Canal & River Trust

  • Project Leader - Desmond Family Canoe Trail

    Job Locations UK-Leeds
    Job ID
    Closing Date
    Position Type
    Temporary FT
    Advertised Salary
  • Job Purpose

    We currently have a Project Leader vacancy which is a fantastic opportunity to join the Canal & River Trust in an exciting role. This opportunity is a fixed term contract for 18 months based out of our Leeds office with regular travel to Goole. As the Project Leader you will be responsible for recruiting young people to the project, as well as for enthusing the local community and creating a diverse programme of activities and events that get people involved. Through your work, you will not only help young people get onto water, learn new skills, transform their health and wellbeing and find pathways into education and employment, but will also leave a legacy of connected communities along vibrant green and blue corridors.


    The Desmond Family Canoe Trail’s vision is to develop England’s first coast-to-coast canoe trail, running over 160 miles from Liverpool to Goole and connecting some of the most deprived communities in the north of England. But how we intend to achieve that vision is more exciting still. We will engage with over 10,000 young people and their families over the life of the project. Social action projects will be created and carried out as well as enabling local communities to design and develop their own sections of the trail.

    We’re looking for an experienced Project Leader with a proven track record of engaging young people in practical activities and managing volunteers. A key part of the role will be to build relationships with a wide range of local individuals and groups, including schools, universities, canoe clubs and charities, so it is important that you are good with people and have a friendly and open style. Excellent organisational and time management skills are also essential, as your workload will be very varied and full. Other key qualities we’d like you to have include the ability to create volunteering opportunities and marketing materials that appeal specifically to young people and enough knowledge of digital media to successfully promote the project online.


    The Role:
    Your responsibilities as a Project Leader for the Desmond Family Canoe Trail will include:


    • Developing strong working relationships with a wide range of partners in the local area including; schools, universities, local authorities, businesses, uniformed groups, canoe clubs, canal societies, charities and British Canoeing. 
    • Hosting local community consultation events to promote the programme and its aims, meet local people and identify local issues and priorities that may inform the development of the programme locally. You will work to ensure attendance is representative of the diverse and varied local communities involved
    • Recruiting young people and creating social action projects along the route and provide ongoing support and training to enable them to develop a range of transferrable skills and personal qualities through their engagement in the programme. 
    • Developing and delivering a diverse programme of activities, projects and events for the local community engaging local partners and specialist agencies as appropriate. 
    • Developing links with canoe clubs including paddle-ability canoe clubs, design and develop of the trail and ensure the trail provides access to all.
    • Ensuring all paperwork is completed in line with the project’s monitoring and evaluation reporting and update the Trust’s volunteer database. 
    • Working with the Trust’s communications team to positively promote the programme. 

    Knowledge, Skills/Qualifications & Experience


    Essential -

    • Demonstrable experience of youth work including developing and delivering projects for young people
    • Considerable experience of collaborative working and developing and delivering social action / youth projects in partnership with other relevant organisations
    • Experience of engaging and supporting volunteers
    • Skilled and confident negotiator and relationship builder with the ability to deal sensitively / diplomatically with stakeholders and community partners
    • Ability to engage and support individuals and groups from diverse communities, particularly young people
    • Confident and self-motivated with the ability to work under pressure to meet targets and deal with complexity
    • A skilled communicator who can promote the programme positively and passionately to young people, communities and potential partners to develop canoeing and wider engagement opportunities
    • Ability to research, plan and programme a wide range of youth and community engagement opportunities to realise the project aims
    • Ability to work unsupervised and alone when appropriate
    • Excellent time management, prioritisation and organisational skills
    • Excellent IT skills in Outlook, Word, Excel & PowerPoint
    • Valid full car driving licence and available vehicle
    • Ability to work evenings and weekends as the role requires

     Desirable -

    • Good knowledge and understanding of the day to day governance, management and operations of canoe clubs and the range of canoeing activity currently available
    • Having environmental practical skills such as dry stone walling, hedge laying, fence building, path laying etc will be advantageous but not essential.
    • Experience of community engagement
    • An interest and experience in canoeing and/or water based recreation activities
    • Experience of working in an outdoors visitor focused environment
    • Experience of event management and delivery

    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.


    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.

    What We Offer

    At the Trust we care passionately for our waterways, and as importantly, for those who look after and use them. In addition to your annual salary, we also offer a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, and numerous other employee benefits, including several salary sacrifice benefits. Further 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.


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