Eco Talent internship at Sustain

Key Information

Job Title Food Poverty Project Intern (Eco Talent programme) Application Deadline 28 February 2020 Salary £10.75 / hour (London Living Wage) Contract length 15 weeks (ending on 10 July 2020) Start date 23 March 2020 Location The Green House, 244-254 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9DA and various locations with Feedback including 61 Mare Street, London, E8 4RG

We are looking for an enthusiastic young person to work on Sustain’s ‘Food Power’ programme which addresses food poverty. No previous experience required.


How to apply

About the job


Purpose of the position

Sustain runs three projects addressing food poverty. The Food Power programme works with a network of local food poverty alliances across the UK to tackle food poverty, particularly its root causes. Our London Food Poverty Campaign assesses London councils’ response to food poverty through our annual Beyond the Food Bank report and offers support, as well as campaigning, for councils to take further action. This year the campaign is particularly focusing on protecting meals on wheels services. Our Right to Food project advocates for the Right to Food to be enacted in UK law. This role will support different members of the food poverty team at Sustain to deliver on a range of projects, including our national Food Power conference and London Mayoral and Assembly Election campaigning.

Scope of job

We expect the intern to work with us on these tasks below, but we would welcome discussion during interview and once in post. We will look to assign specific tasks to the intern, but will of course also work alongside and support them.

  • Designing, organising and evaluating the Food Power conference
  • Assisting London Mayoral and Assembly Election activity, including communications and events
  • Supporting data collection and analysis for the Beyond the Food Bank report
  • Writing short news items about the food poverty sector for the Sustain website
  • Supporting our work on the Right to Food, including on our external communications as well as on our parliamentary work.

Who we are looking for:

This is an opportunity for people to learn. We don’t want to exclude people on the basis of background or past experiences, and we understand that applicants will have different levels of experience and skills. We would like to appoint an intern who would like to develop skills and knowledge in some of the areas below:

  • Campaigning for changes in policy and practice
  • Involving people with lived experience in campaigning
  • Organising events and project management
  • Oral and written communications skills
  • Media work
  • Knowledge of key issues relating to poverty in the UK; people’s access to healthy and sustainable food and practical steps to improve these; and the groups and agencies address food poverty and promote social inclusion.

The Food Power conference will be held in the week commencing 8 June in the north of England, so we would expect that the intern is able to attend this event. We will of course cover reasonable travel and accommodation costs.


  • Applicants must be aged 18-24
  • Applicants must not currently be enrolled in a university degree

PLEASE NOTE: Eco Talent placements are only open to graduates who have not been able to secure a paid role within the sector in the first year following their degree. If you graduated over a year ago but have not worked in the environmental sector following your degree you are welcome to apply.


How to apply

To apply, please fill in the below application form. Please answer the following questions either in writing or by uploading a video/audio file to the form, answering the following three questions:

  1. Tell us about yourself
  2. Why do you care about people’s ability to access healthy and sustainable food?
  3. What skills, experience and knowledge would you like to gain through the internship?

Apply here

You do not need to send a CV.

Deadline for applications: Friday 28 February 2020

Date of interviews: Tuesday 10th March 2020

Start date: Monday 23 March 2020 (but we are open to discussing a different start date)

If you have any questions relating to the role itself and your time with Sustain please contact Simon Shaw on 020 3559 6777 or

If you have any questions about Feedback’s EcoTalent programme or your time with Feedback please contact Claire Woodhill on 020 3051 8633 or via email to

These placements are open to everyone, regardless of experience or background. We acknowledge that the environmental sector is less open to young people from under-represented backgrounds and we’re committed to doing what we can to correct this. We especially want to hear from you if you feel that opportunities like this are less available to you, or if you feel overlooked by mainstream institutions.

No previous experience in the environmental sector is necessary. We encourage applications from:

  • People who are passionate about affecting positive change and want to take action to tackle climate change but have not studied a relevant subject at college or university.
  • People who have studied a relevant subject at university but have not been able to secure paid employment in that sector within a year of graduating.
  • People who are interested in training in practical food delivery (cooking or growing) with a sustainable focus but have little or no previous professional experience.
  • People who are interested in environmental campaigning but do not feel confident in how to take steps towards this

About Sustain

Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity. We represent around 100 organisations working internationally, nationally, regionally and locally. Some of our recent campaign successes, working with a broad alliance, include the following. Our alliance has campaigned for and won:

  • The Soft Drinks Industry Levy that raises £0.3 billion per year, ring-fenced for children’s health promotion such as school breakfast clubs and holiday hunger initiatives; and which has already reduced the amount of sugar in soft drinks by over 30,000 tonnes and over 37 billion calories.
  • Protection of statutory provision of Universal Infant Free School Meals, resulting in c.1 million young children receiving a free school meal (notably also meeting nutrition standards won by earlier Sustain alliance campaign activities) and parents reporting financial benefits.
  • A UK-wide ban on junk food advertising on children’s television, regulated by Ofcom and a UK-wide ban on non-broadcast junk food advertising, regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority.
  • Junk-free checkouts in UK multiple supermarkets, with over half of stores now compliant.
  • Food education and cookery back on the curriculum for Primary and Key Stage 3 pupils.

Working together, the Sustain alliance has also:

  • Re-framed the national response to the current food poverty crisis, away from food banks and towards practical solutions to household food insecurity, helping vulnerable people to eat well.
  • Facilitated creation of over 2,000 new community food growing spaces in London, working with many partner groups, the Mayor of London, local authorities and other land owners.
  • Won national public-sector standards for food served in UK hospitals, schools, prisons, government and the armed forces, to benefit farmers, farm animals, sustainable fisheries and healthier eating.

Position in organisation

Sustain is an unusual organisation – small, creative, friendly, supportive, responsive and highly effective. We are frequently complimented for “punching well above our weight”. We value our staff and pride ourselves on creating an organisational culture that focuses on good relationships and working together to achieve ambitious change.

We are committed to taking action to offer opportunities to people from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented in the food and farming sector. We hope that the EcoTalent programme can help us to achieve this aim. Alongside working with us on the allocated tasks, we will ensure that the intern has an opportunity to speak with colleagues running the different projects at Sustain, the senior management team, and where possible alliance members.

About Feedback

Feedback is a small NGO that works on transforming the food system. We are known for our bold campaigning style and are proud to often be called ‘the troublemakers in the room’ for calling out greenwashing and the lacklustre efforts of big corporations. We work across multiple aspects of our food system, including industrial meat, food waste, farmed fish, British sugar and ‘green’ energy generated through Anaerobic Digestion of edible food.

You will spend the 1st and 7th week of your placement with Feedback. This time will be spent on learning more about the environmental and ecological crisis and how it relates to the food system, and on your own professional development working on skills such as job application and CV writing, and interview skills.  You will also spend 0.5 days per week during your placement with Feedback, this time will be spent gaining further skills, discussing your progress, and creating networks.

Feedback is supported by Our Bright Future to offer 36 paid internship placements with environmental organisations between January 2020 and June 2021. Each placement lasts around 15 weeks and is paid Living Wage. Young people aged 18-24 may apply, and placements will be made with host organisations working in the nexus of food and the environment. These placements have been created to offer more accessible points of entry into the environmental sector in the hope of training a workforce of sustainable food leaders and increasing diversity in the environmental sector.

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