Alice Memminger
January 13th, 2015 by Sarah Tucker

At the start of the New Year, we are pleased to announce that we have a new trustee, Alice Memminger. Alice recently joined our trustee board and brings a wealth of third sector and social enterprise experience, working in the third sector as a consultant and senior manager for the past nine years.

Alice is currently the Chief Executive of UpRising, a UK-wide youth leadership development organisation. She was previously at Sue Ryder, where she worked as Head of Strategic Planning and Programme Delivery, and before that worked at Parkinson’s UK, Hammersmith and Fulham Circle and Age UK Barking and Dagenham.

We asked about what drives her, her thoughts about skilled volunteering and Reach, and what she will bring to the board:

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about being a catalyst for change to make our sector as efficient and effective as possible. By building capacity in organisations we can ensure they have the skills to strategically plan for the long-term and become self-sufficient.

Why did you join Reach?

I became interested in Reach when I was searching for skilled volunteering opportunities years ago. I believe there is untapped potential in the UK with a huge number of skilled people who do not know how to contribute their expertise.

Too often, skilled volunteers are not being engaged to their full potential; whereas the third sector is in urgent need of these skills. I believe that Reach has the ability to bring light to this untapped potential, bringing massive benefit to the charity sector.

What do you think you will bring to the board?

I believe the board will benefit from my diverse experience in the third sector. I have worked with numerous charities across the sector, big and small. I can contribute across all areas of the charity with particular expertise in strategy and social enterprise. I hope to have impact in these areas especially and I am excited about joining the board to help Reach grow and extend its impact.

We are delighted about Alice joining us and the expertise she will bring helping charities access skilled volunteers. The trustees and staff would like to extend her a massive welcome and as we enter 2015, a year we are certain will be very exciting for Reach, we are thrilled to have her on board.

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

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Christmas tree with decorations
December 19th, 2014 by Sarah Tucker

At the end of a busy year, it’s always good to take stock of what you have done; think about any particular achievements, what’s gone well, what were your highlights and generally take a moment to think about the year.

2014 in particular seems to have flown by (I say this every year but this one really has!) particularly as I had the pleasure of joining Reach in September so for me it’s been a whirlwind few months.

Reach has had another busy year, continuing to help hundreds of charities find both trustee roles and skilled volunteer roles, vital positions where skilled people can make such a difference to a charity.

There have been a few achievements which have really struck me:

  1. TrusteeWorks’ success: Our TrusteeWorks service has grown rapidly with demand doubling over the last year as a result of our decision last autumn to make the Matching service FREE for charities with less than £1 million turnover! We have placed a record 365 trustees this year and have become the single biggest source of trustees in the UK. Well done to the TrusteeWorks team.
  2. Smashing targets: We have made 700 placements in total this year, exceeded all our targets and enabled even more charities and voluntary organisations to find the expertise they needed.
  3. Trustees’ Week event at City Hall: We were part of a fantastic Trustees’ Week and went to a GLV hosted event at City Hall where our trustee, Simon Hebditch spoke about recruiting trustees.
  4. Reach at 35: We celebrated our 35th birthday – Reach was founded all the way back in 1979 by Nick Crace and in October we celebrated 35 years of skilled volunteering.

As we move into 2015, we look forward to a year where we will develop the technology we use in matching charities with skilled volunteers, support third sector governance, and enable the capacity of the voluntary sector. We hope 2015 will build upon this year and be even more successful.

In terms of our service over the Christmas period, the Reach office will be closed from Friday 19th December (today is our last day) and we will reopen again on Monday 5th January.

You can continue to use the Reach website to search for roles and make requests.  We will respond to any queries as soon as possible when we return in January.

In the meantime enjoy the festive season, have a wonderful break with friends and family and see you in the New Year!

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

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Madeleine & Sarah
September 8th, 2014 by Jeanne Davis

We recently said farewell to Madeleine Boomgaarden, our communications and marketing manager, and welcomed Sarah Tucker, to this vital post. After three years of impressive contributions to the success of Reach, Madeleine is taking a break from the world of work and setting off on a South American journey with her family.

