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External Affairs Officer (Devolved Nations) - Ballynahinch

The National Trust
Ballynahinch, Down
30,966 pa
Closing date
29 May 2024

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Job Details

External Affairs Officer (Devolved Nations) - Ballynahinch


The National Trust is a conservation charity which looks after places and spaces so people and nature can thrive. In Northern Ireland we look after 22% of Northern Ireland’s coastline, 46 sq miles of countryside, including Slieve Donard and the Giants Causeway, and historic family homes such as Mount Stewart, Castle Ward and Florence Court.

In Northern Ireland, we work with a broad range of sectors and stakeholders, championing the natural environment, built heritage and action in response to climate change.

Can you make a difference to nature and people through supporting stakeholder management, communications and advocacy and insight? We’re looking for an experienced external affairs officer to join our team to support our Director and leaders in their priority relationships across a wide range of projects and programmes.

This is a fixed term contract due to end when the previous employee returns from maternity leave.  At this point we cannot confirm exactly how long this contract will last, but it is unlikely to be more than 12 months.

Hours: 37.5 hours per week.

Salary: £30,966 pa.

What it's like to work here

We’re for ever, for everyone and we really mean that. We want everyone to feel welcome and enjoy access to natural and built heritage, in ways that are relevant to them. We're working to adapt our places and enhance nature and biodiversity in the face of climate change.

Our team is home to internal specialists in every field of the National Trust’s work, working closely with colleagues at our places, national experts and external partners to achieve amazing things. You'll work across multiple teams to support our advocacy work, coordinate stakeholder communications and facilitate collaboration between local leaders and their priority relationships.

Your contractual place of work will be the National Trust office at Rowallane House. Our hybrid working policy means you can balance office and home working with site visits and meetings at other National Trust places. We’ll talk about this in more detail at interview, but you should expect to be at a National Trust site for 40–60% of your working week.

What you'll be doing

It’s an exciting time to be in our team as we prepare for a new ten-year strategy. You’ll join our External Affairs, Marketing and Communications team to help grow awareness of National Trust’s priorities in Northern Ireland, primarily amongst policy and political audiences. You'll work closely with the Regional Director, and other colleagues to build and influence relationships with local decision makers, communicating our advocacy messages both internally and externally.

You'll produce briefings and communications materials to support engagement with external audiences, including elected representatives. You'll coordinate engagements with Ministers, committees and MLAs, as well as departmental and local government representatives, ensuring we raise awareness of National Trust’s strategic priorities. You’ll gather insights and carry out research to fill in any gaps in our knowledge or evidence to support advocacy work.

Please also read the Role Profile attached to this vacancy.

Who we're looking for

We're looking for someone with the following skills & experience:

  • A degree or equivalent in a relevant area and/or recent experience in external partnership working, policy or advocacy
  • Strong understanding of the political context and the machinery of government in Northern Ireland
  • Practical working experience of distilling complex information into easily digested briefings
  • Excellent organisational skills including the ability to work to deadlines and prioritise workloads
  • Ability to carry out and respond to internal and external research, intelligence and analysis
  • Ability to build collaborative working relationships with senior stakeholders, both internal and external

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

• Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary
• Free entry to National Trust places for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
• Tax-free childcare scheme
• Rental deposit loan scheme
• Season ticket loan
• EV car lease scheme 
• Perks at work discounts such as gym memberships, shopping discount codes, cinema discounts
• Holiday allowance up to 32 days relating to length of service, plus holiday purchase scheme, subject to meeting minimum criteria.
• Flexible working whenever possible
• Employee assistance programme
• Free parking at most Trust places

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.


The National Trust is committed to promoting and preserving those places of natural beauty and historic interest for which it has the privilege to be responsible for the benefit of the nation, for everyone for ever.

The Trust is proud of what has been achieved over the last 126 years and is determined to maintain those high standards of conservation, stewardship and curatorial care for which it has been recognised throughout the world.

Its achievements have enabled the general public and the Trust’s members and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside, coastline, gardens, historic buildings and collections, all of which encapsulate so much of the history of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a duty to tell that history in a complete, balanced and accurate way, and without judgement.

The National Trust continues as a guardian of the past, and for the future, to uphold its duty to maintain and enhance what has been entrusted to its care.

Company info
The National Trust

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