Sustain / Jobs

Bridging the Gap Programme Manager

Job title Bridging the Gap Programme Manager
Organisation Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming

Gross Annual Salary

£41,980. This is a pay level 6 salary. This salary increases annually in April each year according to Sustain’s Payscale and progression (subject to satisfactory performance). In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.


Full time, with possibility of 0.8FTE (4 days per week) if preferred.


Role is office-based in Bethnal Green, London. Sustain offers working from home up to half of working hours, on request and subject to agreement. 

Position type

Permanent contract with funding secured until June 2025 and reasonable possibility for extension.

Annual Leave

31 days Annual Leave if full time (comprises of 20 days Basic Annual Leave + FTE proportion of public hols + office closures) rising annually by 2 days to a top limit of 36 days.

Closing date

10am, Wednesday 28 September 2022


Contact email

Equal opportunities

Sustain is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive employer, including recruiting for diversity. Recruitment for this role comes under Sustain’s Ethnicity Confident and Disability Confident schemes, which means that people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, or with a disability, will be guaranteed a first-stage interview if you meet all the essential criteria for the role. Read more about our approach to recruiting for diversity here.

Right to Work

Entitlement to work in the UK. You will need to hold the necessary rights/visa to work in the UK, Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits.

Other details

Cycle to Work scheme available on salary sacrifice basis.

NB: This is a re-advertisement. We have revised the essential and desirable criteria.

About Sustain

Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers.

About the Bridging the Gap programme

Bridging the Gap is an exciting new initiative for Sustain, working in partnership with Alexandra Rose Charity, Growing Communities (as part of the Better Food Traders Network) and partners in the four Nations, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. See:

Bridging the Gap aims to demonstrate how to build better supply chains that connect climate-friendly food and people on a lower income. It will also identify and advocate for financial interventions and other mechanisms to enable its work to continue in the longer term. Bridging the Gap will run and test pilot interventions over three years, with the possibility of the work, funding and post being extended for a longer period.

Food that is good for people and the planet, benefits communities and supports decent livelihoods is currently more expensive than food that is bad for health and produced in ways that damage the planet. We want to build a new vision for how climate-friendly food can be accessible to all and how the difference in price can be paid for by public finance or in other ways. This will be a journey of testing out new approaches to doing things along the food supply chain, showing why this is important and how it could be continued in the future when Big Lottery funding ceases and costs need to be covered from the public purse or other financial mechanisms, such as vouchers, healthy food on prescription or pay-it-forward schemes, paid for as an investment in public health and the natural environment.

Bridging the Gap will be steered by a Programme Management Board, and work with an Advisory Group, community organisations and values-led food traders, in a spirit of collaboration and enquiry.

The Bridging the Gap programme forms part of the Good Food Economy theme of Sustain’s five-year strategy, Fertile Future. This is an emerging area of work for Sustain, building on other existing activities on food justice and sustainable farming.

About this role

The Programme Manager will set up and lead this exciting new initiative. This is a new programme leadership role at Sustain, working closely with and reporting to our Programmes Director. We have ambitions for Bridging the Gap to grow into a significant multiple-partner, longer-term programme for Sustain and our alliance, working across the UK.

The person appointed to the role will build great relationships with and between many organisations, inside and outside of our existing alliance, to achieve a shared vision. We are especially keen to work with under-represented and ethnically diverse communities.

Sustain is seeking a Programme Manager with exceptional networking, project management and communication skills, who is excited by the challenge and opportunities presented by a programme trying to bring about societal change through the food system. They will have the confidence, energy, and drive to cultivate a shared vision, spirit of enquiry and effective implementation to enable change.

The Bridging the Gap Programme Manager will work with Sustain, programme partners and the funders to secure future phases of funding and cultivate other funders and financial mechanisms to support this work in the longer term.

Roles and responsibilities

The Programme Manager is responsible for the overall delivery of the Bridging the Gap programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. This will involve:

