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We are currently advertising two positions:

  • Community Youth Worker (17 hours per week)
  • Sessional Playworker / Senior Playworker (to join the staff pool for summer)

Community Youth Worker

17 hours per week. Pro rata of £18,382 FTE (37.5 hours)
Fixed term March 2019 (with the possibility of extension)

Introduction
Play Midlothian is seeking to recruit a youth worker to join our team of playworkers in delivering our established project, Out2Play. Out2Play offers free, open access, outdoor play sessions in local parks and green spaces.

Candidates will have experience in delivering youth work. Experience of detached youth work, street work, or youth work outside a building setting would be particularly useful. While training in the theory and practice of play will be provided, the successful applicant will be able to employ a youth work approach and a range of youth work skills to support the delivery of free play and the play ranger project model (described later). The successful applicant will also, on completion of appropriate training, be able to use playwork skills and techniques.

The post is funded by Big Lottery Fund and comprises 17 hours per week. It is possible opportunities for voluntary overtime will arise.

About Play Midlothian
Play Midlothian is a registered charity (no. SC025474) working to improve and increase children’s opportunity to play, because we know how important play is for their health, wellbeing and development. It is important for their lives in the here and now as well as for their future life chances. We provide services for children and for other groups working with children (including training and an annual conference). We have an office base in Dalkeith but deliver services throughout Midlothian.

About Out2Play
Out2Play uses the ‘play rangers’ model of delivery. Play sessions take place outdoors in public parks, facilitating children’s wishes for use of public space, and freeing their capacity to develop skills, relationships and resilience.

Sessions are open access and children are free to come and go. They are aimed at children aged 5 and up (with most being 7-13). Parents/carers can bring children under 5 if they wish and parents/carers are always welcome to join in. As the project is delivered in public space, it is essentially open to the public and younger children and teenagers regularly join in.

Three members of staff (plus volunteers where available) deliver each play session. The sessions are free play focused, with play resources to support all types of play, with an emphasis on ‘loose parts’. The sessions also promote play with nature and the elements and may include materials for den-making, games or junk obstacle courses. Staff seek to ensure sessions are responsive to how children want to play and make use of their local space.

Our experience suggests that being outdoors facilitates particular types of play which adults may at times find more challenging, including rough and tumble play, deep play (which includes risk) and children and young people testing boundaries. Training and support is provided on these subjects, but applicants should be aware of the potential, and have, or be willing to develop, the skills to respond appropriately. Play Midlothian views appropriate risk and challenge as a valid and useful part of play and development.

Sessions currently take place Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday after school hours (1-3pm on the Friday and 3.30-5pm other days term time, often with a shift to a later slot in the summer holidays). Please note that the staff shifts include time before and after the sessions for setting and tiding up and for transporting resources. It is possible shifts could change to meet changing community needs, which could include evening or weekend working. Alongside the time allocated to sessions, there are some hours to be worked flexibly across the week, for example to attend project meetings or training, or to plan and prepare for sessions. It may be possible to take the post alongside another job working mornings only, as the play sessions will be afternoons.

Funding position
We currently have funding for Out2Play until March 2020 from Big Lottery Fund – subject to finding some match funding each year. Therefore it is most likely that the contract will be extended beyond the current fixed term period.

How to apply
The role requires the individual to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme if not already a member. The post is subject to the Scheme Record accessed prior to the post commencing.

An application pack can be downloaded from the top right of this webpage. Please note that we do not accept CVs and you must complete and return the application form.

If you require further information please contact Laura Baigrie on 0131 663 2243 or at laura@playmidlothian.org.uk.

The application deadline is midnight Sunday 25th February 2018

Interviews will take place Monday 5th March 2018

Sessional Playworkers / Sessional Senior Playworkers

£8.45 / £9.43 per hour
Fixed term contract (to end of August 2018)

Introduction
We are seeking playful people to join a staff pool to provide a range of holiday play activities during July and August 2018, though training and induction will take place in June. There is not a guaranteed number of hours per employee – it depends on how the rota pieces together taking into account people’s availability. The key projects are:

  • Playschemes
  • Playday

Play Midlothian’s sessions provide opportunities for free play, and may include, for example, sand, water, art materials, messy play, nature play, fire bowls, dressing up clothes and ‘loose parts’.

