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I worked at NHMF full-time (More than 3 years)
Huge variety of heritage sectors covered, genuinely helpful grants programs, the chance to see projects deliver tangible results. The chance to see and learn from lots of projects of different sizes. External specialists are often the best source of training and can be real experts in their field.
Not clear if staff in all offices have the same workload, but in many the volume of work has increased each year for some years - and senior management had little interest in the problems this created for staff or how it compromised the quality of work grantees and applicants then got. For many staff overtime is unavoidable and not compensated. Line management suffers because of the pressure on everyone. Career progression beyond one step is difficult - jobs higher up are scarce and those that have them stay put. Even in a 'middle' grade there will be people who have done that for nearly a decade. Pay is average for this sector - so worse than teaching and poor compared to many other professions where you genuinely use degree level skills.
Advice to Management
HLF & NHMF deliver an excellent service to the heritage sector, and staff are very loyal to an organisation that often makes their jobs difficult with no recognised training, constant gripes about use of resources, indifference to overtime and too much bureaucracy before relief measures are possible. More understanding and support to make systems efficient and workload manageable is needed.