JOINING THE JOURNEY

Employment and Volunteering with Torch Trust

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; Openness; Creativity

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.

Statement of Faith

A copy of this is provided at the end of this document.

Torch - The Story

In 1959 the conversion of one blind girl, Wendy, in the home of our founders, Ron and Stella Heath, led to a search for Christian literature in Braille for her. This was to prove largely unsuccessful, however the Lord seemed to be saying to them “YOU give them something to eat” (Matt 14:16).

Under the gracious hand of our God, the work has grown and developed beyond the Heath’s wildest dreams.

The production of literature in audio, Braille, and giant print formats is now largely computer driven and a well-stocked lending library has been established with books available in a variety of accessible media for free loan. Torch magazines in accessible media go to readers all over the world. Torch is in touch with blind and partially sighted people in over 80 countries of the world and is producing scriptures in several languages. Torch also transcribes the very popular daily Bible reading notes in several media.

Many people have been helped and blessed through the ongoing programme of holidays and houseparties, and Torch Fellowship Groups have been established nationwide where blind and sighted people can support and minister to one another.

The work has extended internationally, with a base in Malawi (Africa). Torch has other international partnerships and close links with many similar organisations in various parts of the world.

Today Torch is a vibrant and growing organisation. The original vision is being fulfilled through producing and providing Christian literature in a form that blind and partially sighted people can read alongside the support we are able to encourage through Christian fellowship.

The present and future of Torch’s programme of activity is increasingly driven and shaped by a vision of Christian community as the setting in which people with sight loss find wholeness.

Activities under the theme of ‘Presence’ are about being present in the local community, being present with blind and partially sighted people and about coming alongside people who are losing their sight and walking with them on their journey.

Further detail about the current activities of Torch can be found on our website www.torchtrust.org

Working and Volunteering with Torch

Torch places a high value on all Torch people and seeks to ensure that they are safe and working in an environment that is purposeful, pleasant, and cooperative and where teamwork, fellowship and mutual support are an everyday part of working life. We encourage people to ‘join the journey’ as we travel with God on an adventure of faith, as we seek always to do His will and to work His way.

Torch Trust is a Christian mission that seeks at all times to express the example of Jesus Christ in all its work and actions. Torch therefore seeks to set the highest standards in personal and business conduct and in relationships. Torch is prepared to listen and empathise with individual’s personal circumstances but does not seek to provide professional counselling or to replace pastoral care undertaken by an individual’s Church.

People journey with Torch as employees or volunteers.

Joining the Journey is intended to give a basic overall picture of what joining Torch will be like. Specific details will be discussed as part of the recruitment process.

Christian Commitment

There are opportunities for those who do not have a Christian faith to work with Torch; however all need to recognise that Torch is a Christian Mission and that the Christian ethos is part of the everyday life of Torch. Daily prayer and worship are an integral part of Torch. We start each day with Chapel time. The majority of our staff and volunteers see their work as an expression of their Christian faith.

All Leaders, Co-ordinators and volunteers who have regular contact with the users of our services are required to be committed Christians. For these roles the role description will define this as an Occupational Requirement. Those applying for these will be required to confirm that they are able to accept the Torch Basis of Faith and live to generally accepted standards of Christian living.

Where the work involved is not defined as having an Occupational Requirement, applications are considered from those who do not have an active Christian faith.

Christianity within the life of Torch

Prayer is woven into the fabric of Torch. We engage the wider network of beneficiaries, supporters, volunteers and staff in daily prayer through a Daily Prayer Guide and Prayer Diary.

At both Torch House and the Holiday & Retreat Centre a chapel is available throughout the day for private meditation and prayer. Many conversations with our clients will involve prayer or requests for prayer. Staff and volunteers are encouraged to take time with the challenges and concerns that often become apparent during conversations.

Consistent with this value is a governance and leadership that seeks always to discern and apply God’s leading. We test our choices against the teaching of the Bible, by prayer and by seeking unanimity after prayer.

