Growing Together Project Officer

Surrey Hills Society

Job title: Growing Together: Inclusion and Conservation in the Surrey Hills – Project Officer

Reporting to (post): Project and Volunteer Manager

Hours of work: Full time preferred, 37.5 hours per week. Please note we will consider applications for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Located at Surrey Hills Estate Office – Warren Farm Barns, Dorking, RH5 6DG, site visits across the Surrey Hills National Landscape, wider Surrey County and working from home.

Salary: £28,000 pro rata

About the Surrey Hills Society:

The Surrey Hills Society is an independent charity promoting the positive enjoyment and conservation of the Surrey Hills National Landscape for those who live, work in, or visit the area. The Society encourages people to explore and learn about the special qualities and distinctiveness of the area through walks, talks, events, practical conservation, and volunteering.

The Role:

An 18-month employment contract with the Surrey Hills Society (reviewed after a probationary period of 3 months) to deliver The National Lottery Heritage Funded Project ‘Growing Together: Diversity and Inclusion in the Surrey Hills’.

About the project:

The project will be based in the Surrey Hills National Landscape. The ability to enjoy and appreciate our protected landscapes has been a fundamental part of our lives since the conception of the National Parks and Countryside Access Act in 1949. However, it is apparent that they are disproportionately enjoyed by certain sectors of the community, leaving inequalities in access and a lack of confidence in using the natural environment. We need to deliver better outcomes for communities facing these inequalities.

This project aims to increase opportunities for inclusivity in the countryside by working with three primary target groups. These are Surrey Choices, supporting adults with learning disabilities, Surrey Coalition of Disabled people which represents and supports Disabled People, and Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF) which represents more than 60 multi-ethnic community groups in Surrey.

The first two months of the project will be spent facilitating workshops with our target groups to build relationships, trust and co-create the activity programme. Through a year long
programme of co-designed nature-based activities, we wish to increase confidence in the countryside, build outdoor and conservation skills and provide greater opportunities for people to learn about the landscape. Over the course of a year, we hope to engage with 100 participants and run 4-5 activity sessions per month. This will involve working closely with participants from each of our target groups and their partner organisations, as well as a wide-variety of site-managers, conservation organisations and farmers and landowners.

Through greater representation, and empowering communities, this project aims to create a legacy for diversity and inclusion in the Surrey Hills going forward, ensuring that heritage features such as the Surrey Hills National Landscape can be accessed and enjoyed by all.

Key areas of work:

To work with the Project and Volunteer Manager on leading and managing the planning, delivery, and evaluation of ‘Growing Together: Inclusion and Diversity in the Surrey Hills’ in close collaboration with the Surrey Hills Society Team and a Project Steering Group.

This includes:

  • Building trust and relationships with partner organisations and acting as a point of contact for project participants and partners.
  • Facilitating taster and workshop sessions to assist with the planning of a co-designed
    nature-based and conservation volunteering activity programme.
  • Organisation and delivery of the co-designed activity programme, considering access needs and requirements, as well as feedback throughout project. This includes, identifying appropriate sites, transport, and activities and overall coordination throughout.
  • Bringing partners such as existing volunteer networks, site-managers, and conservation organisations together to deliver activities as well as build relationships with project participants.
  • Facilitate feedback and surveys in partnership with Surrey University’s Environmental Psychology department, to monitor project progress and evaluate project outcomes. This includes project reporting and story capture on a variety of platforms.
  • Coordinating with local landowners and site-managers to identify opportunities to work together to deliver conservation and access projects.
  • Assisting with the delivery of practical conservation tasks including, incorporating participant sessions into community volunteering open days, corporate team building days and community group events.
  • Working closely with the Surrey Hills Board and Surrey Hills Arts to deliver the project aims as well as assisting with Surrey Hills-wide events, including an annual symposium at Surrey University.
  • Working in partnership with other organisations such as Surrey Wildlife Trust and The National Trust to deliver the project outcomes.
  • Promotion of the project including special offers to National Lottery Players.
  • Co-creating digital assets to promote greater representation to communities.

Person Specification:


  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Empathy and understanding of the value of diversity and integration.
  • The ability to build effective relationships and trust.
  • Open mindedness and a recognition of the barriers that certain members of the community face.
  • A passion for the environment, UK wildlife and the countryside.
  • Confidence in leading groups of people.
  • Good organisational and IT skills and the ability to think on your feet/be resourceful.
  • The ability to self-motivate and manage your own calendar.
  • The ability to work as part of a team and in partnership with others, including with those who work within other organisations.
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to the role.
  • Clean UK driving licence and access to a car.
  • Subject to DBS check.


  • Relevant experience in relation to conservation and the environment.
  • Knowledge of the local area and local communities.
  • Background of working with minority groups.
  • First Aid trained.
  • Knowledge of social media.

Job Outcomes/Opportunities:

  • Experience of working within a charitable organisation and as part of a National Landscape.
  • Experience working with a wide range of people, including those with different requirements and abilities.
  • Opportunity for networking with various Surrey based organisations which may help with future employability and career prospects.
  • Training courses (subject to availability) which may include First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, Disability Awareness, and Volunteer management.
  • Practical work experience including assisting and leading with practical conservation tasks.
  • Development of time management, organisational and interpersonal skills.
  • Extensive experience of event planning, including the management of tools, logistics, creation of risk assessments and delivery.
  • Excellent opportunity to make a marked difference on the diversity of visitor and volunteer profiles in the Surrey Hills.

Job Information:

The contract will be for a duration of 18 months. Standard working hours will be from
9am-5:30pm. Normal working hours will be Monday-Friday, but you will be required to work weekends when the project requires. Due to the nature of the target audience some activity sessions will have to be at weekends and occasionally during the evening. The appointed candidate is expected to fully participate in all activities offered to them, but any additional working will be accounted for through time off in lieu (TOIL).

The successful candidate will be based out of the Surrey Hills Estate Office, which is located at Warren Farm Barns, Headley Lane, Mickleham Dorking, RH5 6DG. However, you will also be expected to travel to a wide variety of sites across the area as well as work from home.

You will be entitled to 25 days holiday (pro rata if less than 37.5 hours per week) plus bank holidays. Travel expenses will be agreed and paid for. You will also be entitled to a pension once the probationary period has passed.

You must have a full UK driving licence and have access to a car to reach different sites and occasionally transport equipment.

Closing date: Friday 19th April.

Equal Opportunities

We are committed to having an inclusive and diverse organisation and encourage applications from those with backgrounds, which may be underrepresented in our sector, including people from minority ethnic backgrounds and people with disabilities. 

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