Hiring Operations Manager (Maternity Cover)

Play:Disrupt is hiring an Operations Manager (maternity cover) to lead our operational activities, project delivery and support new business acquisition.

This role is initially offered for 5 months, but we hope and expect that with sufficient additional projects it will continue until January 2025. Following the maternity cover role, we would hope to renegotiate the role within the company.

About us

We launched Play:Disrupt in early 2020, using play and creativity to make consultation and public engagement more inclusive and further reaching. This work focuses on: the built environment, health and wellbeing, academic research and biodiversity/environmentalism. Our work takes the form of: creative programming for high streets, visioning for new communities, training local authority personnel in creative engagement methods, health research, and development of innovative technical tools. Clients include local authorities, engineering/architectural companies and universities.

Play:Disrupt is a founding member of Bristol Urban Forum, a one-year listening project with the aim of recording how Bristolians want to see the city change over time.

Our background is in street theatre and visual arts, and this experience influences all our work.

Where we are now

We are a team of two permanent staff (Creative Director and Operations Director) and we work with freelance associates and freelance facilitators on a project by project basis. Since launching we have run a wide range of successful projects across the country, and have a variety of work in the pipeline.

We are now looking to hire someone to lead the efficient running and operations of the company as a maternity cover role. This will enable us to deliver existing work, seek out more clients and grow at a manageable pace.

Job Description

On a day to day basis, you will be joining our Creative Director, Malcolm. We’re looking for someone who can hit the ground running, with experience of operational management within a small business, project delivery, new business development and application writing.

Role will include

Project delivery

  • Manage all aspects of client and grant funded project delivery
  • Production of all on and offline workshops and other client activities
  • Manage all subcontractors including contracting, travel, scheduling, communication about activities and ensuring they adhere to company policies
  • Recruitment of workshop participants (including research and basic marketing)
  • Communications with clients, project stakeholders and the public
  • Create risk assessments and privacy policies
  • Support engagement events as needed including set up and pack down
  • Manage secure collection and storage of engagement data
  • Input and management of engagement data
  • Analysis of engagement data and creation of client facing project reports
  • All aspects of client relationship management
  • Support technical delivery of online workshops (Eventbrite, Zoom, Jamboard)

New business

  • Develop income streams and secure new client and funded projects
  • Research new opportunities
  • Lead the writing of tender responses (supported by Creative Director)
  • Lead the writing of funding proposals (supported by Creative Director)
  • Write methodologies, work scopes and budget proposals
  • Understand the needs of prospective clients and shape proposals to suit them
  • Actively chase new work and income streams


  • Issue invoices & pay suppliers
  • Support the preparation of annual accounts
  • Credit control
  • Manage bookkeeper/accountant and ensure deadlines are met eg (HMRC, VAT, year end accounts)

Other responsibilities

  • Write case studies
  • Occasional newsletter creation
  • Keep all company policies up to date
  • Ensure the company adheres to all legal requirements (eg DBS)
  • Proactively improve systems
  • Research and attend industry events and conferences
  • Manage client meetings
  • Keep Play:Disrupt website up to date (WordPress)

Other duties as reasonably required.

We are interested in what interests, skills and knowledge you bring and how you would like to develop this role and your place within it.

Person Specification


  • Experience of budget management and financial control
  • Experience of managing operations for a small company, or transferable skills
  • A strong communicator with exceptional interpersonal skills and an ability to develop and sustain relationships with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Exceptional organisational skills with an ability to work effectively as part of a team and alone
  • Willingness to work occasional flexible hours (evenings and weekends)
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and take the lead on projects
  • Ability to think strategically and plan for the future
  • Experience of commercial and publically funded income streams
  • Experience of managing client relationships


  • Experience of Canva for design (or similar)
  • Experience of WordPress
  • Experience of managing Google Drive
  • Experience in the public engagement sector and/or built environment/health and wellbeing/biodiversity/environmentalism
  • A valid driving licence and willingness to drive a van
  • Marketing experience

We are offering £32k pro rata, 3 days a week (£19,200/yr), but with additional projects the number of days could increase in discussion with the successful applicant. The days you choose to work are flexible.

We’re based in Bristol City Centre with an office on Marsh Street. We imagine this role will be mainly office based. We also sometimes work from home and we are happy to discuss a flexible approach to office/home working. Our office is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible, however we have a space arrangement with Pervasive Media Studio (across the road) which is fully accessible. We are residents of Pervasive Media Studio at the Watershed.

If you have any questions about the role or would like to discuss access requirements for application or interview please email connect@playdisrupt.com.

Application deadline is midnight on Wednesday 15th November and interviews will take place w/c 20th November. We hope the successful application will begin the role w/c 4th December for a 3 week handover before Christmas.

To apply please complete the application form here https://forms.gle/8xeshGS3zi3va6P47

We understand that written applications don’t suit everyone, so if you prefer you can send a video up to a maximum of 3 minutes to connect@playdisrupt.com by the deadline. Or get in contact to discuss alternative ways to apply.