I asked Janet Thorne, CEO of Reach, about Madeleine’s talents and skills that contributed so significantly to the numbers of volunteers and charities that we can help.

“Madeline jump-started our social media,” she said, “which is such a vital, new and growing tool enabling you to reach your audience. She also wrote the most engaging copy about volunteering. She took a story telling approach which was very good at conveying why skilled volunteering is of such invaluable benefit to both charities and volunteers.

“She brought a lot of new volunteers to us by posting volunteer opportunities through a number of new channels, like jobs boards. She linked us to national campaigns like Volunteers Week and Trustees Week.

“We shall miss her warm presence around the office and look forward to having Sarah lead our marketing and communications campaigns.”

I asked Sarah, formerly Fellowship Communications Manager at the RSA, what attracted her to the role at Reach. “I think initially it was the opportunity to mobilise the expertise of people who want to give their time to help the organisations that help local communities,” she said.

“I was staggered to learn that Reach has been going since 1979 and that it helps so many organisations (around 600) each year. I wanted to contribute to trying to increase the number of charities we work with so they can benefit from the services of Reach and increase their impact.

“I am also passionate about volunteering as not only does it open doors to new opportunities but it is a powerful way to further your own personal development. I particularly like that Reach practices what they preach and I look forward to working with our in-house team of marketing volunteers.

“Though Madeleine’s will be large shoes to fill, I am really excited about this opportunity to help Reach be the leading U.K. wide skilled volunteering charity.”

As someone who has been volunteering at Reach for the past nine years (and as this is my first blog) I want to take the opportunity to say why I got involved. With a background in journalism and marketing, and retired, I find it very satisfying to continue to use my skills for a cause I believe in.

It is lots of fun, too, working with the Reach team. I look forward to telling you more about the vital work that Reach does through my forthcoming blogs.

Jeanne Davis
Volunteer Publicity Officer

A retired writer, Jeanne is Reach’s Volunteer Publicity Officer. You can read more about Jeanne in her series on the Laterlife website.

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Reach Annual Review
June 6th, 2014 by Jeanne Davis

To capture the spirit of Volunteers’ Week Reach has published an Annual Report celebrating the achievements of skilled volunteers over the last year.

Reach specialises in making high impact volunteering happen by connecting charities of all sizes with skilled people.

This new Annual Review celebrates the successes of charities, volunteers and Reach alike, all in a compact and succinct format.

Janet Thorne, Chief Executive of Reach, said: ‘We felt it was really important to publish this report during Volunteers’ Week, as everything Reach does is about the value and impact that volunteers have.

‘The country is currently celebrating the tens of thousands of people up and down the country who are making a difference to their communities with their talent and time. We hope we can inspire even more to join them over the next year.’

Highlights for Reach over the last year include

  • A phenomenal 60% increase in new volunteers recruited by Reach;
  • An estimated £8 million worth of skills transferred to the voluntary sector – skills that many charities could not otherwise have afforded;
  • A groundbreaking 2,479 volunteer introductions made to charities.

Looking ahead, the report also talks about how Reach is transforming its services over the coming years to help even more charities and skilled people come together to make amazing things happen.

You can download the report, which is optimised for online viewing, from our publications library now.

A retired writer, Jeanne is Reach’s Volunteer Publicity Officer. You can read more about Jeanne in her series on the Laterlife website.

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2014 Calendar
January 22nd, 2014 by Madeleine Boomgaarden

Reach Volunteering has entered 2014 on a strong note! We have secured long-term funding from institutions like GlaxoSmithKline and City Bridge Trust and plan to introduce iReach, our new web-based platform. This will dramatically increase the volume, range and quality of skilled volunteering across the U.K.

iReach will come into service this summer, building an online community where charities and skilled volunteers meet, interact, and find their ideal match. It will create an increased number of matches and significantly reduce Reach’s transaction costs.

