The District Church Council (DCC) of St Luke’s Downham is seeking to employ someone to coordinate our advice service and to support the running of the Front Room Club.

The Front Room Club is a café style drop in running at St Luke’s Downham. The club is for those who are experiencing or at risk of social isolation and provides a safe, welcoming and supportive place to grow. Providing a place to meet people, access support and advice, develop social and practical skills, and talk about mental health challenges. As well as providing health advice and intervention via our Parish Nurse.

The Front Room is looking to develop our services by partnering with Edge Ministries to establish an Edge Centre in Downham. An Edge Centre provides a range of support for people on the edge of society. It offers advice in housing, mental health, benefits, debt and homelessness. Each centre is unique to its context and is run by the local church. The advice and expert support is provided by a nationally recognised and accredited charity, the Freedom Project, with the centre acting as a local point of contact.

Our objectives:
– To reduce isolation and the negative impact it causes to people’s mental and physical health
– To provide accessible advice and support services for the isolated
– To encourage people to take an active role in society

The Role: The aim of this role is to provide a local point of contact for people in the local community who need the advice and support offered by an Edge Centre. The main purpose of this role is to promote the support offered by our Edge Centre, recruit and support volunteers, act as a liaison between those needing support and the advice workers (setting up appointments, assisting with paperwork, and acting in a supportive role). The role will also involve helping out at the Front Room Club as holiday/sick cover for other team members and at particularly busy times.

The Person: The most important thing the right person for this role needs is kindness and an ability to listen well to people. They will also be organised and able to support people in filling in paperwork, accessing resources online, and keeping track of appointments. They will need to have good boundaries in their interactions with people in need.

The Church: St Luke’s Downham (www.stlukesdownham.org.uk) is one of four churches in the Catford (Southend) and Downham Team ministry and shares a vicar with St Mark’s North Downham. St Luke’s is a small but active church with an excellent track record of community engagement and a very good reputation in the local community, with the church open six days a week for the community prior to lock-down.

Terms, Conditions and Pay: The role will initially be for 10 hours a week at £11 per hour and comes with 56 hours of annual leave per year. The role is currently funded to the end of 2021. However, it is hoped that the role will continue and may expand if further funding is obtained and as the role develops.

The majority of these hours will be based at the Front Room Club at St Luke’s Downham on either Tuesday or Friday (9.30am to 2.30pm). The post holder may also be asked to attend other churches and projects in the community to promote the project and support the community. The role may require occasionally working evenings and/or weekends.

The successful applicant will be required to undertake a DBS check, however a criminal record is not necessarily a bar to this post. They will also be required to attend Safeguarding training provided by the Diocese of Southwark.

The right person for this role will be able to offer Christian prayer sensitively and gently to people who might appreciate it as part of the support package; and therefore, must be a committed member of a Christian church. However, the successful candidate will not be expected to make St Luke’s their church.

Application and Interview: To apply for this post please submit your CV and a covering letter setting out why you believe that you are suitable for this role to [email protected] Please provide two referees who can demonstrate that you fulfil the criteria.

Closing Date: 5pm on Friday 28th May 2021

Interview: Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend part of a Front Room Club session followed by a formal interview on 4th June 2021 – if you are unable to make this session, alternative times/dates may be arranged.

Download person specification

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