Please read in conjunction with the overview of joining community

This page just outlines the working role of the Administrator.

Overview of the role

This is a senior role with substantial responsibilities and we anticipate transition training by the current postholder. You will inherit healthy and well run systems that keep Sheldon running for the benefit of guests. The Administrator's office is next to Reception in the Great Barn. The role is quite varied including front line contact with guests, responsibility for the technical underpinnings of the offices and the legal/compliance underpinnings of the organisation as a whole. You will find that on most days 'the interruptions are the job', but there is also opportunity to shut out distractions and work on projects that require concentration. You will be assessing issues as they arise from a variety of sources and either resolving them yourself or referring on to other colleagues or support trades. In many areas, the better you do your job the more invisible it will be, keeping things running smoothly and anticipating problems before they arise.  

Working relationships

Your line manager will be the Warden. You will collaborate with other members of the Community, especially department heads, for the smooth running of Sheldon to benefit guests. You will have day to day supervisory care of Miranda Whiting (Deputy Administrator with 10 years of service who works 3 days/week) and Reception Volunteers who help out with clerical and front line tasks. You will provide technical training and support for fellow community members and employed staff in other departments. You will have some working connections with Karen Cronin (self-employed Bookkeeper). Your initial training will be from Sarah Horsman (Warden and previous Administrator) and Andrew Lane (Technical Administrator, leaving in 2020).

How the role looks day to day

On some days you will be covering Reception and dealing with all the enquiries from guests and other visitors. On other days you will be the backstop for others dealing with the front line. You will probably have multiple 'to do' lists that require careful prioritising as some of your work will be very time critical but you also need to make steady progress with the less urgent but often more important tasks. In Reception guests are welcomed on arrival, all trade and other visitors to the site check in, guests bring practical queries or browse the shop. Those covering Reception also need to have basic front line pastoral skills for the occasions when someone is distressed. You will share telephone cover with other colleagues - some days the phone is quiet but others it can be very busy. Almost all our bookings are taken by phone in the first instance so you will develop a detailed understanding of what Sheldon offers in order to assist guests making bookings. Again, a level of pastoral competence is needed for the proportion of guests whose enquiry is complex or who are distressed when calling. Other enquiries come in by email and need attention to detail and a reasonably prompt response. 

Sheldon has up to date computer infrastructure running under VMWare and Windows Server 2016; a bespoke database application for handling bookings, mailings and donations; an internal telephone system; wireless broadband and three main websites. The largest website is the Sheldon Hub which relies on the Sheldon infrastructure. We have good companies supporting each of these areas. The Administrator's role is to maintain safe and healthy systems and to respond to problems by either resolving them or analysing and passing to the correct support. Complex issues can involve two or three companies. 

Depending on the particular skills you bring, and on the needs of the charity, you will also take on responsibility for some other defined areas. This will include some out of financial management/bookkeeping, HR, publicity, social media, payroll, insurance, risk register, fundraising, development of the Sheldon Hub, etc. Our aim is to create a role that is varied, challenging and interesting. 

Essential skills 

Technical skills: You don't need to have an exact match to this list, but you do need to be able to demonstrate solid working experience across a good range of software and hardware.

  • Microsoft Office (especially Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher)
  • A financial software package (we use Sage Accounts)
  • A professional design package (we use Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom)
  • A website CMS (we use SelectCMS)
  • A complex database (ours is a SQL database serving a bespoke user application)
  • Office infrastructure such as small computer network, patch panel, broadband, telephone exchange, etc

'Soft' skills

  • Collaborate well with colleagues. 
  • Listen accurately and communicate effectively in person and through written media.
  • Capacity to organise, collaborate and keep records and reference information in good order.

About you and your experience

You will be good with technical stuff and good with people. You will bring experience in a reasonably senior administrative role, perhaps in another charity or public service position. If you have a business background then there may be skills that transfer well from that environment but your learning curve is likely to be steeper.