Reach had an excellent 2013 helping to place 20% more skilled volunteers than in the previous year, representing an estimated value of £8mn worth of skills transferred into the sector.

A Reach highlight was the decision to make our Trusteeworks Matching Service free from 1 November for charities with an annual turnover of less than £1mn. This led to a 150% increase in demand for the service.

There was a huge surge in volunteer registrations in the second half of the year, with an average of 167 new volunteers joining the Reach register every month, double the amount for the same period last year!

Charities continually need to fill vacancies in key roles, particularly as trustees. Reach, as the U.K’s leading skilled volunteering charity has been providing this invaluable service for more than 30 years. Our placement advisors are widely respected for their expertise and enthusiasm in finding the right match between skilled volunteer and charity.

Madeleine was Reach’s Marketing Manager until August 2014

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Sheila and Nicholas Crace
October 17th, 2013 by Janet Thorne

Free flowing wine, delicious snacks, gossip and banter. Last night we had a great party for over 50 of our volunteers, past and present.

How, in these straitened times, you might be wondering , could we justify such largesse?

Well, as well as marking the occasion of kicking-off our thirty-fifth year helping the charity sector, we were left a generous legacy specifically for the purposes of holding a party for our volunteers. How often, in the charity sector, are you effectively ordered to spend money on having a good time? Our generous donor was a long-standing friend of Reach, who therefore knew that volunteers are absolutely central to us, not only to what we do, but how we do it.

Volunteers outnumber staff by over four to one here, and do everything from delivering service to maintaining our IT. We couldn’t survive a day without them, and nor would we want to. Not only do they bring expertise and experience far beyond our means but they are such a lovely bunch that working with them is a joy.

Volunteers volunteer for a range of reasons, but generosity of spirit, a passion for the work and being independent minded are common traits. Think about it – who wouldn’t want a team with those characteristics? Charities who don’t engage with volunteers are missing a trick.

As people wended their way home (helped by brandy courtesy of a travel souvenir from a volunteer’s trip to Georgia) the main comment was ‘such a lovely bunch of people’. This was the first party we’ve held for while, but we are now keen to repeat it as soon as possible. Donations welcomed!

Janet Thorne leads Reach as Chief Executive

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Iain Herbertson
August 1st, 2013 by Robin Gordon-Walker

Iain Herbertson, who was a Reach Trustee for several years until he left the Board earlier this year, has sadly died.

He contributed much time and energy to Reach and showed insight and imagination to finding better ways of doing things.

While he’d been ill for a number of years this in no way diminished his commitment and verve as a Trustee.

During his time at Reach, he helped with the successful implementation of TrusteeWorks and with ensuring that Reach developed in a positive forward-looking way to continue to deliver its unique and vital role for professional volunteering.

Before joining Reach, Iain had a long and successful career in the employment services industry mostly with the major international company Manpower. His senior positions included Managing Director of Manpower UK and President of Manpower’s Asia and Pacific operations.

A retired journalist, Robin now looks after Reach’s press and PR functions on a voluntary basis.

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Andrew Dent
May 23rd, 2013 by Robin Gordon-Walker

Reach has appointed a new Chair, Senior Civil Servant Andrew Dent.

Joining him on the Reach Board as its new Treasurer will be experienced financial accountant Graham Warner.

Reach Chief Executive Janet Thorne said, “We are delighted that Andrew is to be our new Chair and Graham our new Treasurer. They bring key management, financial and professional skills and will strengthen our governance as we move to delivering an enhanced and more effective service to charities and professional volunteers. That we can attract leaders of such calibre is a positive indicator of the continuing value of Reach’s unique service to the health of the Third Sector. We are proud that both appointees came from our own register, despite a wide recruitment campaign.”

Andrew Dent said, “I am delighted to be taking on the role of Reach Chair and see it as an excellent opportunity to use the skills and experience I have built in Whitehall to help it develop and thrive for the future.”

