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Our goal is to connect good people with good food. We advertise sustainable food jobs and training opportunities to help jobseekers and employers find each other.

Bridging the Gap Programme Coordinator

Cambridge Heath, London

Posted: 21 Jun 2022

Deadline: 11 Jul 2022

Compensation: £41,980 per year. This salary increases annually in April each year according to Sustain’s Payscale and progression (subject to satisfactory performance). In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.

Paid Full-time Part-time Fixed term / contract


Job description

About the Bridging the Gap programme

Bridging the Gap is an exciting new initiative for Sustain, working in partnership with Alexandra Rose Charity, Growing Communities (as part of the Better Food Traders Network) and partners in the four Nations, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Bridging the Gap aims to demonstrate how to build better supply chains that connect climate-friendly food and people on a lower income. It will also identify and advocate for financial interventions and other mechanisms to enable its work to continue in the longer term. Bridging the Gap will run and test pilot interventions over three years, with the possibility of the work, funding and post being extended for a longer period.

Food that is good for people and the planet, benefits communities and supports decent livelihoods is currently more expensive than food that is bad for health and produced in ways that damage the planet. We want to build a new vision for how climate-friendly food can be accessible to all and how the difference in price can be paid for by public finance or in other ways. This will be a journey of testing out new approaches to doing things along the food supply chain, showing why this is important and how it could be continued in the future when Big Lottery funding ceases and costs need to be covered from the public purse or other financial mechanisms, such as vouchers, healthy food on prescription or pay-it-forward schemes, paid for as an investment in public health and the natural environment.

Bridging the Gap will be steered by a Programme Management Board, and work with an Advisory Group, community organisations and values-led food traders, in a spirit of collaboration and enquiry.

The Bridging the Gap programme forms part of the Good Food Economy theme of Sustain’s five-year strategy, Fertile Future. This is an emerging area of work for Sustain, building on other existing activities on food justice and sustainable farming.

About this role

The Programme Coordinator will set up and lead this exciting new initiative. This is a new programme leadership role at Sustain, working closely with and reporting to our Programmes Director. We have ambitions for Bridging the Gap to grow into a significant multiple-partner, longer-term programme for Sustain and our alliance, working across the UK.

The person appointed to the role will build great relationships with and between many organisations, inside and outside of our existing alliance, to achieve a shared vision. We are especially keen to work with under-represented communities, and with organisations led by and serving ethnically diverse communities.

Sustain is seeking a Programme Coordinator with exceptional networking, project management and communication skills, who is excited by the challenge and opportunities presented by a programme trying to bring about societal change through the food system. They will have the confidence, energy and drive to cultivate a shared vision, spirit of enquiry and effective implementation to enable change.

The Bridging the Gap Programme Coordinator will work with Sustain, programme partners and the funders to secure the next phase of funding and cultivate other funders and financial mechanisms to support this work in the longer term.

Key objectives of the role

The Bridging the Gap Programme Coordinator will:

  1. Coordinate overall programme delivery, with an annual budget of £500k, including the reporting process and monitoring and evaluation
  2. Manage the budget, staff and partner relationships and identify areas for development
  3. Develop a vision for how Bridging the Gap can be realised, including development of pilot interventions and advocacy work to influence policymakers, funders and finance mechanisms
  4. Steer the co-production process and ensure an inclusive approach is embedded in programme plans
  5. Oversee the process for deciding, funding, refining, and delivering pilot interventions

Recruit and work with a project support officer to:

  1. Manage a Communication, Influencing and Engagement Plan, to ensure that this work builds the movement, both across and beyond the Sustain alliance
  2. Design and deliver a series of learning and sharing opportunities, such as events, webinars, training modules and/or publications, to enhance the influence of the programme
  3. Provide secretariat functions and facilitate several groupings within the programme, such as the Programme Management Board, Advisory Group, Co-Design and Collaboration Group and Working Party

