Jade's story

                                                        Jade (12) witnessed serious domestic violence whilst younger, has no contact with her Dad, and a very difficult relationship with her Mum.  She had no friends other than online acquaintances, and hadn’t left the house socially in over a year, resulting in her only attending school for 20 days in 2017. Despite having a social worker, outreach worker and CAMHS worker, at huge cost, little change had occurred in years and there were real concerns about depression and risk of exploitation.

Despite her difficulties leaving the house, Jade agreed to trial coming on a week’s residential with Free to Be – simply as a break. Whilst with us she was part of a group for the first time in a year. She had close support from empathetic volunteers, learned to light a campfire, walk through the woods in the dark, and canoe across a lake. When she capsized, her new friends helped her out of the water. Instead of feeling stuck, angry and alone, Jade was helped to feel adventurous, included, purposeful and successful. By the end of the project Jade was smiling, no longer isolated and had made a good group of friends. She was supported to have fun, challenge herself in ways which felt manageable, and begin to talk through challenges rather than avoid them.

Spending over 60 hours’ of positive, affirming time with adults , equating to more than a year’s worth of social work or similar intervention, provided the intensive support Jade needed to begin to feel differently about herself and the world. Jade is now working with a mentor from Free to Be, whom she feels able to trust having spent time with them on the residential. She is keen to volunteer as a Young Leader, has cautiously begun attending a youth group local to her house, and is beginning to re-engage with school. 

About the role:


This is an exciting role right at the heart of a growing children's charity, offering a great first step towards charity management. We're looking for the right person to manage our volunteer recruitment and development, and to help us lead residential projects for particularly disadvantaged children. This position is a little bit different and you'll need drive, heart, committment and a real passion for supporting vulnerable children in order to succeed. We're looking for an exceptional candidate to join our small team creating immersive and horizon-broadening residential projects, overnight adventures and breaks away from very challenging home circumstances for some of London's most vulnerable children. You'll directly support both our volunteers and our children in this interesting but challenging dual role. You'll work right alongside the charity's Founders, playing an integral role in developing this young and vibrant charity and gaining significant insight into varied aspects of charity management. You'll be helping lead and grow our main Thrive Outside programme, which takes particularly disadvantaged children, (primarily aged 8-13) on week long countryside breaks, helping them to feel special, valued, brave and successful, and then offers a range of tailored ongoing support to those most in need. Around 60% of your time will be spent building and looking after our growing team of volunteers. You'll lead on all aspects of volunteer recruitment, management and support - aiming to double our pool of committed regular volunteers from a little over 100 now, to approaching 200 by 2021. You’ll spend the other 40% of your time helping lead at least 7 of our residential projects each year. Working on the ground to manage teams of 5 - 25 volunteers, overseeing the wellbeing of 10 - 40 children and young people per project, ensuring the projects are special, safe and transformative for vulnerable children. These projects are intense, immersive and exhausting in all the right ways, providing memorable, fun, special experiences for the adults taking part, just as much as the children!




What's on offer:


On offer for the right candidate:

Salary: £28,000 (With potential to rise above £30,000 over the employment period) Hours: Full time 37 hours p/week. Fixed term contract until October 2021, with potential for extension. Leave: 46 days per year, inclusive of bank holidays and pre-set reward days. (Yes, we know how generous this is - but we ask a lot in return. See recruitment pack below.) Other benefits: 3% employer pension contribution paid on full base salary; flexible working (outside core hours); Perkbox employee benefit scheme including half-price cinema tickets, 20% off local restaurants etc Based: Central-South London, at our shared office space. To start: Mid-late March 2019.




Who we're looking for::


We're looking for someone a little bit different. You should have some experience of working directly with children and young people and a real passion to develop this further. Crucially, you’ll also have a strong interest in working within the charity sector, taking on responsibility, and a real drive to get things done - backed up by demonstrable experience of taking on responsibility in the past. (Which could have been in a paid or in a voluntary role.) We'll also expect you to represent the charity whilst recruiting volunteers from a range of settings, including universities, volunteering hubs and more, so you'll need to be a confident communicator, have a high level of written English and be able to welcome, support and put our volunteers at ease. You'll also need great project management abilities, computer literacy and organisation. Our projects use natural settings, work with animals and adventurous activities to capture children's imaginations, so a love of the countryside and the outdoors, an ease with camping and a willingness to 'rough it' a little are also important. (Although you don’t need to be Bear Grylls – our projects are about introducing children to nature and helping them experience freedom and space, rather than a huge focus on ‘outward bound’ adrenaline style activities.) Attendance on our residential projects, totalling approximately 45 days and nights each year, is an important requirement of the role. Some additional non-overnight travel to represent Free to Be at volunteer fairs across the South is also required. This role would suit you if you’re motivated, proactive and keen to step up into charity management in future as you’ll be right at the heart of a growing small charity led by passionate founders with significant experience across the sector. You might have experience in similar roles already and be looking for a position giving you access to greater leadership responsibilities. Or you might be coming into your first or second paid role in the charity sector, but have a good range of relevant voluntary experience gained at university or elsewhere. We’re keen to invest in and develop the right candidate and we care more about character and potential than word perfect CVs. The person specification for this role is detailed within the recruitment pack. If you have the drive and passion needed for this role, download our recruitment pack and application form below to apply!





 

"Free to Be has really changed my life. The attention I got from the adults was just unreal. I could actually trust someone outside my family and that was really helpful. Before, I wasn’t really an outgoing person, but it's weird because now I’m motivated to do things - it unlocked that door for me."

Jordan, Aged 16

(Excluded from school age 13, now helping train our other Young Leaders)

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Free to Be Kids

Growing children's emotional health

We help some of the most disadvantaged children in London to change their stories about who they are and who they can become.

