Charly Young, prospective trustee
November 5th, 2015 by Sarah Tucker

Trustees’ Week is a chance to celebrate and recognise the valuable work that trustees’ do. We want to highlight some of the people who want to help change our society through volunteering their skills in a trustee position.

With the introduction of our new online service you can – for the first time – search and view the skills of the people who want to contribute their time and expertise! This is huge benefit for charities as they can see the real people behind their CV’s and contact them directly.

Charly Young is a one of these potential volunteers signed up on our service and looking to be a trustee. We spoke to Charly about why she wants a position on a board:

Why did you sign up?

As the Director of a quickly-growing charity, I feel I am in the enviable position of both having a lot to offer and having a lot to learn! In 3 years we have grown The Girls’ Network from a small charity working with just 30 girls, to now provide more than 600 girls from low-income communities across the South East with a personal mentor for the year.

I am very excited both by the opportunity to share what we have learnt with others, but also to broaden my experience working with and learning from a charity in another sector or placing different challenges.

What sort of skills do you have to offer a charity?

From finance and fundraising bids to running workshops, volunteer management to writing policies, starting a new charity means you end up learning a lot about a lot very quickly!

As a former teacher, I know the way the education sector operates well, and now head up the Strategy and Expansion of The Girls’ Network. This ranges from creating target operating models and KPIs, to creating partnerships and fundraising.

We also manage more than 600 volunteers and run training for women and girls throughout the year, so I am skilled in development engagement strategies and addressing risk and quality assurance.

What sort of voluntary position are you looking for?

I am looking for a Trustee position in a charity where I can use my broad range of skills in directing a charity in a different capacity. I could be most hands-on if this were based in London (and I know from experience that good ‘hands-on’ Trustees are invaluable!).

My background is in education, so any charity in this space would fit comfortably into the networks I am part of, however I would be equally excited to share my knowledge and experience of growing a charity and planning strategy with an organisation in an entirely different sector, too.

Thanks to Charly for speaking to us about her background and what she is looking for. You can see her profile and get in contact with Charly directly via the website.

If you are a charity looking for a trustee you can register on the Reach website, search and directly contact people like Charly who want to gain a board-level position. Sign up here.

Sarah has been Reach’s Marketing and Communications Manager since September 2014

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Andrew Dent, our Chair and Andy Haldane
October 19th, 2015 by Reach

Reach Chair, Andrew Dent (with Andy Haldane above) blogs following the event celebrating the launch of Reach’s online service:  

As chair of Reach, I had the pleasure of overseeing last Tuesday’s event launching our online service. The new service signals a step-change for Reach, making our service easily scalable, and much more flexible and appealing for our users.

We were pleased to welcome over 100 friends, partners and supporters to our event held, through their generosity, at IBM, to celebrate the arrival of this project.

We were thrilled to have Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England join us to speak about the value of volunteering. Andy’s speech drove home the scale and impact that volunteering has on our society and how many people are involved.

Here’s some facts he started with:

  1. 15 million people in the UK regularly volunteer through a club or other organisation
  2. 40% of the working population volunteer regularly which translates to 2 billion hours a year.
  3. Around £24 billion of formal volunteering each year (same size a UK telecoms sector)
  4. If you include informal volunteering the figure is closer to £50 billion (same size as energy sector).
  5. But even this is a massive understatement as it misses what the volunteer themselves gains: a boost to happiness, well-being, skills and employability. The estimated value of the benefit to each volunteer is £2.5k a year.
  6. A total figure each year for the value of volunteering is estimated at over £100 billion – a number Andy says is hidden from sight – “a hidden jewel”.

(Source: “In giving how much do we receive? The social value of volunteering“. Andy Haldane, September 2012)

This shows just how vast the volunteering sector is.  Andy pointed out that this impact and value is not recognised in the UK’s GDP so it is important that we disclose and celebrate this ‘hidden jewel’.

As co-founder of Pro Bono Economics, Andy said skilled volunteering is a cause very close to his heart – and it’s very close to ours too.  Celebrating the value of skills-based volunteering, and extending its impact, was very much the point of the event, and this underlies everything that Reach does.

We know that charities are facing many challenges including shrinking funding and a rapidly changing environment.  Skilled volunteers offer a largely untapped opportunity.  Of course, charities need money to operate, but when charities can source expertise for free, that money goes a lot further.  Talented volunteers can provide technical expertise, advice and fresh perspectives, supporting and strengthening trustee boards, extending charities’ capacity, or helping them to innovate.

Fortunately, there is an abundance of people who want to use their skills to help.  Through our new online service, we can help them to find the right opportunity, where their skills can make a big difference. Charities too will find it easier to secure the volunteers or trustees they need; they can now see the profiles of people offering their expertise, and this means they can approach volunteers directly and encourage them to consider helping them.

For us at Reach, the shift to self-service means that our service is now scalable, and so we can help many more charities and many more volunteers find their match. As Andy kindly said on the night:

 “If you harness the skills of an individual it makes them much more likely to volunteer over time.  Effective skills-based volunteering, which Reach pioneered 36 years ago, has taken a significant shift forward with the new Reach online service, helping to match volunteers to charitable activity.  The service will help Reach to be more scalable which translates into massive benefits for volunteers, charities and ultimately for society and the economy at large.  Huge congratulations for everything Reach has achieved.”

Please help us by sharing our new service with your friends and colleagues if they want to volunteer, and with any charities that might need a little extra assistance. Thanks again to IBM for hosting us, to everyone involved in the project, and finally to Andy for joining us.

It was a pleasure to see so many engaged and dedicated people in one room.

Andrew Dent
Chair, Reach

Reach Volunteering: connecting people, skills and good causes.

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