Waterston House Visitor Centre Assistant Vacancy

Location: Waterston House, Aberlady East Lothian

Contract type: Permanent

Start date: 7 November

Core hours: Part-time, Sat/Sun 7.5hr shifts.

Salary: £9.34 per hour

Closing date for applications: Friday 16th October 2020 (5pm)


The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club is a charity promoting the study and enjoyment of Scotland’s amazing birdlife. We are looking for a self-motivated, customer focused bird enthusiast to join our small dynamic front-of-house team at the Club’s headquarters in East Lothian.

The Club’s Headquarters on the East Lothian coast overlooks Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve and draws over 10,000 visitors each year, helping us to deliver our charitable aims to a wide public – from people birdwatching in the area dropping by to find out ‘what’s about’ or for advice on where to go, to wildlife art aficionados keen to see our latest exhibition in our serene gallery space. In addition, our small shop offers a selection of birdwatching resources, bird care items, greetings cards, optical equipment, and art & craft gifts.

We are looking for someone who will be the face of the SOC at weekends, the busiest time for visitors to the centre. The weekend shift is 9.30am-5.00pm Saturday and Sunday (includes 30-minute lunch break, unpaid), with availability and willingness to provide the occasional weekday cover a bonus; with such a small team, we rely on staff flexibility to help us deliver the organisation’s objectives.

Welcoming visitors, providing exemplary customer service and promoting the aims of the charity will be an integral part of the job. The role requires someone who has the confidence and initiative to work on their own, although volunteer support will be available where possible. Included as part of the role is the opening and closing of the centre, operating the till and card payment terminal, working with volunteers, liaising with colleagues and reporting to the Club Administrator.

Ideally you will have experience of delivering a high standard of customer service in a visitor/customer-focused role involving retail operations.


To provide front-of- house weekend support at Waterston House, welcoming visitors and dealing with sales from the shop and art gallery. 

  • Meet and greet visitors
  • Take shop/gallery sales payments using cash register and credit card machine
  • Deal with bird-related queries
  • Keep abreast of local bird sightings for our sightings board
  • Advise customers looking to buy optical equipment
  • Assist with retail stock control
  • Implement Covid-19 health & safety procedures. This includes some daily cleaning duties 

Computer skills (proficient in MS Office)
Good bird knowledge
Professional, customer-focused manner

Retail experience
An interest in wildlife art
An interest in natural history books
Knowledge of optical equipment
Social media skills
Own transport


Please send a covering letter that demonstrates how you meet our essential criteria together with your CV by Friday 16 October (5pm) to Lesley Creamer via email: vicepresident_management@the-soc.org.uk 

Interviews will take place by video conference on Monday 26th October. Training will be available in advance of the start date, by arrangement with the successful candidate. If you would like an informal chat about any aspect of the vacancy, please call Wendy Hicks on 07519 263198


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Waterston House image © June Scott