Job Vacancy: Regional Development Officer (Midwest)

Set the Pace – Lead the Change!

Sanctuary Runners has an exciting opportunity for a Regional Development Officer to support and grow Sanctuary Runners in the Midwest of Ireland.

Role: Regional Development Officer – Midwest of Ireland (Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, Galway and Offaly)

Location: Remote working, travel within region

Salary: €26,000 – €32,000 (salary will reflect the experience of the candidate and paid pro rata depending on agreed working hours). The role is funded by Rethink Ireland.

Employment:  This is a flexible role and full-time or part-time hours will be considered from a range of 25 – 35 hours per week

Contract: This is a 12-month contract. There is a six-month probationary period. Any decision on the future of the post will depend on organisational funding.

The successful applicant will work to support, promote and grow the Sanctuary Runners movement in the counties of Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, Galway and Offaly. This area of Ireland has some long-established Sanctuary Runners groups as well as so many towns and villages where new Sanctuary Runners’ groups would be welcomed to promote community integration. 

Ireland Lead, Ailís McSweeney, is excited to work with an RDO in the region:

“Having ‘boots on the ground’ in the Midwest will be a huge boost to our Sanctuary Runner groups in those counties. The RDO will join an incredible team of Sanctuary Runner colleagues and volunteers and be part of a movement that is really breaking new ground when it comes to community integration and solidarity-through-sport’.

About Sanctuary Runners: 

Sanctuary Runners, formed in 2018, is a solidarity-through-sport initiative which uses running, jogging and walking to bring together asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and all Irish residents. Over the past 4 years, Sanctuary Runners has grown to 30 groups around Ireland and 10,000 people have represented Sanctuary Runners at local, national and international events. The impact of this award-winning organisation is far reaching and our model allows communities to get to know each other, fosters community integration and improves physical and mental health.

As a non-political group that focuses on positive action, we operate under the principles of solidarity, friendship and respect. 

We are an equal opportunities employer. We believe that diversity is a strength in the workplace. We therefore welcome applications from suitably-qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, belief, religion or sexual orientation.

About you:

Whether it’s the power of sport to bring people together or our emphasis on solidarity and friendship, there’s something you love about the vision of Sanctuary Runners. You’re an excellent communicator and listener, and can influence and direct others to help achieve the vision of Sanctuary Runners. You are naturally empathetic, action-oriented and have the life or work experience to be able to work on your own initiative as well as part of a team. 


As Regional Development Officer you will: 

  • Work with group leaders of our existing groups across the region to support and develop their Sanctuary Runner groups locally
  • Bring regional groups together, through developing a network of group leaders, organising events or entries to regional events for runners in the area, 
  • Support groups with central resources such as promotional materials, running gear, budget allocation, training requirements, funding and fundraising advice
  • Identifying new areas of demand for Sanctuary Runner groups through research and local contacts
  • Assist with recruitment within the local community, in Direct Provision and emergency accommodation centres and in migrant communities
  • Act as a hub for storytelling and identify opportunities that showcase the positives of community integration in the region
  • Liaise with local and national media to boost coverage of the Sanctuary Runners locally
  • Work with our partners including Athletics Ireland, parkrun, Local Sports Partnerships, PPNs, migrant support groups and others to promote Sanctuary Runners and community integration in the region
  • Work with your Sanctuary Runner colleagues on national or special events and projects
  • Report to the Ireland lead and work closely with other development officers

Candidate skills and experience:

The skills and experience listed below are desirable and an advantage in applying. However, we encourage you to apply even if you don’t meet all requirements given this role requires a wide variety of skills and attributes, some of which can be developed as part of the role. 

  • A knowledge of Ireland’s International Protection System and the issues faced by people currently in the system 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both written and verbal
  • An understanding of the Sanctuary Runners, its aims and motivations
  • A track record of community work or volunteering in sport
  • A driving licence and own transport (travel across your region and to meet colleagues will be required)
  • Good group facilitation skills/experience.
  • Proficient in IT – MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Working model and hours of work: 

This is a flexible role and full time or part time hours will be considered from a range of 25 – 35 hours per week. Working hours can be spread across the week to suit the successful candidate and will require some evening and weekend work to allow you meet Sanctuary Runner groups and work with volunteers. 

This role will have a hybrid working model, living and working within the region of responsibility and travelling to central locations to meet the Sanctuary Runner team.

Salary: Range of €26,000 – €32,000, depending on experience, for a full-time position. Travel and subsistence expenses covered.

Tenure: 1 year contract, with six months’ probationary period

To apply: Please send a short résumé and cover letter (explaining why you think you would be suitable for this position) to us at with an email title: Regional Development Officer application.

Closing date: 17 January 2023

Sanctuary Runners is a not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG). We are in the process of applying for charitable status. 

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