Graham Warner said, “Reach is a highly regarded organisation and I look forward as Treasurer to contributing my financial and business experience to further improve its services to charities and volunteers.”

Andrew Dent has spent most of his career at the Home Office where he is currently Director of Passport Operations. Previously he was Head of UK Wide Operations for the London 2012 Olympics including overseeing the Torch Relay, and Deputy Director of the National Asylum Support Service. Between 1997 and 2000 he served as one of The Queen’s Private Secretaries. In 2000, he was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO). He has been Trustee of the Jubilee Walkway Trust since 2004.

Graham Warner, a qualified Chartered Accountant for 35 years, has worked as a finance director and in senior financial reporting roles for a number of leading financial services firms. He has also previously been Treasurer of his local Mencap Society

Andrew and Graham will join the Reach Board with effect from its Annual General Meeting on June 4.

At the AGM Bob Fee will leave the Reach Board after many years of service including the last two as Chairman.

Janet Thorne said, “Bob has served Reach well and his leadership helped us to steer successfully through the sometimes choppy waters that all charities have faced in the last few years of economic strain.”

The board of Reach Trustees from June 4 will be:

  • Andrew Dent (Chair)
  • Graham Warner(Treasurer)
  • Simon Hebditch
  • Mary Selfe
  • Jon Edwards
A retired journalist, Robin now looks after Reach’s press and PR functions on a voluntary basis.

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Beacon Counselling
May 2nd, 2013 by Jeanne Davis

Beacon Counselling, a charity that helps people affected by mental or emotional distress in the North West, was keen to improve the way they wrote and targeted funding bid approaches.

They saw an advertisement about Reach’s services and very quickly we helped them to recruit volunteer Alan Smith who has dramatically raised their fundraising game.

James Harper, the charity’s general manager says:

“Alan’s input has transformed our service. As a result of his input, we have a much more strategic approach with most of our funding bids now successful when before it was very much hit or miss. We are now helping more than a thousand people a year – up four fold from 2008 – and have obtained more contracts with the NHS and local authorities in Lancashire and Cheshire. He played a very big part in helping us to win the coveted GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Award in 2012, beating 351 other applicants.”

Reach volunteer Alan retired a few years ago from a successful and busy career in engineering and as a company director.

He says:

“I was looking to use my business skills in a positive way when I saw an advertisement about Reach. Their staff were very helpful and efficient in researching where I could help and quickly put me in touch with Beacon Counselling – since when we have never looked back!”

A retired writer, Jeanne is Reach’s Volunteer Publicity Officer. You can read more about Jeanne in her series on the Laterlife website.

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January 16th, 2013 by Robin Gordon-Walker

Reach Volunteering has received a £120,000 grant from City of London Corporation charity City Bridge Trust which will support our TrusteeWorks service in the London area over the next three years.

TrusteeWorks, which has been running for three years, helps us to recruit Trustees for small and medium-sized charities who find it difficult on their own to source enough Board members with the right skills and experience.

The Grant is great news. We are coming up to our 500th trustee placement and it’s great to know we will be able to continue to make an impact by strengthening charity boards in London.Charities we have helped in London include:

  • Cultural Co-operation an independent arts and heritage educational charity which delivers high-quality popular engagement with the world’s cultures. Its Chief Executive Prakash Daswani said: “TrusteeWorks has provided our relatively small charity with a regular and invaluable stream of talented and experienced volunteers including three Board appointments in one of whom became our Chair.”
  • Kingston Bereavement Service an independent charity offering bereavement support to people in Kingston, London. The charity was looking for a new Trustee with professional skills and TrusteeWorks was able to quickly find a suitable one to help them evaluate and monitor their service. Manager Sheila Nardone said: “Thanks to TrusteeWorks the process of recruitment was swift and easy. We were so glad to have someone new with a strategic focus who fitted in so well.”
A retired journalist, Robin now looks after Reach’s press and PR functions on a voluntary basis.

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