Job Opportunity at Refugee Rescue!

Are you the seasoned, multitasking ‘skipper’ we are looking for?

ROLE: Programme leader (contract of services)

LOCATION: Lesvos (with option of working remotely)

REIMBURSEMENT: £1300/month, £15600/year

Refugee Rescue is a humanitarian charity whose aims are the relief of human suffering and the saving of lives of refugees and displaced people who are affected by war, conflict or other crisis by providing, or assisting in the provision of sea rescue, shelter and humanitarian support.

Refugee Rescue is a young and evolving organisation which was established out of necessity to respond to the humanitarian needs of people crossing the Aegean Sea during the refugee crisis.

How to apply

To apply for this contract of services please indicate, in no more than 1400 words, how you meet the personal specification. The deadline for application is the 27th of June, 2019. Following shortlisting, successful candidates will be invited for an interview on the 19th of July.

Applications are to be sent to:

The information you provide will be treated as strictly confidential and will be considered only in relation to the contract you are applying.

Personal specification for the contract of services

  • Ability to travel to Lesvos regularly 

  • Fluency in English

  • Understanding of the operational, social and political environment affecting search and rescue NGOs

  • Understanding of human rights, safe passages and the importance for search and rescue for people seeking refuge

  • Understanding of the volatility of the humanitarian space

  • Experience of fundraising and ability to promote a strategy to support the financial stability of the organisation, including drawing on a wide network within the sector for these purposes

  • Recent experience of working in a humanitarian environment

  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to affirm strong leadership

  • Ability to respond and manage crisis situations

  • Ability to manage as well as work collegiately within a team 

  • Ability to draft reports, press releases and communications

  • Ability to set priorities, and help the board in the development of overall strategies

  • Ability to work independently

  • Ability to manage deadlines

  • Ability to implement new systems and demonstrate openness to change

  • Ability to liaise and work with a range of stakeholders

  • Ability to promote training opportunities and actively work towards personal development planning for volunteers 

Contract of services description

  • Oversee the mission on behalf of the trustees

  • Have a clear overview of operations to strategize, fundraise and represent the organization and mission

  • Maintain coordination and management of project

  • Liaise with the Treasurer to maintain oversight of all finances, accounting, payments and financial reports

  • Maintain or improve collaboration with partners and funders

  • Ensure timelines and schedules implemented

  • Steer the organization on behalf of the trustees

  • Manage a centralized and accessible data filing system

  • Oversee the coordination of the land operations

  • Be a point of contact for any enquiries and disseminate to appropriate department if necessary

  • Representation of RR at meetings and for press etc (in negotiation with Chair)

  • Regular meetings (can be via Skype) with RR staff on the ground

  • Regularly go to Lesvos to assess and to ‘touch base’ with crew

  • Ensure recruitment is adhered to: E.g. digital central applications with volunteer info. Signed and filed (digitally) code of conducts, contracts and access to policies and handbook

  • Promote policy adherence and compliance

  • Assist the team when equipment is required and with administrative tasks of maintaining operations

  • Liaise with relevant authorities when restrictions put in place on operations

  • Draw up press releases, dissemination to contacts in coordination with Media Coordinator

  • Remain aware and sensitive to a changing political and economic environment and to the range of professional perspectives of the supervised staff

  • Implement new systems and affect staff behavioural/attitudinal change where necessary 

  • Approach work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude

  • Demonstrate openness to change and ability to manage complexities. 


  • Initiate and maintain partnerships

  • Support the Board with materials for fundraising

  • Initiate and promote fundraising initiatives in collaboration with trustees and Media Coordinator

  • Draft proposals for fundraising

  • Host donor meetings where appropriate and talk regularly with funders

  • Work with Media Coordinator to develop content for media campaigns aimed at private donors

  • Promote and initiate fundraising events where possible

  • Devise media campaigns to assist in fundraising in collaboration with the Media Coordinator


  • Assist the board in the development of charity

  • Bring a creative vision to seek opportunities for the organization and how best to help refugees.

  • Monitor and evaluate to assess the impact of the project

  • Realistically see where RR can develop to sustain and / or expand or/ exit operations to meet the needs of refugees

  • Work to make the project sustainable and a drive to increase Refugee Rescue’s reach


  • Manage all correspondence and disseminate where appropriate

  • Administrative vigilance, centralising and accessible information (spread sheets, filing, taking minutes etc)

  • Update and implement policies

Media: In conjunction with Refugee Rescue Media Coordinator

  • Lead on media strategy to be delivered by Media Coordinator

  • Develop and promote the “VOICE OF RR’

  • Oversee updating and maintenance of the website

  • Ensure media content is relevant, organized and accessible

  • Encourage crew to contribute to regular updates

Recruitment and staff management:

  • Recruitment of land crew leaders and team leaders.

  • Assist Boat Crew Operations Manager with administrative tasks and digital filing of contracts


  • Liaise with Treasurer to oversee cash-flow on the ground

  • Support the ground team in negotiating with car/apartment/equipment suppliers where appropriate

  • Maintain an overview of income/ expenditure in coordination with Treasurer


  • Liaise with wider team and Treasurer to provide M&E reports to board and funders

  • Meeting minutes and reporting to board

  • Operation reporting to funders

  • Minuting all meetings with staff to action


  • Promote knowledge sharing in RR through leadership and personal example. 

  • Actively work towards continuing personal learning and development and acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills. 

From the outgoing Program Director, Hannah Wallace Bowman:

This narrow stretch of The Aegean has become a microcosm of competing interests and ideologies, of which Refugee Rescue and Lighthouse Relief bear a unique as important roles as the last bastions of a grassroots humanitarian response on the North Shore.

I think one of the most rewarding things I have experienced as part of this team is working alongside people for whom, when they came to Lesvos, migration was something they were “sort-of” interested, but not necessarily something they were super informed about or involved with long-term — and then seeing how, as their experience and understanding grows, they transform into passionate ambassadors not just for the work we do as Refugee Rescue, but for a wider movement for change. This has been a huge source of motivation and inspiration for me.

To apply please send your cover letter and CV to:

We look forward to receiving your application!


The Refugee Rescue team

Photo: Marcus valance / refugee rescue 2019

Photo: Marcus valance / refugee rescue 2019