Many of our children struggle to engage with more traditional forms of help. Families often distrust professionals and children arrive with very limited horizons, feeling they are somehow broken, 'a problem', or a failure.

We use adventures in the outdoors, residential breaks designed to build confidence and self-worth, one-to-one mentoring and youth leadership programmes, to support vulnerable children to feel included, proud and successful, often for the first time in a long time.  In turn this transforms their capacity to believe in themselves, to reach their full potential, and ultimately to do better at school and in relationships with others. Free to Be projects are built around our belief that every child deserves to experience joy and adventure within their childhood.  By getting a bit muddy, learning to care for animals, working together to build a raft and paddle across a lake,  or camping out under the stars for the first time, we help children with limited expectations of themselves to see just how much they really can achieve.  

We're a young, local, rapidly growing charity focused on doing the small things well.  We build our programmes around the energy, creativity and dedication brought by large numbers of committed volunteers, enabling us to reach children across 12 London Boroughs with only small numbers of staff. Together with our volunteer base, we form a tight knit team and if you feel you could add to what we do, we'd love to hear from you.

About the role:


This is an exciting role right at the heart of a growing children's charity, offering a great first step towards charity management. We're looking for the right person to manage our volunteer recruitment and development, and to help us lead residential projects for particularly disadvantaged children. This position is a little bit different and you'll need drive, heart, committment and a real passion for supporting vulnerable children in order to succeed. We're looking for an exceptional candidate to join our small team creating immersive and horizon-broadening residential projects, overnight adventures and breaks away from very challenging home circumstances for some of London's most vulnerable children. You'll directly support both our volunteers and our children in this interesting but challenging dual role. You'll work right alongside the charity's Founders, playing an integral role in developing this young and vibrant charity and gaining significant insight into varied aspects of charity management. You'll be helping lead and grow our main Thrive Outside programme, which takes particularly disadvantaged children, (primarily aged 8-13) on week long countryside breaks, helping them to feel special, valued, brave and successful, and then offers a range of tailored ongoing support to those most in need. Around 60% of your time will be spent building and looking after our growing team of volunteers. You'll lead on all aspects of volunteer recruitment, management and support - aiming to double our pool of committed regular volunteers from a little over 100 now, to approaching 200 by 2021. You’ll spend the other 40% of your time helping lead at least 7 of our residential projects each year. Working on the ground to manage teams of 5 - 25 volunteers, overseeing the wellbeing of 10 - 40 children and young people per project, ensuring the projects are special, safe and transformative for vulnerable children. These projects are intense, immersive and exhausting in all the right ways, providing memorable, fun, special experiences for the adults taking part, just as much as the children!




What's on offer:


On offer for the right candidate:

Salary: £28,000 (With potential to rise above £30,000 over the employment period) Hours: Full time 37 hours p/week. Fixed term contract until October 2021, with potential for extension. Leave: 46 days per year, inclusive of bank holidays and pre-set reward days. (Yes, we know how generous this is - but we ask a lot in return. See recruitment pack below.) Other benefits: 3% employer pension contribution paid on full base salary; flexible working (outside core hours); Perkbox employee benefit scheme including half-price cinema tickets, 20% off local restaurants etc Based: Central-South London, at our shared office space. To start: Mid-late March 2019.




Who we're looking for::


We're looking for someone a little bit different. You should have some experience of working directly with children and young people and a real passion to develop this further. Crucially, you’ll also have a strong interest in working within the charity sector, taking on responsibility, and a real drive to get things done - backed up by demonstrable experience of taking on responsibility in the past. (Which could have been in a paid or in a voluntary role.) We'll also expect you to represent the charity whilst recruiting volunteers from a range of settings, including universities, volunteering hubs and more, so you'll need to be a confident communicator, have a high level of written English and be able to welcome, support and put our volunteers at ease. You'll also need great project management abilities, computer literacy and organisation. Our projects use natural settings, work with animals and adventurous activities to capture children's imaginations, so a love of the countryside and the outdoors, an ease with camping and a willingness to 'rough it' a little are also important. (Although you don’t need to be Bear Grylls – our projects are about introducing children to nature and helping them experience freedom and space, rather than a huge focus on ‘outward bound’ adrenaline style activities.) Attendance on our residential projects, totalling approximately 45 days and nights each year, is an important requirement of the role. Some additional non-overnight travel to represent Free to Be at volunteer fairs across the South is also required. This role would suit you if you’re motivated, proactive and keen to step up into charity management in future as you’ll be right at the heart of a growing small charity led by passionate founders with significant experience across the sector. You might have experience in similar roles already and be looking for a position giving you access to greater leadership responsibilities. Or you might be coming into your first or second paid role in the charity sector, but have a good range of relevant voluntary experience gained at university or elsewhere. We’re keen to invest in and develop the right candidate and we care more about character and potential than word perfect CVs. The person specification for this role is detailed within the recruitment pack. If you have the drive and passion needed for this role, download our recruitment pack and application form below to apply!





Sorry, we have no current vacancies.

About Free to Be Kids:

NOW CLOSED: Volunteering Lead & Residential Project Coordinator  

(Closing date 31st January 2019. )

98% of young people we supported in 2018 showed an increase in social confidence or self-esteem. 82% showed a very significant increase.

99% developed new social skills, including better managing frustration or  better trusting and working with adults.

100% of schools reported lasting changes in emotional wellbeing and behaviour, including children's increased capacity to work with others and improved belief in their own potential.

Jordan, aged 15

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Free To Be Kids, CAN Mezzanine, 7-14 Great Dover St, London SE1 4YR

0203 778 0323

Registered Charity Number: 1165678

© 2020 Free To Be Kids