Vacancy: Community Project Officer


Community project officer (newsletters project): person specification and job description

Job title: Community Project Officer (CPO)

Location: Kingston Federation of Residents, 1 Tadlow, Washington Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 3JL

Hours of work: 200 hours over a period of one year, June 2015-June 2016, with some flexibility about the end date

Salary: £20.00 per hour

Type of Contract:  THE CPO will carry out the work on a self-employed basis and submit invoices, or be employed through an agency.


Kingston Federation of Residents is an umbrella group representing council tenants and leaseholders in Kingston upon Thames.  There are 6500 council properties in the borough.  There are 10 residents’ associations (RAs) in the borough representing tenants and leaseholders, all of which are members of the Federation.  The Federation offers these RAs comprehensive support.  One of the areas supported is the production of newsletters.  Each RA should produce 2-3 newsletters each year and distribute them to all residents living in their catchment area, which is usually a council estate.  Currently RA newsletters are delivered to 2700 properties in the borough.

In May 2015 the Federation received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to help RAs issue newsletters over the period of one year.  The CPO will be responsible for delivering this project, the Community Newsletters Project.

Community Newsletters Project aims:

  • to enable each RA produce 2 or 3 newsletters each year by providing training, software and the support of a part-time community project officer (this role), managed by the Federation
  • to support youth employment schemes through contracts for newsletter distribution
  • to develop the skills of a part-time community project officer (this role)
  • to help RAs communicate with minority groups more effectively
  • to enable the Kingston Community Housing Trust (CHT) consultation which will take place during the period of the contract to engage with as many residents as possible
Short term project goals
  • to enable RAs to communicate with residents about the proposed Kingston Community Housing Trust
  • to raise the profile of RAs and enable them to function more effectively
  • to support employability initiatives for local teenagers
Long term project goal

To enable RAs to produce their own newsletters.

Why RA newsletters are important

Newsletters are the main way that RAs communicate to council tenants and leaseholders about issues in their local area.  Newsletters not only give residents updates about community news but play a vital role in getting residents involved in the work of their local RA.  The uptake of electronically based communications is traditionally low on the borough’s council estates, making hard copy communication an indispensable tool for getting important messages across to residents.

Special significance of the period June 2015-June 2016

  • In February 2015 the council approved the first steps towards setting up a Community Housing Trust in Kingston
  • A CHT is an independent, not-for-profit company wholly owned by the Council which manages the housing service
  • a CHT is managed by a board, comprising tenants, leaseholders, elected councillors and independent advisers
  • residents make up the largest group on the CHT management board
  • A CHT focuses solely on housing, and on providing projects that benefit the community
  • a CHT needs Government approval before it can start delivering housing services, and the Council is required to show a majority of its residents’ support a CHT.

We are therefore now in a period when communicating with residents about the CHT is the top priority for residents’ organisations in Kingston.  It is therefore vital that residents are kept informed about progress towards setting up a community housing trust and RA newsletters have an important role to play in this.

Person specification


  • the ability to design and manage a multi-faceted project
  • the ability to work with a wide range of people in developing and implementing plans
  • excellent written and spoken English
  • excellent editing skills [note: the workload does not include design and production]
  • the ability to explain complex issues to council residents
  • proficient in the use of Microsoft Office, especially Outlook and Word
  • excellent word processing skills
  • able to  attend evening and some daytime meetings
  • the ability to manage a small budget
  • ability to identify training needs and source training providers
  • solid administrative skills
  • Other important personal qualities:
  • able to be pro-active in solving problems and initiating actions
  • able to work on their own and as part of a team
  • able to deal with people at all levels in a professional manner
  • sympathetic towards the needs and aspirations of council tenants and leaseholders


  • proficient in the use of desktop publishing software
  • basic digital photography and editing skills
  • experience of dealing with council tenants and leaseholders
  • experience of working for a voluntary body
  • some knowledge of project management or a willingness to learn to use project management software

Duties of the role

  •  to attend training provided by Kingston Federation of Residents
  • to design and manage most aspects of the Community Newsletters Project
  • to contribute to the production of resident associations’ newsletters through research, writing and editing
  • to keep well-informed about the proposed Kingston Community Housing Trust and other relevant issues by liaising with Kingston Federation of Residents and senior council officers
  • to carry out administrative tasks necessary for the efficient running of the project
  • to ensure that the project is carried out within Big Lottery Fund guidelines
  • to contribute to collating the materials necessary for reporting back to the Big Lottery Fund after the project is complete

 Application procedure

Applicants should send their CVs and a short supporting statement by email to: by Friday 26 June 2015.


For further information contact:

Barry Mitchell, Federation Co-ordinator

020 8974 5806