Posted: 19 June 2019
Closing date: 9am, 12 July 2019

HOURS: 30 hours a week/ 4 days a week
START DATE: 1st September 2019 (to be negotiated)
SALARY RANGE: £30,000 to £37,000, per annum pro rata (dependent on experience). Support can be provided towards relocation costs if needed.
DURATION: Permanent
LOCATION: Eden Rural Foyer, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 8ET

We are looking for a passionate, strategic professional, who is both proactive and efficient, and able to delegate and build consensus, as a new chief executive to lead our organisation.

The past year has seen an unprecedented upsurge in public interest in the climate crisis – and in demand for our expertise and support to tackle the causes. CAfS is uniquely poised to guide and enable the shift to deliver our vision of a zero carbon Cumbria – building on more than 20 years of supporting households, communities and organisations across the public, private and third sectors to cut carbon emissions and to live and work more sustainably.

We are expanding and realigning our team so that we can meet the rising need for our services and maximise the emerging opportunity to drive the rapid change that climate science unequivocally demands.

Our current chief executive is moving into a new senior management position at CAfS  to focus on developing specific high-priority areas in our business plan and to build and influence strategic partnerships. We are therefore recruiting a new chief executive to lead our experienced, dedicated and friendly team of 12 staff, working alongside our talented board of trustees. We are looking for someone to implement the vision, drive sustainability at all levels of the public and political spectrum, lead the day-to-day management of CAfS and work with trustees on financial viability.

This is a hugely exciting opportunity for an experienced leader to guide a respected and dynamic organisation at a point of great challenge and potential, and to be part of global action to protect our environment for future generations to come.

Application & Interview Process

To apply, please download and fill in the application form below. Instructions for submitting your application are included in the form.

Application Form – CAfS Chief Executive Officer

Closing date for return of applications is 9am on Friday 12 July 2019.

A recruitment day will be held on Friday 19 July 2019 in Penrith and we would like shortlisted candidates to attend for the whole day, from 9am to 4.30pm. There will be a variety of activities to do on the day, including a formal interview, a group exercise for all candidates, and an opportunity to meet and ask questions of the staff. This will enable us to really get to know candidates, and see how they might operate with our wider team.

Job Description

The job description is below. You can also download it as a pdf: Download Job Description – CAfS Chief Executive Officer

THE EMPLOYER: Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS)
LOCATION: Eden Rural Foyer, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 8ET
REPORTS TO: Trustees
HOURS: 30 hours a week/ 4 days a week
START DATE: 1st September 2019 (to be negotiated)
SALARY RANGE: £30,000 to £37,000, per annum pro rata (dependent on experience). Support can be provided towards relocation costs if needed.
DURATION: Permanent


Vision: Towards a Zero Carbon Cumbria – bringing about a better way of life in balance with our environment.

Mission: To empower and enable people, communities and businesses to live and work more sustainably by sharing our knowledge, practice, skills, networks and practical experience. We manage and deliver events, advice, training and practical projects across the county as well as providing specialist consultancy services to enable individuals, communities, businesses and local authorities to drive a shift towards a Zero Carbon Cumbria.

Our team of 12 highly skilled staff work with a pool of 25 specialist contractors and 30 volunteers to deliver around 20 major, transformational low-carbon projects each year. CAfS is the leading organisation in Cumbria with increasing influence nationally, showcasing low carbon living, energy efficiency improvements, renewable technology and reduced use of fossil fuels, both on a domestic scale and in the community. The charity is driving the shift towards a zero carbon Cumbria and provides information, advice and motivation through events, site visits and practical projects. Now celebrating our 20th year, CAfS is the first point of reference in the county for information on sustainability.

CAfS is a friendly, dynamic, professional, and responsive organisation, continually striving to deliver effective projects that make an impact and create a shift. Due to recent growth in the staff team, an increased turnover, and a huge surge in interest and demand for our work, we need to increase our development capacity. Our existing Chief Executive is moving into a development role in order to focus on developing specific high priority areas in our business plan. We are now seeking a new Chief Executive with increased hours to reflect the need to develop and grow CAfS, particularly in the light of the increased awareness of climate emergency. This is an extremely exciting opportunity for the right candidate to make a significant difference in the county and further afield.


