Recruitment Information:

Organisation:    Scottish Churches Housing Action (SCHA)

Post:                   Policy and External Relations Manager

Salary:                 £30,000

Hours:                 Full time (35 hours)

Location:            Office in Edinburgh but could be home based

Contract:            Initial 24 month contract subject to review and possible extension. This role is open to secondment.


The post holder will be responsible for the development, quality and delivery of SCHA’s policy for its stated aim of ending homelessness in Scotland.

Reporting to the Board s/he will advise and support Trustees on developing strategy. The post holder will be asked to deliver on strategic objectives including developing and implementing a communications policy and importantly establishing and developing positive relationships with key stakeholders, particularly the member denominations and Scottish Government. Policy development should include the views of stakeholders. A key aim of the post is to ensure that SCHA are seen as a leader and expert in relation to homelessness by stakeholders including member denominations, partner agencies, government and the general public.


Scottish Churches Housing Action (SCHA) brings together major church denominations and organisations to support the churches’ work on homelessness in Scotland.

We were launched in 1995 with charitable status and over the years we have become one of the key vehicles for tackling homelessness in Scotland.  We bring people together to develop volunteer-based responses to homelessness at a community level, and also help churches to make surplus or under-used property available for affordable housing.  We raise and maintain awareness of homelessness in Scotland including within the churches, and are a voice for church concerns on the issue in relation to government, parliament and the general public.

Homelessness was already increasing before Covid-19 and there are growing concerns that the worsening financial situation will promote further homelessness over the winter and onwards as low wages and job losses really start to bite. With the impact of Covid-19, its implications for homelessness and the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections, rarely has it been so important for the voice of SCHA to be heard.

Unfortunately SCHA has been hit hard over the past year and we have had to make some difficult decisions in order to survive. Importantly, those steps have been taken and there is now a way forward for the organisation. This new post of Policy and External Relations Manager is the beginning of the rebuilding process. If you are looking for a challenge, if you can influence and create consensus, are passionate about social justice and willing to commit to a Scotland free from Homelessness then we want to hear from you.

Application Notes:

Closing date:     by 29 December 2020 at 1.00pm

Interviews:         19, 20 and 21 January 2021. Interviews will be held using Zoom.

To apply, please submit your CV along with a covering letter that provides more detail about your interest in this position and how your experience and skills link to the role to:

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

Job Description: Policy and External Relations Manager

Job Summary               The Policy and External Relations Manager of Scottish Churches Housing Action (SCHA) is responsible to the Board for the delivery, quality and development of the organisation’s Policy for its stated aim of ending homelessness in Scotland. Specifically, he/she is responsible for: providing advice and support to Board members on developing strategy for the organisation; delivering on  strategic objectives; developing, implementing and communicating policy; establishing positive relations with key stakeholders; ensuring the views of stakeholders are incorporated within policy development; and ensuring that SCHA is seen as a leader and expert in relation to homelessness by stakeholders including partners, government and wider society.

Responsible to:      Scottish Churches Housing Action Convener; Scottish Churches Housing Action Board

Responsible for:    Staff and volunteers

Hours:                      Full Time (35 Hours)

Duties and Responsibilities

1/          Strategic Direction         

  • To propose annually the strategic policy framework for SCHA, and a set of related targets;
  • To report to the Board on activity against agreed targets, and to provide evaluation of the work;
  • To keep the Board informed of the political and policy context within which SCHA operates.


2/          Policy Management and Development 

  • To build on the strategic framework, maintaining a coherent set of activities to deliver policy objectives, and contributing to their delivery as appropriate;
  • To maintain awareness of current policy context in relation to housing, homelessness, poverty, social exclusion and related issues;
  • To plan ways in which SCHA can influence the policy agenda, including setting campaign objectives and working together with relevant organisations where objectives are shared.


3/          External Relations

  • To raise the profile of SCHA and maximise opportunities to generate strategic added value. With the ambition for the organisation to grow its position as a recognised key player in policy and practice development;
  • To represent SCHA at relevant forums;
  • To plan, maintain and deliver a communications strategy for SCHA ensuring that key messages and policies are communicated and promoted to policy makers in central and local government, member denominations, practitioners, the media, general public and others interested in the needs of people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness;
  • To oversee the production of publicity material and use of communication channels such as the newsletter and website and to be responsible for media relations;
  • To assist each Board member in their work of representing the interests and concerns of SCHA in the denomination they represent on the Board;
  • To meet regularly with church leaders in conjunction with the Convener and the denomination’s Board representative;
  • To act as ambassador for SCHA where appropriate;
  • To identify and develop strategic partnerships with key stakeholders.


4/          Financial Management           

  • To work within the budget agreed annually by the SCHA Board;
  • In conjunction with the Finance Manager to account for the programme funds supplying information as required for these purposes;
  • To contribute toward the sustainability and growth of the organisation, developing funding plans and achieving objectives for resources in terms of both people and funds.


5/          Staff Management

  • To be the line manager for relevant posts; to consider the development of the staff team by carrying out annual appraisals to understand training requirements, authorising training and meeting other requirements as appropriate;
  • To maintain clear and consistent standards of personnel management at all levels;
  • To identify the need and opportunity for staff and volunteer posts, and secure the Board’s approval for the establishment and design of new staff posts.


6/          General Responsibilities


  • To be responsible for maintaining your own health and safety whilst at work and for the health and safety of other staff and volunteers, and for alerting those responsible to any hazards or potential  risk to health and safety;
  • To ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act and to ensure that an appropriate level of confidentiality is maintained around issues which may be personally or commercially sensitive;
  • To develop and foster the culture of the organisation in line with the aims, mission vision and values of the organisation;
  • Work in an anti-discriminatory and empowering way at all times and contribute to the development and implementation of the company’s Equal Opportunities Policy and Procedure;
  • To carry out such other responsibilities as may be required from time to time, under the direction of the Board of Trustees.

Person Specification

  Essential Desirable
Experience and job related knowledge An understanding of the circumstances giving rise to homelessness and social exclusion in Scotland, and the range of policy responses

Experience in organisational leadership, including staff management

Experience of volunteering and/or managing volunteers

Ability to prepare and present clear, concise written and verbal reports using information technology as appropriate

Experience in utilising social media in a work environment

Experience in influencing opinions including creating high quality promotional material

Experience of developing and implementing a communication strategy

Experience in public speaking and/or preaching

Experience of managing or working in a social enterprise

Knowledge of the structures of one or more of the churches in membership of Scottish Churches Housing Action

An existing network of contacts in relevant organisations.

Experience of engaging with senior management  and elected officials

Experience of using databases effectively

Qualifications All degree level qualifications will be considered.

Evidence of further relevant training or continuous professional development

Disposition Enthusiasm for the work of SCHA, and the ability to convey this to others

A commitment to the ecumenical approach to social action on which SCHA is based

Ability to relate to and communicate issues of faith, homelessness and social justice

An imaginative and flexible approach

Ability to demonstrate a strategic approach.

Self motivating and resilient.

Special Requirements Ability to travel to other locations as required

Ability to work flexibly

Ability to work from home

Driving Licence and use of a car