and contributing to their community.

Thursday sessions: Our ActivSheds mixed gender sessions are aimed at people of all ages who need a greater level of support to get the most out of the project – for example, local residents who want to learn new skills; older people with dementia; younger people with complex barriers to learning.

General Duties:

  • Ensure safe working practices and a safe environment at all times – including Health and Safety and Safeguarding induction of all participants.
  • Maintain clear and concise records relating to volunteer registration, induction, Health and Safety, etc, as necessary.
  • Organise, plan, resource and prepare for sessions within budget.
  • Log attendance and, where appropriate, learner achievement/ client feedback.
  • Supervise volunteers and placements of all ages and abilities to enable them to engage in tasks appropriate to their abilities in an enjoyable and fulfilling way.
  • Generate a friendly, positive atmosphere and encourage communication and integration between members of the group.
  • Supervise volunteers and placements of all ages and abilities to enable them to engage in tasks appropriate to their abilities in an enjoyable and fulfilling way.
  • Supervise young people to build their skills and confidence towards accessing further learning, training, work experience and employment.
  • Supervise older people with long-term illness or disability to participate in sessions.
  • Help participants develop their own ideas for projects and bring to fruition.
  • Enable volunteers to “step up” to assist staff where necessary/ appropriate.
  • In consultation with ActivGardens staff, facilitate construction projects at ActivGardens / CRESS Pavilion.

The postholder must –  

  • comply with ActivLives policies and procedures, including Equal Opportunities, Safeguarding, Health and Safety, and Volunteering.
  • contribute to good communication between those involved with the project and other organisations and services.
  • be prepared to undertake induction and training, and participate in supervision in order to fulfil the duties of the post.

You will need: a DBS check and an up to date certificate in First Aid plus Health and Safety. Training is available through ActivLives

Work related experience (essential):

  • Carpentry, woodworking, construction and DIY skills at a very good level
  • Able to use and supervise others safely in the use of power tools and electric machinery

Work related experience (desirable):

  • Teaching/ training – in sector or related sector
  • Working or volunteering in a community-based setting and/ or with people with needs
  • Managing volunteers
  • Administrational skills and basic IT

Personal qualities:

  • A team player with a positive, friendly attitude and good communication skills
  • Enjoys working with people and sensitive to the needs of a wide range of people – e.g. people living with mental ill health, people with disabilities
  • Calm, sensitive and patient with a good sense of humour

To apply:  Please email the application form to Susannah Robirosa, ActivGardens Fundraising and Development Manager susannah@activlives.org.uk, Alternatively, please post or drop in to ActivLives, Brightspace, 160 Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0HH. If you would like an informal chat about the role, please call Susannah on 07530 407302

Download the application form by clicking the button below.