The Hub for London to support civil society now recruiting first chief executive #TheWayAhead

The Hub for London, supporting civil society organisations, is now advertising for its first chief executive – with some insights into how the organisation may operate. The recruitment notice says:

The Hub for London is a new infrastructure support organisation for the region’s civil society. This new organisation will offer a range of support for charities, social action groups and community organisations among others. The hub aims to offer three key functions: information (data and intelligence on civil society across London), networking (supporting civil society engagement and collaboration) as well as a voice and influence (increasing the influence and representation of civil society in policy and regional planning).

The CEO will occupy an exciting and high-profile role that builds on a wider programme of work in place across London called The Way Ahead. The role will have close ties with London Councils, the GLA, London Funders and others and it aims to champion the role of civil society as part of the vital infrastructure for the region. Providing the overall leadership and management for the Hub for London in line with the strategic plan and promoting the profile and interests of the hub and its impact on civil society will be central duties.

The £60,000 a year contract is for two years, with an appointment after interviews in April. The CEO will then be involved in recruitment of a Programme Manager, Networks Partner, Intelligence Coordinator and Operations Officer.

The Hub has £350,000 first-year funding from the City Bridge Trust, and will be run by Greater London Volunteering under revised charitable objectives.

Details about the Hub are included in a candidate information pack.

Plans for the Hub, developed by London Funders and partners under The Way Ahead programme, were criticised by some London networks as too top-down, with insufficient concern for supporting and strengthening grassroots community groups and networks.

The networks formed Our Way Ahead. OWA initially participated in the Hub advisory group, and systems change group, but have now withdrawn **.

The brief for the CEO appear to offer some flexibility on strategy. While the brief emphasises a central leadership role including “To proactively gather the voices and opinions from across the sector and feed this into regional and national policy”, the information pack cites the recommendations by the Equalities sub group, and the need to ensure that:

  1. The hub will co-produce its work with stakeholders including actively supporting the involvement of excluded / discriminated communities and organisations ‘Nothing about us, without us’

  2. The hub commits to ensure all involvement and representation in its work reflects London’s diverse communities including excluded / discriminated against communities

  3. The work of the hub is accessible and inclusive and enables excluded / discriminated against communities and organisations to actively take part effectively.

  4. The hub and its work is needs led, reflecting the priorities of diverse communities and championing the value that those communities bring to London.

The pack also says that early work on defining a communications narrative for the hub has highlighted the need for it to create a space where civil society is a promoted as a confident, ambitious and equal partner. This will be achieved by:

  • Actively learning and collaborating together
  • Advocating more strongly together
  • Designing for systems needed by civil society in the future
  • Being reflective and responsive to the needs of civil society
  • Meeting the complexity of what’s happening across London and articulating this collectively
  • Linking and supporting all levels of civil society

Thanks to Nikki Wilson for spotting the recruitment notice.

** I was an OWA representative on the advisory group until February 2018.

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