Head of External Affairs & Communications

Job Title: Head of External Affairs & Communications

Hours: 4-5 days per week

Location: London/remote

Reporting to: Chief Executive Officer

Terms: Permanent

Salary: £55,000 pro-rata

In Summary

We are looking for an energetic, well-networked external affairs and communications professional to join our growing team. You will have worked successfully in the not-for-profit or public sector and be able to evidence the impact and change your work has generated. As our Head of External Affairs and Communications, you will be responsible for leading the development and implementation or our external affairs and communications strategy. You’ll be used to working in a fast-paced, lean, collaborative work environment; bringing a willingness to be ‘hands-on’ as well as being a strategic thinker.

About The Young Foundation

Connected, thriving communities are the foundation of our society. They keep us safer, happier and healthier – more resilient and able to face shared challenges.

Today, The Young Foundation’s mission is to develop better connected and more sustainable communities across the UK. As a UKRI accredited Independent Research Organisation, social innovator and community development practitioner, we combine all our skills and expertise to further that mission.

We amplify the stories and lived experiences of people in our communities; using this as a spur to drive locally-led community action and enterprise. We use what we learn across different communities to spot national patterns of need and opportunity; working with national partners to support innovative ideas to tackle those shared challenges.

Through our Institute for Community Studies, we are bringing together our own – and other people’s – work, we are building a shared body of evidence, tools and insight about how communities are taking action on the issues that affect them.

We are experts in understanding the changing role of communities in the 21st century. Find out more about our work and history and the Institute for Community Studies.

Key Responsibilities


  • Develop and implement an external relations and communications plan to reflect the overarching strategy for the organisation
  • Work with colleagues within the Young Foundation to develop a stronger, deeper narrative and editorial strategy for our work.
  • Develop and sustain credible and creative routes for communicating our work to key stakeholders across public, charitable and corporate sectors
  • Keep abreast of developments in civil society, local government and national policies which are relevant to the Young Foundation’s mission


  • Evolve our current stakeholder and market analysis; deriving new insights and approaches to engagement
  • Write and commission online content that amplifies the activities of the organisation; comment on relevant events and trends & encourage ongoing dialogue with stakeholders
  • Support the senior staff to build greater relationships with local, regional and international partners, funders, regulatory bodies and policy makers
  • Lead and manage our small communications team, supporting them to deliver high impact communications activities (newsletter, social, press announcements, briefings, events) – all aligned to a strong editorial strategy
  • Proactively, lead the development of original campaigns and events which increase our reach and impact. Respond swiftly to emerging opportunities, news and events relevant to our core work and mission
  • Monitor and report on the impact of all our external affairs and communications activities to the CEO and board

Skills & Experience Required

You will:

  • Have proven previous experience in a Communications and External Affairs role and be able to evidence the impact of your work in driving change.
  • Existing, strong networks within the public and charitable sectors and national and sector specific media contacts. You may also have good links to parliamentarians, central government departments and local councils.
  • Have a proven ability to write high quality, compelling articles, blogs and reports to a diverse range of audiences
  • Be able to understand and complex social policy issues and how to most effectively position and communicate our programmes, reports other outputs.
  • Be able to develop and maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders
  • Be experienced in segmenting audiences, tracking these and developing relevant and creative engagement plans
  • Have impeccable organisational skills; an ability to work in a dynamic environment and prioritise effectively
  • Energetic, positive, with a passion for the Young Foundation’s mission and your role within it
  • Knowledgeable about effective direct and digital marketing techniques and tools is desirable.
  • You will bring a collaborative, action-oriented and creative mindset.

How to Apply

With reference to the Job Specification, please complete this application form and return it to applications@youngfoundation.org.

Please also submit CV’s as separate attachment but it is not a requirement for the selection process and applications without application form will not be accepted.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 4th July at 11:59pm. The selection process will consist of two interviews. The first interview will assess candidates experience and competencies against all essential criteria for the role.

First-round interviews will be conducted during the week commencing 12th July 2021 and the second round will be conducted the following week, this will also include a practical task or presentation.

We actively encourage people from Black and Ethnic Minority or other under-represented groups to apply for this role.

You must have the right to live and work in the UK. Applicants who require a work permit in order to take up employment will not be considered.

The Young Foundation is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

We regret that we will only be able to reply, and give feedback, to short-listed applicants.