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About the organisation

RUSS is a volunteer-led Community Land Trust based in Ladywell, south London, founded in 2009 with the mission of creating sustainable neighbourhoods and genuinely affordable homes. We aim to bring together people and nature to build a more mutually beneficial world.

Our vision of creating sustainable community-led neighbourhoods and truly affordable homes is governed by 10 guiding principles. If you support our aims we’d love you to get involved with making them a reality.

  1. RUSS will create socially, environmentally and economically sustainable neighbourhoods in the city.

  2. Our neighbourhoods should balance the interests of residents, the wider community and the Council as landowner.

  3. RUSS should build truly affordable homes.

  4. Decisions that affect our neighbourhoods should be under the control of residents.

  5. Our developments should be embedded in the local community and include space for community use.

  6. The neighbourhoods should reflect the local population with a mix of families, couples and single people, both young and old, and with a range of incomes.

  7. RUSS neighbourhoods should not only reduce environmental impacts by efficiently using energy and building materials, but should proactively create resources of power, water and food.

  8. Residents should have the opportunity to be involved in the design, construction and management of neighbourhoods.

  9. RUSS developments should create opportunities for training in organising and building for residents and others.

  10. Our projects should be self-financing with robust financing and delivery systems.

About the role

We are lucky to have received a substantial grant, as well donations through a crowdfunder, towards the landscaping of the grounds around the flats, including a play area and public garden alongside the river. These funds require careful management to report back to the funders and donors. There is a very active and enthusiastic gardening group but they need some record-keeping and accounting support to manage the budget and follow RUSS's financial procedures.


This finance support role would involve helping the gardening group to collate quotations for the gardening materials and labour and manage the various dedicated strands of the budget (c. £76k) in spring and summer 2024. Depending on time available, a second strand of work would be to help residents manage the income and costs of the shared facilities including the laundry, car club and guest room.


The RUSS team includes a part-time bookkeeper using QuickBooks, a highly experienced Treasurer with a background in charity finance, and volunteers with experience in development. The organisation is in transition from managing a construction project to managing a block of flats and looking towards future projects; from being a volunteer-led organisation employing professional consultants, to becoming a more sustainable organisation, and potentially becoming a Register Provider of Social Housing in coming years. We are are looking to develop our team and processes for the long-term.


This is a role which is initially project-based (supporting the landscaping work) but could develop into something more substantial for someone interested in helping an organisation through a period of change and growth.


Depending on availability and interest, this volunteer could also support the RUSS fundraising group applications for long-term core funding, support the Treasurer and learn about the role with a view to joining the board in the future.


Specific commitments: to attend the weekly Finance and Audit Committee (1 hour, online, currently Tuesday morning, but can be rearranged to suit); to stay in touch with the coordinator of the landscaping and gardening group by email and phone as needed; to manage the landscaping budget and share relevant documentation with the landscaping team and the Treasurer and bookkeeper.

Our ideal candidate

We'd love to meet people who are interested in affordable housing, community and the environment. This is a really exciting moment for RUSS and everyone involved - and we also need a steady pair of hands to make sure that we meet reporting deadlines, stay within budget and follow RUSS's financial processes.


Experience in creating cashflows, recording invoices and presenting financial information in a way that can be understood by non-finance people would be helpful.


This is a good entry-level volunteering opportunity for someone with a few years of experience in an office setting.


Essential skills and qualities

An eye for detail

Awareness of best practice in record-keeping and accountability

Experience of budgets and cashflows, using appropriate software

Enjoys explaining financial processes in a simple way

Enjoys working in an informal way with volunteers and enabling other people to reach their potential


Desirable skills and qualities

An interest in developing bespoke processes for an innovative organisation

An interest in becoming more involved in community housing as a trustee

Ability to suggest avenues for future funding or income generation

What’s in it for you

RUSS has achieved an amazing thing - building 36 new homes - starting as a group of volunteers meeting in the pub. It is a very satisfying to be part of a project that is helping to create a new community. RUSS volunteers say that they have gained many new skills, learning by doing, ranging from practical construction to writing and photography.

At this point, RUSS also needs some very practical support in finance and admin to get to the point where it can employ staff long-term. Volunteers would help the organisation move into a new phase, and establish its long-term stability.

Your impact would be felt by the members of the 36 households at Church Grove, the many community organisations in Lewisham that use the shared facilites such as the hub and the garden, and the wider commnity-led housing network.

This finance support role offers opportunities to develop communication and people skills by taking the lead for a specific project, while having the informal support of more experienced finance professionals. It could be a useful learning opportunity for someone considering moving into community-led housing or volunteer-led organisations - gaining experience of the role of a charity's board. Within the community-led housing sector, RUSS is part of the National CLT Network, Locality and other organisations offering training and networking events which would be open to all staff and volunteers.

Apply for the role

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Please provide a cover note if it is requested in the role description. Applications which are personalised, setting out your motivations for volunteering for the organisation and relevant skills/experience, are far more likely to be successful.

Volunteer finance support


Apply by

31 May 2024






Short-term project

Time commitment

1-3 hours per week
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