Roles and responsibilities

  • Setting up the detailed project workplan, partner agreements, budgeting and reporting processes
  • Building and managing relationships with partners, Nation partners and other relevant organisations to create a shared vision, cultivate a spirit of collaboration and enquiry, and engagement in implementation of the programme
  • Establishing and running various governance, advisory and working groups and how they relate to each, including the Programme Management Board, Operations Group, Co-Design and Collaboration Group, Working Party
  • Reaching out to develop new partners relationships, including recruiting for and establishing the co-production and community advisor process. This work will have a special emphasis on diverse voices and engagement with lower income and under-represented groups and communities
  • Refining the initial framework and facilitating the co-production of further ideas and processes for the supply chain related pilot interventions, including overseeing the distribution and evidencing impact of £750k of investment over Years 1-3
  • Recruiting and line-managing the project support officer and other staff or volunteers as required
  • Identifying ways for the programme to have significant impact for beneficiaries
  • Building Sustain’s internal knowledge of, and providing thought leadership on, the Good Food Economy strand of Sustain’s five-year strategy, focusing on supply chains and our shared understanding of the economic challenges and opportunities in the food system
  • Reporting to funders and explore other funding options, building relationships with potential new funders and financial mechanisms
  • Running a programme of learning, with the project support officer, to help the food and farming movement to share in the learning
  • Creating and implementing a high-level communications, influence/advocacy and engagement plan, including managing the website, mailing list and communication channels to ensure that the programme is building a movement and galvanizing support across the alliance and beyond, including building relationships with influencers and policymakers
  • Setting up and overseeing monitoring and evaluation systems, including writing an evaluation brief and appointing an evaluator to ensure the programme is building the case for future development and funding or other financial mechanisms to support this work in the longer term

NB: Some of these roles will be key during set up and areas of delivery will be shared with the Project Support Officer recruited in January 2023.

The Bridging the Gap Programme Coordinator will also: 

  • Contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain, among the staff team, and project participants 
  • Develop fundraising activities to enhance, extend projects or develop new ones, contributing ideas and expertise to fundraising initiatives that may be of benefit to programme partners and geographical areas 
  • Maintain excellent financial and other records, to help with accountability and open to public scrutiny 
  • Undertake any other responsibilities that may arise from time to time

Personal specification


  • Experience of managing the successful delivery of a large grant-funded programme and budget, with multiple partners and associated reporting responsibilities and accountability
  • Strong project management and organisational skills, including project set-up and experience of implementing or supporting evaluation
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and experience of building partnerships and working in a team to develop creative solutions
  • Commitment to and understanding of sustainability, health, diversity and racial justice in the context of this role and food systems
  • Good understanding of food supply chains and/or relevant food trading models and factors limiting accessibility for lower income groups
  • Experience of working on a relevant theme and/or with relevant stakeholders, for example with small or medium food enterprises, public finance mechanisms, or with diverse and/or communities experiencing food insecurity
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, for example publications, webinars, working with the media, social media and other ways to raise profile in person and digitally
  • Experience of facilitation (in person and online) and running effective meetings and processes to engage people in productive activities and experiences
  • The confidence and experience to develop and test new ideas, including co-production approaches, to cultivate a shared vision, build partnerships, problem-solve and think strategically
  • Experience of influencing or campaigning for change
  • Ability to provide an energetic, creative and tenacious approach to programme delivery and partnership working
  • Ability to work in independently, with high levels of self-motivation


  • Good knowledge of alternative food retail and/or localised food supply chains
  • Demonstrable experience of influencing or campaigning on sustainable food and farming issues, that has led to a change in local or national policy or practice
  • Understanding or experience of co-production processes or programme development involving multiple partners and individuals
  • Experience of working in or with local authorities and the public sector
  • Knowledge of the food and farming system in the UK
  • Experience of working with and line-managing staff, volunteers and/or paid interns
  • Experience of working in, with, or setting up food-related trading organisations or social enterprises
  • Experience of fundraising and/or making a compelling case for winning funding support


Diversity matters to us. Sustain has a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution. Diversity helps us identify where change is needed and what is required to promote equity as well as reflect the concerns of our wide alliance of members.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire.

A list of Sustain’s policies, including our commitment to diversity are on our website. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire and our approach to recruiting for diversity is described in detail here.

Sustain is recruiting for this role as part of our Ethnicity Confident and Disability Confident schemes. This means that applicants who meet all of the essential criteria, and who let us know voluntarily that you would like to be considered in this way, will be guaranteed a first-stage interview. The opportunity to tell us you would like to be considered din this way is included in our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form.

The Bridging the Gap Programme Coordinator will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted.

Please see the full job description here.

National Lottery Community Fund logo. Credit: National Lottery

Application information

To apply for this position, please email the following:

  • a CV (maximum two pages)
  • a Covering Letter telling us about your experience and how this relates to the personal specification (maximum two pages)
  • a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form

Note: The Equal Opportunities Monitoring form includes the opportunity to tell us if you would your application to be considered as part of the Ethnicity Confident or Disability Confident schemes.

As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please put BTG Programme Coordinator in the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Deadline: 10am, Monday 11 July 2022

First stage interviews for this position will take place online in the week commencing 18 July, with second face-to-face interviews in the week commencing 25 July (please indicate in your application if you are not available either of these weeks, although we cannot guarantee we can accommodate requests for alternative timings).

This role is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About Sustain

Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers.