Managing Director

Urban Growth Learning Gardens

South London
£38,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

www.urbangrowth.london [email protected] 07968737794 Bruno Lacey

Sectors: environmental education, environmental management, food, farming & horticulture

Closing date: Friday, 21st May 2021  


Job Description

An exciting opportunity to take the reins as Managing Director at this successful social enterprise at a time of rapid growth, as we expand our work in making London a greener, healthier city. This is a unique chance to undertake a role making a real difference to the landscape of our city, at this crucial time of the climate crisis and post-pandemic landscape.

Urban Growth is a social enterprise which aims to improve the wellbeing of Londoners by creating and maintaining communal gardens. We collaborate with councils, businesses, developers & community groups across London (primarily south of the river), creating and maintaining spaces where people can learn about and engage with nature on their doorstep. You can read more about our aims and activities, and see examples of our work on our website www.urbangrowth.london, and through the linked social media channels.

Now in our 6th year, our team of 8 staff (4 full-time) are looking for someone to take over this key leadership role as we continue to grow. This person will guide the team, develop the brand, improve our services, oversee the finances & increase our social impact. The role is varied and has huge scope to take the organisation in exciting directions.

Working alongside the Founding Director and Finance Director who work part-time from abroad, you will take over the day-to-day running of the business and work together to shape the vision for the organisation for the next 5 years.

The ideal candidate will be an open leader who values transparency, inclusivity, and community when working to inspire and guide our team.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a passionate, diverse & collaborative team, who are keen to support a new Director who can build on our successes to date.

In any given week you might:

  • Assess the pipeline of work and help juggle capacity within the team
  • Shape new strategies to help better deliver our mission
  • Assess the organisational budgets & adjust schedules based on the data
  • Brainstorm new ideas with the team: how better to engage communities locally with a greening project / new nature-based workshop ideas / innovative eye-catching urban space design for example
  • Support with a costed proposal to design & install a garden in a public courtyard
  • Work on new marketing materials to outline our services
  • Oversee the team building a raised bed in a community garden
  • Collate monitoring data about the impact of our activities for funders
  • Support the team in prioritising their work & host 1:1 performance reviews with each team member
  • Ensure the organisation & team are meeting H&S and safeguarding responsibilities
  • Financially reconcile projects and manage the organisation’s cashflow with the Finance Director.

Who we are looking for (none of these alone is essential):

  1. a strong and compassionate manager of people, with experience of leading teams & supporting personal development of colleagues
  2. an experienced project manager who can create structure and processes to deliver projects on time and on budget with the team.
  3. can write, oversee & review budgets as well as keep a handle on the overall performance of the organisation & crucial cash flow analysis
  4. experience of improving operational systems to create an efficient and effective team
  5. an organised & strategic thinker who can coordinate activities efficiently
  6. an enabler, who helps people realise their potential & has experience of helping diverse people overcome challenges and achieve their goals
  7. a creative thinker and problem solver who relishes new challenges and responds calmly and effectively to unexpected events
  8. a keen learner, who wants to gain new skills and isn’t afraid to learn from failure
  9. a passionate believer in the power of the natural world to improve human wellbeing, with experience of community gardening
  10. a collaborative leader who inspires confidence in colleagues and clients, and is comfortable with public speaking
  11. a lover of plants and wildlife, committed to protecting the environment
  12. an ambitious self-starter who thrives on a diverse portfolio & is happy working some irregular hours
  13. a clear & concise communicator, who can express ideas & pass on knowledge effectively to a range of people
  14. a confident user of digital technology, able to manage emails, social media, Google Drive, Asana,Slack and phone-based apps
  15. ideally a resident of south London (some of our core activities are still in Lambeth & Southwark though we continue to work on more and more projects across the city)

Key features of what you will do:

  1. Collaborate with the team to ensure our existing maintenance contracts are delivered efficiently and to the highest possible standard
  2. Identify and meet potential new clients, follow up leads and collaborate with the team to write winning & profitable proposals
  3. Support the team to organise and deliver new projects efficiently and to the highest possible standard
  4. Identify areas for improvement in our operations, co-develop strategies to raise standards with the team, & support them to improve
  5. Understand the business as a whole, identify & secure opportunities for growth
  6. Represent & advocate on behalf of the business in person and through digital content (emails,website and social media)
  7. Be happy to participate in gardening activities with the team throughout the year.

The role is full time and will be paid £38,000. There is an 8-week probationary period.

Due to Covid restrictions we are currently working from home and support flexible working. Once restrictions have been lifted we plan to have a blended office model, where there will be a flexible approach to in-office and remote work. Our offices are based in Brixton.

Application process:

Please submit a CV with a 3 minute video introducing yourself to Bruno, the founder, at [email protected] by noon on Friday, May 21st. WeTransfer, YouTube, Vimeo and any other open-access format acceptable.

Interviews in the following two weeks.

Please notify us in your email about any notice period you may have with current employers or other obligations which affect your availability to start.



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