Area Development Officer

Job Description

Torch Ethos

The Torch Trust aims can be summarised as ‘enabling people with sight loss to discover Christian faith and lead fulfilling Christian lives.’ To achieve this we provide Christian resources and activities for blind and partially sighted people worldwide.

Torch Trust has a distinctive culture that reflects its Christian beliefs and has been shaped by its history of seeking to be faithful to God’s guidance. Our values inform the choices made by Torch, what we do and the way we do it. Our values are:

Christ-centred; People-focussed; Open; Creative

We are a Christian mission and will seek to faithfully represent the Christian message in what we do and in what we say but we will never impose our faith or belief on others.

Occupational Requirements

Torch is a Christian Mission working primarily with Christian organisations and Christian clients. This role is at Leadership level and it is therefore a requirement that the person holding the appointment sets an active example in Christian leadership that reflects the Torch Ethos. The role also requires that the appointed person is in close contact with our users and/or supporters who are likely to expect to be interacting with a Christian person and may be required to pray and share Christian experiences. It is therefore a requirement of Torch Trust for the Blind that the person appointed is a committed Christian and able to accept the Torch Basis of Faith.

Job Context

As a crucial aspect of the implementation of our 5-year Strategic Plan we are seeking to expand and grow what we term as our ‘Presence’ activities. 

Around the country support organisations and charities are declining and volunteers are hard pushed to meet the needs they perceive.  More than ever it is time to promote Torch services and engage with partners to bring as much Christian support as possible to those experiencing sight loss, so that they may fully engage with their Christian community.

There are four communities that we need to build relationships and network with

·                Clients - blind and partially sighted people and those losing their sight

·                Sight Loss Professionals, health care professionals, sight loss agencies - those that support, guide and signpost Clients

·                Churches - leaders and pastoral teams that can work in partnership with Torch to make a difference in lives of Clients locally.

·                Supporters - those who support Torch by prayer, volunteering or donation.

The Presence team plan is to

·                Reach out and engage with churches with a collection of products and services including training and consultancy (Sight Loss Friendly Church)

·                Liaise with the sight loss professionals and agencies to bring clients and volunteers towards Torch products and services

·                Inspire and motivate the next generation of volunteers for potential new groups, schemes, activities and the continuation and development of local Torch work

·                Build local networks of Torch partnered services and activities

·                Work with other partners locally and nationally to increase awareness of Sight Loss and reach clients through other activities

All of the Presence work seeks to share the truth of the Gospel through our actions and words to people with sight loss.

Job Description and detail

Job Title

Area Development Officer


Home based or at the Torch national office, Market Harborough

Designated area

Around 2 hours travel time from home base (area boundaries to be discussed with successful applicant)

Reports to

Chief Development Officer

Reporting to this post

Church based and engaged volunteers 

In cooperation

Other Area Development Officers and Torch House staff

Work Pattern

25 hours per week. The working pattern will be varied and include weekend / evening work as needed.

Main Purpose

To represent Torch, its products and services to the Church communities, sight loss professionals, clients and volunteers in a particular area. Building relationships which result in more people experiencing sight loss accessing Torch’s wider services and increasing provision more locally to those with sight loss in your geographically designated area.

Main Duties and responsibilities

·                Raise awareness of the impact of sight loss through the promotion and sharing of Torch products and services to churches, sight loss agencies, supporters, volunteers, clients and potential volunteers/supporters/clients.

·                With the intentional aim of developing greater Torch engagement locally, promote, develop and encourage the awareness of the range of Torch’s services (including Torch Holidays) in the designated area through church networks, Sight Loss Agencies and individuals.

·                Liaise with eye health and social care professionals and with sight loss organisations, build relationships and engage with professionals promoting Torch services.

·                Offer encouragement and support to local volunteers and recruit new ones within your designated area.

·                Work with volunteers/churches/other relevant organisation to plan and run regional Torch events that encourage and support the local work of the Torch.

·                Arrange and contribute to the development and delivery of local training for churches / volunteers, in liaison with Torch’s Training and Development Officer and other local training providers.

·                Meet and participate with activities as required with other Torch staff members under the overall programme area of ‘Presence’.

·                Any other duties in line with the developing nature of the role and the needs of the ‘Presence’ team.

Person Specification

·                A committed and practising Christian.

·                Creative, dynamic and able to use initiative.

·                A skilled and effective communicator, able to inspire and engage a variety of different types of people including church leaders, volunteers, sight loss professionals and people with sight loss.

·                Willing and able to travel around the region to conduct your local work.

·                Willing and able on occasion to travel to different venues in the UK.

·                Available to work flexibly, including some non-standard hours.

·                Able and confident to lead small groups, deliver training and present to groups of different sizes.

·                Experienced in working with the church and/or charity and/or disability sector.

·                Able to plan ahead, work independently and manage time effectively.

Torch Trust for the Blind

Charity Number 109504

June 2017