Canal & River Trust

  • Informal Learning & Interpretation Officer

    Job Locations UK-Gloucester | UK-Worcestershire
    Job ID
    Closing Date
    Position Type
    Temporary FT
    Asset Improvement
    Advertised Salary
  • Job Purpose

    The Informal Learning & Interpretation Officer is responsible for delivering the Unlocking the Severn Informal Learning & Interpretation Plan ensuring all outcomes and outputs are met for heritage, people and communities. This work forms part of the project’s Activity Programme for community engagement. Interpretation and learning projects are designed to connect people with their local river, supporting them to understand the project and get involved with partners’ work.


    37 Hours Monday-Friday. Occasional evening & weekend working. This is a 3 year project offering a 3 year fixed term contract.



    Unlocking the Severn is a large and ambitious £20m river restoration programme led by Canal & River Trust, delivered in partnership with Severn Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency and Natural England. It will run from 2018 to 2021 with major funding grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and EU LIFE Programme.


    The project is based around capital works to remove historic barriers at six weir sites on the River Severn and its main tributary the Teme. The courageous shad (a herring species) will return to the upper reaches of the river and spawn and flourish in large numbers once more. We will open 253km of river for migrating fish, and work toward a sustainable future for the United Kingdom’s longest river.


    Our Activity Plan for community engagement has been designed so that local residents, people who use and visit the river recreationally, and a range of new audiences will participate in memorable and unusual learning experiences to celebrate this magnificent force of nature its fascinating histories and remarkable array of wildlife. They will be supported to continue its protection for years to come.


    Activity Programme Partners

    Project lead: Canal & River Trust                                 

    We're the charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs, along with museums, archives and the country’s third largest collection of protected historic buildings. Every role across the Trust plays its part in transforming our canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better, bringing wellbeing benefits to millions.


    Our role in the Unlocking the Severn partnership is programme lead; coordinating capital works and community engagement, managing funding and ensuring effective partnership working.


    Delivery partner: Severn Rivers Trust                   

    Severn Rivers Trust are a small independent environmental charity established to secure the preservation, protection and improvement of the Severn catchment. We work to share our enthusiasm and passion for rivers and make positive differences to the lives, aspirations, skills and values of communities by providing meaningful experiences and connections with the natural world.


    Our role in Unlocking the Severn is leading some elements of the project Activity Plan (Formal Learning and Volunteering) and providing specialist input to the partnership.


    Hub partners

    Six hub delivery partners will help us reach larger more diverse audiences across Gloucestershire Worcestershire and Shropshire. These include three museums, a public library and archive, a new heritage learning space, and a country park.


    Joint Activity Programme Team


    The Activity Programme for community engagement will be delivered by a mixed staff team from both main partner organisations. The Community Engagement Manager, two project officers and two apprentices will be employed by the Canal & River Trust. Three project officers will be employed by the Severn Rivers Trust. The team will work closely and collaboratively, sharing office spaces in Gloucester (CRT) and Worcester (SRT), and delivering activities at a range of venues across the project region.


    Knowledge, Skills/Qualifications & Experience

    Key Accountabilities:

    • Deliver a programme of informal learning and interpretation as outlined in the Activity Plan to enable people of all ages and abilities to learn about, enjoy and engage with the River Severn and the Unlocking the Severn project.
    • With support from the Community Engagement Manager, procure and manage interpretive designers, artists, contractors and suppliers to design, build and install fixed interpretation at a range of sites.
    • Deliver tailored learning projects for a range of target audience groups.
    • Contribute to the multi-partner team to deliver the Unlocking the Severn Activity Programme.
    • Build relationships with a range of partners, hub organisations, community groups and stakeholders to ensure the successful delivery of the programme.
    • Recruit, train and manage volunteers following rigorous procedures and best practice to facilitate a high-quality experience for volunteers, staff and participants.
    • Develop new and existing relationships which will encourage non-traditional audiences to engage with the River Severn and the Unlocking the Severn project.
    • Work with the project team and Canal & River Trust’s Apprentice Coordinator to recruit, train and manage the project’s River Severn Apprentices, ensuring personal and career development.
    • Work with the project team and waterways staff to develop Diglis Island as a heritage destination ensuring the long term economic sustainability of the site.
    • Work with the project team and evaluation consultants to gather data to monitor and celebrate the project’s success.
    • Implement rigorous safeguarding and health & safety procedures.



    Knowledge, Experience & Skills:

    • Experience delivering learning and interpretive projects and exhibitions, including working in sensitive outdoor and indoor settings and targeting different audience groups.
    • Experience working with specialist consultants (e.g. graphic designers, exhibition curators, artists and film makers) to deliver high quality outputs.
    • Experience working with a range of audiences including non-traditional audiences for heritage, young people, special interest groups and families.
    • Experience developing and delivering engaging learning activities in a range of visitor destinations (e.g. museums, country parks, archives and outdoors).
    • Understanding of aesthetics and design.
    • Experience supporting volunteers in a variety of roles (e.g. archive research, collecting oral histories, arts activities and outdoor tasks).
    • Experience evaluating learning activities and an understanding of why this is important for partners and funders.
    • Experience supporting colleagues to work toward shared team outcomes.
    • Team work skills for collaborating and working in partnerships, balancing the needs of different stakeholders.
    • Able to write concise and clear reports, proposals and briefing statements.
    • Excellent communication skills, verbally, visually and in writing, appropriate to location, audience and circumstance.
    • Budget management experience to deliver value for money and prioritise where resource should be invested for the best outcomes.
    • Self-motivation, able to work independently with minimal supervision to meet strict deadlines.
    • Creative approach to problem solving.
    • Experience using office software including email, MS Word, PowerPoint & Excel.
    • Ability to understand and implement organisational policies.
    • A degree or equivalent, ideally in a relevant subject (e.g. education, humanities, heritage, interpretation, arts etc.).
    • As this role is on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Exception Order applicants must state the details of any cautions or convictions whether spent or unspent on the self-disclosure section of the application form.
    • This job involves regulated activity with children and adults at risk as defined by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Therefore, an Enhanced Criminal Record check will be undertaken by the successful candidate prior to employment.
    • A criminal record is not necessarily a bar to employment with us. HR will advise and decisions made on a case by case basis.


    What We Offer

    In addition to your annual salary we also a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, and numerous other employee benefits, including several salary sacrifice benefits. More details can be found here.


    We are striving to represent the diverse communities that we are a part of. All candidates will be treated on the basis of their merits, skills and abilities and solely by being assessed against the requirements for the job. Many of our vacancies can be considered for people who wish to work flexibly, job share or part time. 


    When you join the Canal & River Trust you become a member of an engaged team working to preserve our heritage for future generations. Come and put your skills to use on our waterways.


    Find out more about the work we do on our website:



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