A Place to be Real Together


How To Apply

First, read For All Applicants: The Three Keys.

Then read the job description below. Do you think living and working with us in this role might suit you?

If so, please click on Background Information to read more about Othona West Dorset and for a more detailed job description.  You can then download an Application Form

Please email your completed Application Form to recruitment@othonawestdorset.org.uk  Please use 'Housekeeper' as the subject.  Alternatively you can post your form to: Recruitment, Othona West Dorset, Coast Road, Burton Bradstock, BRIDPORT, Dorset. DT6 4RN

The next steps will usually involve a preliminary visit (unless you've stayed with us in the last two years), a few days volunteering with us, and an interview.

Unless otherwise stated, there is no closing date for applications. They are usually considered on a first come first served basis.

Housekeeper - Core Role

The role of Housekeeping at Othona is central to the comfort and safety of all who stay with us. The role could be described as ‘low visibility but high impact’. Your work may be less obvious than that of some other core members, but is no less important or potentially fulfilling. For our visitors, the state of the house and their bedrooms – both in practical and aesthetic terms – has a strong subliminal effect.

You’ll need an interest in household management from furnishing design to cleaning regimes and competence in the areas of safety and hygiene. But just as important, you need the personal qualities to be well organised without being inflexible, to cope calmly in changing circumstances, to work cheerfully in an unusual team. So emotional intelligence and an interest in people will need to underpin your technical skills.

The current vacancy is available immediately and is initially for 6 months only. The salary offered is £8,997.08 per annum plus full board and lodging. You can expect two days off a week (on a variable rota) and 28 days annual leave allowance.

One day you may be handling lots of routine laundry and cleaning tasks. The next you may be planning a programme of refurbishment to be carried out with a team of colleagues and volunteers over a period of weeks. And the following morning, you may need to deal delicately with a family whose child has wet the bed unexpectedly.

You will be responsible for overseeing a programme of regular cleaning, laundry and repairs, with a rolling schedule of thorough ‘spring cleans’ of rooms and other areas. The housekeeper also takes responsibility for aspects of the dining room such as replenishing supplies of cereals, drinks and condiments.

You'll not just be managing housekeeping tasks but doing them, though you will not be coping with all this single-handed! Planning can be done in dialogue with the warden and other colleagues; help with practical tasks comes from colleagues and from volunteers whose contribution to Othona is a vital element of the community. In housekeeping, as much as any other area, there is a crucial balance to be struck between efficient work by the core community and scope for involvement of other visitors and volunteers. Part of your role will be to champion that balance.

Also like any core member you will be helping from time to time with cooking, event hosting and other tasks. On occasion you may even be asked to deputise for the warden in his absence. These shared tasks apply to all established members of our core community.

This role could suit you if you have experience elsewhere in the hospitality trade and are now looking to live in a community-oriented environment. Alternatively you may not have any formal experience, but skills developed in your own home and a readiness to apply them on a rather larger scale.

Othona is a 'home from home' for many of its visitors, with a welcoming atmosphere that combines relative simplicity with safety and comfort. We hope you will enjoy the challenge of balancing these criteria with the constraints of a fairly tight budget.

To summarise, our Core Member - Housekeeping has four main aims:

  • to manage house cleaning, laundry and related tasks so as to sustain and improve the facilities offered to our visitors
  • to play a big part in the cleaning routine , with the help of other core members, visitors and volunteers
  • to supervise purchase of relevant household goods and materials within agreed budgetary guidelines
  • to build community with core colleagues, volunteers and visitors – where appropriate by encouraging and helping them to participate in housekeeping tasks.

Othona is a spiritual community, but without lots of pious talk or formal religion. We do ask of core members that you’re committed to spiritual growth in yourself and others. Our approach is very inclusive: Othona West Dorset is a centre dedicated to human wellbeing – of body, mind and spirit. We have found that individual wellbeing grows through an experience of community with others and of connection with Spirit/God. We welcome people of all faiths and none. Only together can we hope to build a sustainable future of justice and peace. Down-to-earth and open-hearted, Othona has its roots in the inclusive Christian tradition, and now draws on a wealth of other inspirations too.

All Core Members

The following are all essential to the running of the centre and will be carried out by a combination of long and short term core members and local volunteers. They offer variety and sometimes the opportunity to use (or develop) special skills or pursue a personal interest.

The following tasks are shared between core members, often on a rota basis:
  • cooking
  • contributing to chapel gatherings (with support/training as appropriate)
  • cleaning
  • hosting (event liaison with facilitators and visitors)
  • dealing with rubbish and recycling
Certain tasks are usually allotted to core members for a period of time and then sometimes swapped. They allow you to pursue an area of interest in addition to your lead role. For example:
  • librarian
  • art room management
  • care of chapel and worship resources
The core members are at the heart of this Othona centre. They need to be committed to the work of the community, its ethos and values. Core members work actively to live these out in their everyday life, and to further them. The competences below provide good examples of what this means in practice. The programme explains what Othona is about. Our policy statements show how Othona seeks to realise these values in the way it manages people, its policies of equal opportunities and the green policies for house and grounds, and in its open Christianity.
The heart of Othona is people – core colleagues, visitors and all those who we interact with. People come because they know they will be welcomed, accepted and valued for who they are. Our role is not to be therapists or counsellors, but we do need to be interested in people and willing to listen and share. We also need to be aware of our own responses and feelings, and especially of the impact of our own behaviour on other people.
Othona core members live and work together, and are hosts to an ever-changing number of visitors. Core members have to be flexible, able to adapt to varied and changing circumstances and people.
The main purpose of Othona is to provide visitors with a taste of life in community. The core members need to be able to live and work together co-operatively, and provide support (and challenge). This is important not only to carry out our work but equally so we can enjoy our life together, relax and have fun.
Othona West Dorset offers an experience of Christian community of a very open sort – rooted in the Christian heritage, open to the widening future. This is an approach to spirituality where you may experience the fellowship of the spirit in everyday life. Although core members do not have to be Christian, and may be of any faith tradition or none, we expect that they will respect the importance of the Christian tradition and the values that are at the heart of Othona. They adopt a 'Rule of Life' as a framework for shared life, and participate actively in the spiritual aspects of community life including chapel services.