To work with trustees and staff to implement the vision and mission of CAfS:

1) To lead and manage the development and continual review of CAfS’ strategy and business plan

2) To establish and monitor key indicators of the organisation’s impact

3) To represent CAfS externally and continue to position CAfS as the go-to organisation regarding inspiration on climate change and practical emission reduction activity in the widest sense

4) To ensure CAfS builds relationships with politicians, the media, government officials and other key influencers in order to advance the organisation’s aims

To lead the day-to-day management of all CAfS activities:

1) To ensure that all activity undertaken is in line with CAfS’ vision of driving a shift to a zero carbon Cumbria

2) To manage relationships with partners and funders and ensure the efficient and timely delivery of projects (maximising the benefits that can arise from integrated planning and delivery)

3) To build effective teams so that outcomes are maximised

4) To line manage senior staff and ensure clear line management structures are in place

5) To take responsibility for staff and volunteer recruitment, supervision and development

6) To ensure the organisation’s staff and volunteers are focused on achieving its mission and aims

7) To maintain the honest, accountable, open and respectful organisational culture

To work with trustees to ensure CAfS is financially viable and legally compliant:

1) To lead and manage the development and continual review of CAfS’ budget

2) To establish and monitor key indicators of the organisation’s financial health

3) To provide strategic direction for fundraising activity; review and direct CAfS’ medium-term 3-5 year funding plan ensuring diversity of income and integration with CAfS’ business plan

4) To diversify the income of the organisation with a particular focus on developing earned income

5) To ensure all policies and procedures are up to date, efficient and effective

6) To build an effective working relationship with the board of trustees and ensure the strategic steer given by trustees is implemented

7) To supply regular reports to the trustee board and attend trustee and sub-committee meetings

8) To ensure compliance with all legal, statutory and regulatory responsibilities including (but not limited to) employment law, health and safety legislation and GDPR

9) To maintain awareness and management of risks and changes that affect the organisation

10) To carry out tasks and duties from time to time as required by the trustees for the maintenance and development of CAfS

Person Specification

The person specification is below. You can also download it as a pdf: Download Person Specification – CAfS Chief Executive Officer

The CAfS CEO will be a passionate, strategic professional, who is proactive, efficient, effective and able to prioritise, delegate and build consensus.

We include the wide range of skills we need in the senior management team below. Rather than indicating these as either essential or desirable, we would like you to make it clear which of the following skills and experience you have and particularly in which areas your strengths lie.

Skills and attributes


• Passionate and visionary leader, able to bring others with you
• Demonstrable experience of developing, coordinating and initiating new and large-scale partnerships
• Ability to network effectively and build alliances
• Experience of maintaining a high media profile and giving television, newspaper and radio interviews
• Strong existing networks and relationships with key gatekeepers in Cumbria
• Significant experience of public speaking and inspiring others to act
• Demonstrable experience of developing organisational strategy, and the income generation and transformational projects needed to implement that strategy


• Ability to lead and manage a team of high achievers, respect and support the skills of others and manage in a collaborative fashion including:
—-o Motivational line management and interpersonal skills
—-o Strong organisational management skills with attention to detail
• Experience of charity management
• Experience of project and programme management
• Experience of resource management
• Strong financial management skills and experience of setting and operating a budget
• Experience of income generation from individuals, corporates, legacies, trusts and other grants and of developing new income streams that provide a surplus for the organisation
• Experience of reporting to trustees


• Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of broad sustainability issues, including climate change, and a shared interest in the objectives that CAfS seeks to deliver
• Knowledge of sustainable living and low-carbon solutions. May include energy efficiency, renewable technology, land use, transport, waste and food
• Knowledge of new economics and the wellbeing agenda
• Excellent written communication skills


• Ability to motivate staff and harness skills, energy and enthusiasm
• Ability to manage consensus and negotiate partnership approaches
• Self-motivated, clear minded and innovative
• Ability to work to extremely tight deadlines and manage multiple competing priorities
• Pro-active with ability to suggest solutions and overcome problems
• Ability to work flexibly including some evening and weekend working
• Highly motivated and independent worker requiring minimal supervision