Play Midlothian supports children to undertake challenges in their play if they wish and carries out risk-benefit assessments to ensure a balance is struck between enabling children to learn and develop and keeping them safe from harm.

The purpose of the playworker role is to facilitate free play opportunities for children aged 0-12, (primarily 5-12), as part of a team of staff and volunteers.

About Play Midlothian
Play Midlothian is a registered charity (no. SC025474) working to improve and increase children’s opportunity to play, because we know how important play is for their health, wellbeing and development. It is important for their lives in the here and now as well as for their future life chances. We provide direct to children services as well as building family, community and professional capacity to support children. We have an office base in Dalkeith but deliver services throughout Midlothian.

About Playschemes
We provide summer playschemes in Mayfield, Gorebridge and Woodburn in Midlothian. Each session is 2 hours long, with a 3 hour shift for the playworker. 15 sessions will take place in each area. Playworkers may work at one or more playscheme location and this, alongside availability to work, can be discussed with shortlisted candidates at interview.

The playschemes are set up to enable children to meet with friends and enjoy a wide range of play opportunities during their holiday. They take place in community facilities with access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, though occasional trips take place to, for example, local parks.

About Playday
Playday is a large, public event on Wednesday 1st August for children of all ages and their parents/carers. It is also attended by groups such as holiday clubs. A wide range of play opportunities will be available, provided by our sessional playworker team and by external providers and partner organisations.

Training
Training and induction for successful candidates will take place on Saturday 9th June, 9:30-4:00. Child protection and first aid training are provided by other agencies, and will be arranged in discussion with successful candidates.

How to apply
There is just one application process, but those with more experience will be considered for the roles of Senior Playworkers, to coordinate the day to day tasks of the teams during sessions, but with no staff line management duties. This will be discussed at interview with applicants reaching that stage.

The roles require each individual to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme if not already a member. Each post is subject to the PVG Scheme Record accessed prior to the post commencing. Attendance is expected at training, including induction, child protection and first aid (unless a current certificate is provided).

An application pack can be downloaded from the top right of this webpage. Please note that we do not accept CVs and you must complete and return the application form.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 11th March, 2018

Interviews will take place on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st March, 2018

We are seeking a Treasurer

Would you or someone you know be able to help? Being a charity trustee is a very rewarding voluntary role.

About Play Midlothian
Play Midlothian is a small registered charity (no. SC025474) and company limited by guarantee (no. SC240729), which started in 1996, and has an office in Dalkeith, Midlothian.

We work to support children to flourish, though improving and increasing their opportunity to play. We focus on play because we know how much this benefits children’s health, wellbeing and development. It is important for their lives in the here and now as well as for their future life chances.

We aim to

  • Provide enriching opportunities for children to play in support of their health, wellbeing and development
  • Build family, community and professional capacity to support play
  • Advocate for play and inform and influence decision-making

In the past year, we provided services attended by over 1,600 individual children and young people, 60 organisations and 800 individual adults.

About Play Midlothian’s board
The board is comprised of up to 12 trustees (who are legally also company directors).

We recruit trustees both through our existing membership and through advertising, with the aim of ensuring a balance of service user participation and access to a range of skills and knowledge that would be useful to the board in fulfilling its remit.

The board is non-executive in its role, in that it is not involved in direct service delivery, rather it is there to review, guide, advise and oversee, ensuring that the staff team is performing well and is supported.

Responsibilities of the Treasurer
All trustees collectively have responsibility for Play Midlothian, with day to day management delegated to staff. The legal responsibilities for each trustee, under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act (2005), are to:

  1. Act in the interest of the charity: Trustees should put the interests of their charity before their own interests or those of any other person or organisation.
  2. Operate in a manner consistent with the charity’s purposes
  3. Act with due care and diligence
  4. Ensure that the charity complies with the provisions of the 2005 Act and other relevant legislation.