Employment

Recruitment Process

The seeking of the Lord’s will is essential in the selection and appointment of staff.

Torch Trust seeks to ensure that throughout this process ample time is given and good opportunities for dialogue provided, so that the Lord’s will can be discerned in a way that is open, equal and fair. Our experience is that this process can take time. During this time we will be pleased to welcome you to Torch House or Torch Holiday & Retreat Centre and our Chief Executive and Leaders will be pleased to talk to you. We trust in this way you will be able to learn something of the special nature of Torch Trust and to share in the excitement of working in a Christian mission environment.

Employment Opportunities

The following are the main areas of activity within Torch:

A team of Leaders lead these activities and within each department are technical staff, support staff and volunteers. Details of specific vacancies are made known through Torch publications, on our website and where appropriate by circulating to Churches local to our bases and in the press. However, our experience has shown that the Lord brings to us those called to the work and whose talents can be best used at a particular time rather than those that necessarily fit into a predefined job specification.

Salary

As a faith-based mission, Torch relies on the Lord for its funding. Answers to prayer for financial support have been part of the Torch story right from the very beginning. The salary provided by Torch is therefore modest; reflecting the seniority of the position; level of technical skill and the Mission basis of the organisation.

The level of funding into Torch changes constantly; Torch People are invited to share in the sometimes challenging nature of this journey by joining in corporate and individual prayer.

The salary for any particular role will be discussed as part of the recruitment process.

Several members of our staff are financially supported in the Torch Trust mission work by friends and colleagues to augment their salary. Torch will be pleased to work with staff on this, should you feel that to be appropriate.

Taking Employment seriously

Torch is assisted in its HR management by Peninsula Services to ensure we offer best practise and maintain up to date and compliant employment. The Employee Handbook offers a comprehensive guide to working with Torch and is issued when being offered employment.

Volunteering

Why Volunteer?

Volunteers are an essential part of the work. As a volunteer at Torch you can expect:

What does Torch require from its Volunteers?

Recruitment Process

It is important that we take time to ensure that both volunteer and Torch fit well together, that the volunteer role is well suited to the volunteer and that they gain a real sense of fulfilment in undertaking these duties.

The volunteer will therefore be invited to visit Torch House or Torch HRC to meet with our people and to learn something about the work we do. During this visit we will explore the various opportunities available and discuss the possibilities of undertaking a taster day.

Following appointment as a volunteer we will meet together regularly to ensure the role fills your expectations.

Volunteering Opportunities

The following are the main areas of activity within Torch:

All volunteers are expected to complete some initial induction and where appropriate some training sessions.

You will work under the supervision of a Co-ordinator or leader of Torch.

Hours of Work

Our volunteers work a very flexible working pattern:-

At Torch house volunteers often work a day or half day a week

At Torch Holiday & Retreat Centre UK based volunteers often offer support for a week’s holiday.

Working from home is very flexible but normally would involve a minimum of three to four hours per week.

Safeguarding

As the work with Torch may bring you into contact with vulnerable adults or children you may be required to apply for Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau. For all roles within Torch you will be required to disclose details of any criminal records.

Health and Safety

Copies of the Health and Safety handbook will be provided for people working at Torch House or Torch HRC. Whether at home or on Torch property you are to work safely, taking care of yourself and others. Any concerns about health and safety are to be reported to the Health and Safety Officer.

BASIS OF FAITH

As defined in the Trust’s governing documents the Torch Trust’s objectives are the relief and support of blind and partially sighted people in accordance with the following basis of faith:

TORCH TRUST FOR THE BLIND

Registered Office
TORCH HOUSE
TORCH WAY
NORTHAMPTON ROAD
MARKET HARBOROUGH
LEICS LE16 9HL

Registered Charity No. 1095904

Company Number 4616526

Registered in England

Website: www.torchtrust.org

Email: info@torchtrust.org

7