  • Creating a detailed workplan, partner agreements, budgeting and reporting processes and running various governance, advisory and working groups
  • Building and managing relationships with partners and other organisations to create a shared vision, cultivate a spirit of collaboration and enquiry, and engagement in implementing the programme
  • Develop new partners relationships, with a special emphasis on diverse voices and engagement with lower income and under-represented groups
  • Facilitating the co-production process to refine and create new further ideas for supply chain-related pilot interventions that reach low-income communities, including distribution and evidencing impact of £750k of investment over Years 1-3
  • Line-managing a project support officer and other staff or volunteers as required
  • Exploring funding options, building relationships with potential new funders and develop fundraising activities to enhance, extend projects or develop new ones
  • Running a programme of learning, with the project support officer, to help the food and farming movement to share in the learning
  • Creating and implementing a high-level communications, influence/advocacy, and engagement plan, including supporting project officer to manage the website, mailing list and communication channels to galvanize support across the alliance and with influencers and policymakers
  • Setting up and overseeing monitoring and evaluation systems, maintaining financial and other records
  • Appointing and managing evaluators to ensure the programme is building the case for funding, policy change or other financial mechanisms to support this work in the longer term and ensuring the programme has positive impact on beneficiaries

The Bridging the Gap Programme Manager will also: 

  • Building Sustain’s internal knowledge of, and providing input and thought-leadership on, the Good Food Economy strand of Sustain’s five-year strategy
  • Contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain, among the staff team, and project participants 
  • Undertake any other responsibilities that may arise from time to time

Personal specification


  • Experience of managing the successful delivery of a large grant-funded programme and budget, or a national programme with multiple partners, reporting responsibilities and evaluation needs
  • Strong project management and organisational skills, including project set-up and evaluation, writing project plans and ensuring delivery
  • Experience of working in or with UK based food organisations or on related issues, with understanding of the national picture of food and farming issues in relation to health, social justice and the environment
  • A strong commitment to diversity and inclusion – particularly to making healthy and sustainable food accessible to all, and to tackling inequality, within the context of the role
  • Good understanding of, or interest in, the good food economy e.g. food supply chains or relevant food trading models along with an understanding of factors limiting accessibility for people on a lower income
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, and experience of building partnerships, engaging people in activities, and working in a team to develop creative solutions, preferably with strong chairing and/or facilitation skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, for example writing publications, running webinars, working with the media, social media and other ways to raise profile in person and digitally
  • The confidence and experience to develop and test new ideas, including co-production approaches
  • Appreciation of the evidence, tools and connections needed to influence policy-makers or to campaign for change
  • Ability to provide an energetic, creative and tenacious approach to programme delivery and partnership working and to work in independently, with high levels of self-motivation


  • Good knowledge of alternative food retail and/or localised food supply chains
  • Experience of influencing or campaigning on sustainable food and farming issues, that has led to a change in local or national policy or practice
  • Understanding or experience of co-production processes or programme development involving multiple partners and individuals
  • Experience of working on a relevant theme and/or with relevant stakeholders, for example with small or medium food enterprises, public finance mechanisms, or with diverse and/or communities experiencing household food insecurity
  • Experience of running workshops or learning based activities
  • Experience of working with and line-managing staff, volunteers and/or paid interns
  • Experience of working in, with, or setting up food-related trading organisations or social enterprises
  • Experience of fundraising and/or making a compelling case for winning funding support


Diversity matters to us. Sustain has a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution. Diversity helps us identify where change is needed and what is required to promote equity as well as reflect the concerns of our wide alliance of members.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire.

A list of Sustain’s policies, including our commitment to diversity are on our website. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire and our approach to recruiting for diversity is described in detail here.

Sustain is recruiting for this role as part of our Ethnicity Confident and Disability Confident schemes. This means that applicants who meet all of the essential criteria, and who let us know voluntarily that you would like to be considered in this way, will be guaranteed a first-stage interview. The opportunity to tell us you would like to be considered din this way is included in our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form.

The Manager will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted.

Visit our website here for some useful advice if you are applying for a job at Sustain.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please email the following:

- a CV (maximum two pages)
- a Covering Letter telling us about your experience and how this relates to the personal specification (maximum two pages)
- a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form

Note: The Equal Opportunities Monitoring form includes the opportunity to tell us if you would your application to be considered as part of the Ethnicity Confident or Disability Confident schemes.

As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please put BTG Programme Manager in the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Deadline: 10am, Wednesday 28 September 2022

First stage interviews for this position will take place virtually the week commencing 10 October 2022, with second face-to-face interviews in the week commencing 17 October. Please indicate in your application if you are not available either of these weeks, although we cannot guarantee we can accommodate requests for alternative timings.

Sustain summit
12 Oct 2022

The summit will consider meat and dairy production and consumption in the context of the climate and nature emergency, where inspiring work and opportunities exist, and the assumptions and underlying values about meat which have shaped our policy to date.

Book now

Support our charity

Donate to enhance the health and welfare of people, animals and the planet.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2022
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies