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External Affairs Assistant

Close up of woman and man near footpath sign

Salary: £23,460 per year
Department: Campaigns and Policy
Reporting to: Head of External Affairs
Location: CPRE national office, 21 Provost Street, London, N1 7NH (near Old Street tube station)
Responsible for: Assisting in projects that will protect, enhance and promote the countryside for everybody’s benefit
Closing date: Thursday 24 November 2022

Job summary – the big picture

Supported by Groundwork and the ‘New to Nature’ programme, we’re offering an exciting new role here at CPRE. The role is one of two positions that make up CPRE’s ‘Green Shoots’ work scheme, which is designed to help open up the environment sector to a more diverse group of people. The job is a fixed term one-year contact for people who are at least 18 years’ old.

This job will assist with the work of the External Affairs team, which is responsible for the following:

  • Public affairs – persuading Ministers, MPs, Peers and civil servants to pass laws and make regulations to benefit the countryside. For example, by meeting civil servants to talk about our views and organising events with government Ministers.
  • Campaigns – influencing the government’s views and policies on the countryside by working with other organisations and harnessing the power of our members and supporters. For example, by co-coordinating joint campaigns with other environmental charities. This might include joint letters to Ministers or statements for newspapers.
  • Media relations – trying to get CPRE and stories about the countryside noticed and written about in social media, print and online newspapers, magazines TV and radio. For example writing press releases and calling journalists to get them interested in our research and stories.

About ‘New to Nature’

New to Nature is an exciting programme of paid work placements in nature-focused roles for 18-25-year olds. This is one of 70 roles that will be created across the UK to encourage young and diverse talent into the Natural Environment sector.

We’re particularly interested in receiving applications from young people who are from ethnically diverse backgrounds, who are living with a disability or are from low-income households.

You’ll get paid a good wage from a placement that helps the environment, learn loads of skills to boost your CV and get access to a Youth Employment Coach to help you plan your future career. There’ll also be opportunities to learn about potential careers in the natural environment, and (should you wish to) connect with the other young people working in New to Nature roles across the country.

This is a unique opportunity to try something new, and to take a first step on a career path where you can make a real difference. The natural environment needs you!

Who you’ll be working with

  • Internal – your own team, other teams in the Campaigns and Policy Department and the Brand and Engagement and Content teams in the Engagement and Income Department.
  • CPRE’s network – local CPREs in counties around England (such as Essex, Kent and Lancashire etc) and their teams of volunteers – people who give up their time to campaign on countryside, planning and environmental issues in their own communities.
  • External – politicians, journalists and other organisations working on environmental and countryside issues. For example recently, we have met the Housing Minister at a big event held in parliament. 

Your responsibilities

  • Assist with the running of events, meetings and seminars, for example online panel discussions with Ministers.
  • Ensure we’re maximising the potential to promote our events across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Make arrangements for discussions aimed at making our work appeal to a younger and more diverse audience. For example, on new areas of work including how we can create a ‘countryside for all’ where people who don’t currently spend time in the countryside are happy and able to do so.
  • Work with the Brand and Engagement team to ensure CPRE is active and effective across all social media channels, and making social media posts appeal to young people.
  • Assist with putting together information and statistics on a range of countryside issues. For example finding out how many affordable homes were built last year in England.
  • Other duties including answering the phone to supporters and signing in visitors to the office.
  • Help your team mates out with urgent bits of work as and when needed.
  • And in all you do, we ask that you model CPRE’s values and behaviours. These include:
    Open – be friendly and approachable and open minded.
    Trusted – doing what you have said you will so.
    Connected – be a good listener and share your skills and knowledge with others.
    Inspirational – challenge the status quo.

What you need to do the job

  • A bit of knowledge, or an interest in, something like one or two of the following: plants and trees; hills, fields, woods, local parks and green spaces; rivers, canals and waterways; hill-climbing and exploring; geography; ecology, farming and growing things; public transport and building new homes. Or our mental well-being, stress and the benefits of access to the countryside and green spaces.
  • A basic understanding, or a little knowledge, of one or two environmental or climate change issues. For example: recycling, pollution, protecting the oceans, rain forests or endangered species.
  • An interest in what’s happening in the world at large or your own community or school or college, or in helping make society better by being involved in campaigns or causes.
  • Be able to write basic emails and use Microsoft Word or Google docs.
  • Ability to work well as part of a team.
  • Maths to a good standard because you need to use numbers, and English to a good standard because you need to write clear, grammatical sentences – or be able to demonstrate you can do this.
  • Be able to plan, prioritise and organise tasks, and hit deadlines.

How you’ll be supported

  • Your line manager will meet you regularly to ensure you have the support you need day-to-day and more broadly throughout the year. They will set clear tasks and provide you with the information and support you need to complete them.
  • Your line manager will take responsibility for your development through learning, networking, appraisal and other opportunities for growth.
  • An external mentor will also meet with you regularly to hear about how everything is going, talk through and issues and give you any support you might need.
  • You will also meet regularly with the other green shooter to share your experiences and support one another during the year.

CPRE staff benefits – the perks of the job

Other than getting to work in one of the environment sector’s leading charities, you’ll also benefit from the following:

  • Pension – CPRE offers a group personal pension policy with Aviva. CPRE will contribute to this policy monthly at a rate of 7% of gross (ie before tax) current salary. The minimum staff contribution is 1% (also from gross salary), and staff can increase this percentage at any time.
  • Life assurance – CPRE has an employee life assurance policy, which covers all staff during their employment with CPRE. This means that if you pass away while working for CPRE, a loved one will receive four times your annual salary
  • Employee support – CPRE provides access to the Healthy Extras service. This includes:
    • Doctor Line – 24 hours a day, you can pick up the phone and arrange a call back from a practising UK GP, to discuss any health issues and receive advice or a diagnosis.
    • Togetherall – a safe online space for you to explore things that are troubling you and get support in confidence.
    • 24-hour advice and information line – this service gives you access to confidential guidance on medical, legal or domestic issues from qualified counsellors, legal advisors and nurses.
    • Westfield Rewards – special offers on all your favourite goods and services from over 1,000 leading restaurants, retailers and destinations.
  • Flexible working – CPRE has a flexible-working policy with a number of staff working. Where flexible working requests are agreed by line managers, staff are able to alter their working hours. We also have flexible start and finish times, subject to working core hours.
  • Holidays – CPRE offers 25 days per calendar year. Paid leave will also be given for public holidays and three ‘privilege’ days, normally taken between Christmas and the New Year.
  • Season ticket/bike loan – a season ticket loan is available to staff members on successful completion of the probationary period. For those who prefer to cycle in to work, we offer a loan on the same basis as the season ticket loan.
  • Free tea and coffee – free tea and coffee is provided in the office.

CPRE and diversity

CPRE places high value on equality. We treat everyone with respect and consideration because we know it’s the right thing to do. We also know that diverse teams make much better decisions, are more creative and more stimulating to work in. So, if you join us, you will be able to help us put equality, the environment and diversity at the centre of everything we do.

We hope you like the sound of the job and will take the time to apply!

Download Placement Pack

Closing date: Thursday 24 November 2022

Recruitment process


You can apply for this placement via the following link:

This is hosted by Groundwork UK who will check the suitability of applicants, before passing the application on to the Employer organisation, who will shortlist applicants to an informal interview process.

Please ensure you carefully select the correct role from the drop down list, to ensure your details are passed to the correct employer.

If you have any questions about the application, contact us at:


We will contact you to let you know whether you have been shortlisted for interview.

We expect to conduct interviews (by telephone or video call) week commencing 5 December 2022

If you have any questions about the role or interview process please contact Sarah McMonagle at

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