Working at Othona Bradwell-on-Sea
There are many different people who come to participate in community life here at Othona, and their stays are facilitated by the Core Community Team. Roughly half of our visitors are already Othona members who participate in one or more of the events that we run during the year. Some are long-standing members; others are newcomers. Individuals by themselves and families with children of all ages attend our events - all are welcome. We also host groups who book our centre to run their own activites. These include church groups, generally from the south and east of England. We also welcome school groups during the summer term and run activity weeks for them.
At Othona, members of the core community, volunteers and visitors are all part of the community. People visit for many reasons but they all experience simple, back to basics living and the chance to share life together in community, as well as to participate or enjoy the activities or course that might be on offer during their stay. Everyone who comes to the centre enters into life here and shares in daily tasks such as washing up, laying tables, assisting with cooking and cleaning.
The Role of the Core Community Team
As a member of the core, you are part of a small team led by the Warden who share life together at Othona for the medium to long-term. We live and work together to welcome people from all walks of life to the centre, offering hospitality, assistance and openness for all our visitors.
Our aim is to provide an accepting and safe environment for all who stay at Othona, but the nature of our work varies depending on the people visiting and the focus of the week. During themed weeks we share in the daily life of those visiting the centre - working together, sharing time in chapel, taking part in and sometimes leading activities and coming together for social activities. Visiting groups are also involved in day to day tasks but usually run their own programme of activities while we provide and share meals with them.
In addition we each also have specific areas for which we are responsible, including maintenance of the buildings and facilities; office management (managing bookings, bookkeeping, responding to enquiries, website management and social media); catering (ordering supplies and preparing meals for core community, visitors and groups); and maintenance of the grounds and gardening.
This is likely to be extremely varied. Othona Bradwell’s remoteness is one of its greatest attractions and here you are never more than five minutes' walk from the quiet of the beach and the sea wall. In contrast, the centre itself can be a hugely busy place, with large groups of sixty plus people living together.
As members of the core community we share our lives together, whether we have a group visiting or not. Each day we share our meals, as well as working independently in our own areas. In the evenings when we have visitors staying we often join in with the evening’s entertainment and when there are no groups visiting we usually have that time to ourselves or sometimes go out together for a meal.
Arrangements for time off and holidays
Part of the task of building community life is looking after our individual needs and making sure members of the core community have a fulfilling life outside as well as within the Othona community. This means making sure you have sufficient time off to follow your own leisure pursuits, and honour family commitments and friendships.
One of the great attractions of Othona is that it is far from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The centre is two miles from the nearest bus route and buses are infrequent. There is however a community car which is used for shopping and errands but is also available for personal use by members of the core community subject to the requirements of the centre.
All members of the core community get two days off per week and where possible these days can be taken together. In addition all members of the core community are entitled to 22 days paid holiday per year.
Members of the core community receive full board and lodging and are paid a modest wage.
Medlar Corner is the shared home of our Warden and staff and is situated within the Community site. It is a simple chalet-style house with bedrooms, bathroom, shower and wifi connection. Each member of the core community has a private room within Medlar Corner, and share the facilities of the house.
Management and support
Members of the core community are line managed by the Warden, who in turn is supported by various individuals, groups and committees formed from the wider Othona community. Living and working at Othona is a unique opportunity for you to explore your own needs and gifts in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. It is inevitably an experience that will challenge and stretch you. It will also help you develop a wide range of skills and training and development are offered as appropriate.
Interested? Want to know more?
If you are interested in a role within the community (for a minimum of six months) and would like to broaden your horizons, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance, outlining your skills and interest. If you've never visited Othona Bradwell before, the first step would be to attend a working week, or weekend.