Play Midlothian has identified the key responsibilities of its trustees as:

  • To contribute to setting the vision and overall strategic direction for the organisation
  • To ensure good financial planning, agreeing the income generation strategy and budgets
  • To ensure that income and expenditure levels are regularly compared to agreed budgets and that variances are identified and explained
  • To manage, safeguard and protect the assets and resources of Play Midlothian and ensure that they are used only for the purposes set out in Play Midlothian’s governing document
  • To oversee the development and delivery of Play Midlothian’s business plan, including monitoring and reviewing progress against agreed activities and outcomes
  • To promote a culture of evaluation and learning within Play Midlothian and with its stakeholders
  • To manage and safeguard the reputation of Play Midlothian and oversee the strategy for external and stakeholder relations
  • To ensure that Play Midlothian adheres to its own values, particularly in relation to service users, volunteers, staff and other stakeholders
  • To ensure a commitment to equalities throughout the policy and practice of Play Midlothian

Financial administration is carried out by the staff team. The Treasurer plays a watchdog role, advising staff and the other trustees, including:

  • Maintaining an overview of the organisation’s financial affairs
  • Helping to identify risks
  • Ensuring proper financial controls are in place
  • Ensuring appropriate investment policies are in place
  • Ensuring that the annual accounts are prepared in accordance with regulations
  • Reporting on the annual accounts to the AGM
  • Acting as a counter-signatory for payments
  • Carrying out once per month sampling of the books

Skills sought
We would like to hear from people with a track record in financial roles, for example:

  • Finance officer
  • Banking officer
  • Accountant

Time commitment
As a minimum, you need to be able to commit to:

  • Frequently attending board meetings, of which there are approximately six per year (every two months, on a weekday evening, for two hours)
  • Participating in the finance and HR subgroup, which meets as and when there are matters to discuss in more detail than there is time for at a board meeting (usually no more than twice a year)
  • Attending infrequent development or strategic planning sessions (usually no more than once per year)
  • A monthly visit to the office to sample the books (which should take no more than one hour)

From time to time other short life working groups may be established by the board to progress particular pieces of work. In addition individual trustees may agree to work closely with member(s) of the staff team on a specific issue, depending on their own skills and areas of expertise.

More widely trustees are expected to advocate on Play Midlothian’s behalf using a wide range of networks and may become involved in supporting and representing Play Midlothian at fundraising or other events.

Expenses
Trustees are not paid for their duties, but are able to claim the cost of travel to and from meetings (within reason) and other appropriate expenses.

Training and induction
Trustees will receive an induction to enable them to understand Play Midlothian, what we do, how we work and the role of the trustees and board. In addition, trustees are offered ongoing opportunities to access training on the role of a charity trustee and other topics. Trustees are also offered opportunities to get to understand the impact of Play Midlothian’s work better, which may include; shadowing staff, attending staff team meetings, meeting service users and volunteers, or linking more closely with one specific team or area of activity.

PVG
As Play Midlothian is a children’s charity, trustees must be PVG checked before they commence their role. If you are not already a member of the PVG scheme, you will need to join (which Play Midlothian will administer and there will be no cost).

Next steps
For more information about Play Midlothian please visit www.playmidlothian.org.uk.

For a chat about the role and nomination process, please contact Susan McIntyre, Development Manager, on 0131 663 2243 or at susan@playmidlothian.org.uk.

We would ask you for a CV or a biography. The next step would be a meeting with the Development Manager and Chairperson to discuss your interest in the position and what you can contribute. Following that, if both parties wish to proceed, a nomination would go forward to the board to consider at their next meeting. Trustees co-opted by the board would also go forward to the next AGM for ratification by Play Midlothian members.

Name change

In this, our 21st birthday year, we have changed our charity’s name from Midlothian Association of Play to Play Midlothian, to give the organisation a strong and clear identity going forward.