North East London Organiser

Cooperation Town

London, with hybrid working
£35,090 pa with potential Social Waging adjustment

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

cooperation.town

Sectors: food, farming & horticulture

Closing date: Wednesday, 19th June 2024   Closes today


Title: Cooperation Town North East London Organiser
Rate: £35,090 (basic salary, with potential Social Waging adjustment. See below)
Hours: 40 hours per week, flexible (with some evenings and weekends)
Contract length: Twelve months
Based: Across the London boroughs of Hackney (50%), Haringey, Waltham Forest & Tower Hamlets
Application deadline: Wednesday 19 June 2024 at 11pm

About Cooperation Town

Cooperation Town was set up in 2019 to develop a network of community food co-ops, organising on streets and estates across the country.

Cooperation Town co-ops are small buying groups, providing their members with free and affordable groceries, sourced in bulk and distributed at a very low price. Our co-ops are owned by their members and run according to local needs. Members decide collectively on how to organise and are responsible for the day to day running of the co-op. 

While each Cooperation Town co-op is independent, the network is designed to share resources and support across the movement.

Our vision is for a food co-op on every street in every town!

Cooperation Town is a worker co-op, run by its member-workers. All workers are paid the same basic hourly rate, regardless of their role or experience. We use a Socially Just Waging system to adjust the basic rate according to members’ needs and responsibilities. 

Find out more about Cooperation Town on our website www.cooperation.town

About the North East London Organiser role

In 2023 Cooperation Town secured funding from Comic Relief for a part time Organiser role across north east London. We then partnered with Hackney Council to extend the role to full time and cover the following areas: Hackney, Haringey, Waltham Forest & Tower Hamlets.
The organiser will spend 50% of their organising time in Hackney.

The role of the Organiser is to lead on the establishment, development and ongoing support of new Cooperation Town community food co-ops across the four boroughs.

You will work with local community partners (for example: community organisations, faith groups, school staff, tenants and residents organisations and the local authority) to identify and reach out to potential members and organise partnership events.

You will work directly with members of the community across different locations to share information, recruit members, find organising spaces and other tasks to help groups establish new community food co-ops. You will provide ongoing support as co-ops develop and grow.

You will help the co-ops to link up with local food suppliers, including surplus and wholesale suppliers, and work with them to establish a smooth and effective logistics operation. 

You will be expected to be available for in-person and online sessions, meetings and events. You will work flexibly, responding to members’ and partners’ needs and availability (within reason). You will be self managing your own time to suit the project best.

You will be responsible for managing resources and a small budget (with support from colleagues), for data collection and reporting and for holding regular information sharing meetings, both internally and with LB Hackney staff. 

Our Organisers actively listen to their communities’ needs, provide support and encouragement, and help build social connections and resources. Your role will be to bring people together and facilitate a space for collaboration, mutual support, experimentation and solidarity. 

You will be part of the Cooperation Town team of organisers (mostly based in Camden). As a workers cooperative, we operate a non hierarchical structure (with no line management) and you will be expected to take active part in the cooperative’s development and general operations, beyond your local responsibilities. 

You will be expected to work in the areas you are organising, as well as in Camden (and from home, if required). Some work is likely to take place over evenings and weekends.

Community Food Co-ops Organiser Roles & Responsibilities

  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with members and partners 
  • Support local organisers to develop and run community events
  • Identify ‘community anchors’ and support them in their initial role
  • Facilitate an inclusive space where members of the community can build relationships with each other and work collaboratively
  • Organise introductory workshops and meetings
  • Build relationships with local food suppliers, including retailers, wholesalers, food surplus distribution organisations and local authority food hubs
  • Identify local organising spaces and help members to negotiate their free use
  • Support food coops with practical and operational aspects, such as ordering stock and financial planning
  • Support residents to address barriers to participating in food coop organising
  • Maintain a database of all groups and report internally and to partners
  • Take active part in planning and strategy with support from the Cooperation Town team

About you

Essential

  • Experience of community organising, event planning and facilitation
  • A good knowledge of community groups and organisations across NE London
  • A strong interest in building grassroots community power through collaborative organising
  • A passion for tackling the integrated issues of food justice, social exclusion, poverty and waste
  • Being able to be empathetic, personable, friendly and approachable
  • Confidence in engaging with people from various backgrounds, abilities and ages and in different roles and positions 
  • Being highly organised, proactive and a self-starter, able to work on your own initiative
  • An ability to efficiently and effectively self-manage time and resources
  • Excellent communication skills across different media 
  • Confidence using standard office software, including spreadsheets and online tools
  • Commitment to challenging inequality, racism and all forms of social injustice
  • A willingness and openness to learn, share knowledge and self-educate

Desirable

  • Experience in setting up or working in a cooperative, especially a workers or food co-op
  • Experience working in a social or economic justice organisation
  • Experience of working or organising in a sociocratic organisation 
  • Experience using design tools (e.g. InDesign and Illustrator) to produce comms

How to apply

Email a CV and a cover letter (no longer than two sides of A4) to [email protected] by 11pm on Wednesday 19 June 2024.

Please include your name and ‘NE London Organiser application’ in the subject line.

We recommend that you include details of the following in the cover letter:

  • Why do you want to work on this project?
  • What skills and experiences do you bring to the project?
  • How do you relate to the social and cooperative principles that guide and inform our work?

Want to chat to Cooperation Town staff and find out more about the role before you apply?

Join us for an information drop in event on Thursday, 13 June, 6:30pm at the Round Chapel Old School Rooms, 2 Powerscroft Road, London E5 0PU.

Please let us know if you require childcare to attend the event or have any other access needs.

We aim to make this application process as accessible as possible; if you have any questions or requests that will support your application, please contact [email protected].

We look forward to hearing from you!