Community Rail Support Officer – England South & Midlands
community rail network

Job Description

Job description 

Do you have skills in community engagement, providing advice, support and training? Could you motivate and support local communities to engage with their local railways and sustainable travel? 

We’re looking for a new Community Rail Support Officer based in southern England and the Midlands, to support our network of community rail partnerships (CRPs) and station adoption groups.  

About us 

Community Rail Network is a not-for-profit organisation, working across Britain, supporting a growing ‘community rail’ movement, which helps communities get the most from their railways, promotes sustainable and inclusive travel, coordinates volunteering and place-making, and brings people together. 

Community rail is made up of 75 community-based partnership organisations, and around 1,200 station friends volunteer groups and other community-led initiatives around Britain. Their activities range from creative projects for young people, to advising train operators on service improvements, to building travel confidence with families and disabled people, to biodiversity projects at stations, to promoting greener travel and tourism by rail. 

Our enthusiastic team of 22 works mainly from home in different locations, but we come together regularly in person and online. We work collaboratively to advise our members, provide training, events and resources, run campaigns, and champion community rail and its insights via decision-makers and the media. We believe in developing our team and supporting everyone to reach their potential while having a good work-life balance. 

About this role 

The purpose of this role is to provide support and advice to community rail partnerships and groups in the South of England and Midlands, on working effectively and delivering maximum benefit to their communities and railways.

You’ll be comfortable engaging and advising local groups and communities to extend existing and set up new initiatives, and to reach wider audiences with an evidence-led, place-based approach. As well as supporting local groups, you’ll work closely with the rail industry, and wider third and public sector partners to ensure collaboration and shared success.

Main responsibilities 

  1. Provide direct support and advice to CRPs and their officers, and other community rail groups in the region. This includes responding to queries and requests, passing on specialist queries to other members of the team, and providing proactive support through our accreditation review process and as set out in our plans; 
  2. Support the development of skills, confidence and effectiveness across the network of CRPs and station groups, helping them to increase their positive social, environmental and economic impact, including through referral to our training, events and resources; 
  3. Support the development of emerging community rail partnerships, station friend groups and community-led stations and railway-related projects in the region;
  4. Helping our members to work effectively with rail, transport, local government and community partners, supporting effective relationship building and showing positive leadership and insights on community rail within the region; 
  5. Work with the Support Manager on delivery and monitoring of our grant schemes, and support CRPs and groups in the region to apply, deliver successfully and report back on funded work; 
  6. Gather and share examples, feedback and insights from our members across the region, to facilitate best practice sharing and confidence across community rail and to feed into our communications, resources, events and public affairs work; 
  7. As a member of the Community Rail Network team, participate and contribute to our wider work as relevant, such as Community Rail Week, our annual conference and Awards. 

Skills, competencies and experience 

  1. Skills in in supporting community engagement projects; an understanding of and confidence in using community engagement, local communications, project planning and evaluation techniques
  2. Interpersonal skills and the ability to work confidently with stakeholders at all levels and facilitate positive discussion; articulate and assertive 
  3. Excellent writing and presentational skills 
  4. Awareness of sustainable transport and social inclusion, and an appreciation of the importance of rail, sustainable travel and mobility to communities 
  5. A demonstrable ability to manage time effectively and juggle a range of activities in an organised and professional manner;
  6. Proactive, positive and self-motivated, able to work on own initiative and inspire and enthuse others, and overcome hurdles to achieve results; 
  7. IT literate with a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office, the internet and social media 

Other information 

  • This post is home-based, but with regular travel (including overnight stays) within the south of England and Midlands, and nationally for team meetings
  • The Community Rail Support Officer reports to the Support Manager within the Support and Development team
  • Hours are 37 hours per week.  A degree of flexibility and out-of-hours working (evenings and weekends) will be required, together with some travel and overnight absences
  • This is a permanent position and includes a probationary period of three months from the date of appointment

Application Instructions 

Please upload your CV and answer the two questions on the form, by 9am on Tuesday 16th April, summarising, with evidence, how you match the role specification and why you are interested in this position.  Please include a daytime phone number and an email address. Due to limited resources, we cannot provide feedback to candidates not invited to interview. Interviews are likely to be held on Friday 26th April.

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.