Applicants’ FAQs

Please note that we only accept direct applications.  We don’t work with recruitment agencies.


Q – Can I have an application pack sent out in the post? 
We’re no longer able to cover the expense of sending packs out.

You’re very welcome to call into the YMCA during our opening hours and collect a pack from us.

If you would like us to send a pack out to you at your expense, please send us an A4 £1.01 SAE, stating which position you’re interested in. If you’re unsure what to do, follow the steps below.
– Write your full name, address and postcode on an A4 envelope.
– Attach £1.01 in unused stamps.
– Fold that envelope inside another one.
– Put a letter inside stating which job vacancy you’re interested in.
– Address the outer envelope to us (YMCA Northumberland, North View, Ashington, NE63 9XQ) and make sure you put a stamp for the correct amount on this one before posting it.
We’ll send a pack out to you by return.


Q – What makes a great job application?
A – We always score job applications against the Person Specification. Our application forms now have a section that specifically asks you to work through the Person Specification and show how you meet each point in turn.

When we shortlist, we sit with our Person Specification and that section of your application form and we score each point according to how well you’ve covered it. A full, clear response that shows relevant examples will give you maximum points.

Use your application to show strong written communication skills if that’s relevant to the role.

Please don’t just copy and paste a standard personal statement.

Other tips

– Make sure that all sections are properly completed in the way that we’ve asked. If any part of your role’s going to involve working accurately, we need to see that you can input simple information as required.

– Don’t try and complete it all at one sitting. We know it takes a while – it takes us a long time to shortlist and test and interview too. Put the time in that it needs.

– Don’t rush your application. If there’s a closing date, we won’t be shortlisting until then. Hold onto it and use the time to proofread (or ask someone else to do that for you).

– Make sure you return your application to the person or email address given on the front of the application pack.


Q – I’ve not heard anything in response to my job application.
We are only able to contact candidates who have completed the Person Specification part of the application form and scored well on our criteria. If you have not heard from us within three weeks of submitting your application (or three weeks of the closing date if there is one), then unfortunately you’ve not been successful on this occasion.


Q – Can I reapply if I was unsuccessful?
Yes. We recommend that you wait a minimum of six to eight months before reapplying. Please do not re-submit the same application.


Q – Can I work different hours to those on the job information? 
This depends on the role you’re applying for. Some of our jobs work around cover rotas – so for any job involving cover in the supported accommodation, charity shop, reception or as a duty manager, at least some (and possibly all) of your hours will be dictated by that cover rota.

In other cases, if you’re not involved in a cover rota we may be able to be more flexible.  Cleaning, maintenance, office support and some (but not all) project work jobs will have some flexibility. That will generally need to be within community centre opening times.

There’s space on the application form for you to note a pattern of work that you would be able to do. If you want to check on a particular pattern before applying, please use the email address on the front of the application pack.

Flexibility at the application stage does not affect any right to request flexible working which may arise during the course of your employment.


Q – I’m having trouble with providing referees.
A – You must be able to provide us appropriate referees (a minimum of two, and a minimum of three years’ employment history). This is part of the application process. We understand that a previous employer may be no longer operating. If that’s the case, please explain this clearly on your application. If possible, please provide a personal referee connected with that employment.


Q – How do I find out more about YMCA Northumberland?
A – The pages on this site are the best source of information about us, and are an ideal way to find out more. We’re adding to them all the time, so do check back.


Q – Do you have pension arrangements for staff?
A – Yes. We are part of an auto-enrollment pension scheme, as required by the government. Following the probationary period, the YMCA will match your contribution to the designated scheme up to 3%.


Q – Is the YMCA a National Charity?
A – YMCA Northumberland is a part of the international YMCA Movement, but every YMCA is separate. That means that we’re all different, and at Northumberland we’re responsible for everything we do here including governance, finance and policy issues. There is no ‘head office’ or body that sits above us; we’re a totally independent charity. If you come to work for us, you’ll be employed by YMCA Northumberland.


Q – Do you have a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders?
A – Yes. Our arrangements are available by clicking here. Everyone who works for YMCA Northumberland will, in varying ways, have unsupervised contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults. All posts are therefore subject to a Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.


Q – Are the positions open to overseas applicants?
We are happy to consider any candidate who meets the requirements of our Person Specification and has a legal right to work in the UK.  We should note, however, that we are not usually able to support travel or other costs incurred during the recruitment process.