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Posts Tagged ‘Burchell’

Employer supported volunteering: delivering on the potential

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Maximising and delivering on the potential of employer sponsored volunteering is the focus of a high-profile policy breakfast in London.

The event, which takes place in the Churchill Rooms in Westminster on Wednesday 27 January, will showcase the research of Dr Jon Burchell, senior lecturer at Sheffield University Management School, and Dr Joe Cook, an academic at Hull University Business School

Building on eight years of research on the subject, delegates will consider the future of employer sponsored volunteering in the UK. Dr Cook, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this high-profile discussion and hope to focus on establishing a strategy that is both fit-for-purpose and achievable.

“Almost 50% of the population in the UK do some kind of volunteer work and that is to be commended. We want to ensure that both businesses and charities are equipped to engage with volunteers in the best way possible.”

The government is keen to build on Britain’s volunteering culture – it pledged during the election that employees of large firms and public sector employees will be entitled to three volunteering days a year.

“But this pledge places significant difficulties for businesses,” said Dr Burchell. “Current successful company volunteering strategies offer on average one day per year per employee, from which less than one-third of employees take up the opportunity. Achieving a rapid increase in volunteers and volunteer hours just through offering paid time for example, may prove to be overly ambitious.”

The event, which launches a series of regional workshops across England to examine the infrastructural challenges, brings together a panel of experts to discuss the infrastructural implications of the policy and consider how best to maximise the impact of employee volunteering in the UK. Organised by Britain’s leading cross-party think-tank, Demos, in partnership with the universities of Sheffield and Hull, the Office for Civil Society, Business in the Community (BiTC), and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the discussion will explore the challenges of overcoming the key barriers to building effective and sustainable partnerships.

Other speakers include: Graham Frankland, National Grid, Dr Justin Davis-Smith, NCVO, Lisa Cunningham (BiTC), and Neil Cleeveley, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action. The event is chaired by Peter Cheese, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Key questions for discussion include:

  • How can we ensure that the impact of employee volunteering is maximised?
  • How can more third sector organisations be equipped for employee volunteering, and present opportunities for volunteering effectively to businesses?
  • How can local infrastructure support connections between business and community groups to facilitate better employee volunteering?
  • How can we encourage greater employee volunteering amongst small businesses in particular?

The event will lay the groundwork for a series of workshops across England which will examine the local challenges for Employer Sponsored Volunteering and the potential for stronger brokerage and infrastructural support.

The universities of Sheffield and Hull will organise these workshops in partnership with the Office for Civil Society and the Local Intelligence Teams in partnership with Business in the Community and NCVO.

Employer sponsored volunteering – filling in the gaps

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Personnel in large companies want to volunteer, and third-sector organisations would like welcome them with open arms – so why is employer-sponsored volunteering still not reaching its full potential in the UK?

Research by Dr Jon Burchell from Sheffield University Management School, alongside Dr Joanna Cook at Hull University Business School, has identified four ‘gaps’ which, if filled, could encourage growth in this activity.

Dr Burchell said: “There are benefits for employees and companies with volunteering, such as job satisfaction and staff retention. And given the level of cuts and lack of funding available for third-sector organisations, volunteers are a vital resource. So there is interest from the voluntary sector to engage businesses, but there are hurdles from each perspective.

“For the voluntary sector, time and resource is a problem. Facilitating an activity for a business which wants to spend some time with them requires both of these, for example – training of their staff, and they have little going spare. Also, volunteers don’t often want to partake in activities that might be very useful to the organisation, such as accounting. They might want to come and paint a room or plant a tree – but the organisation could benefit more from the professional services they offer in their day jobs.

“Conversely, large organisations become frustrated by the ‘red tape’ they have to complete for volunteering activities, such as risk assessment forms and health and safety procedures – especially when they are sending large numbers of staff.”

Read the Financial Times’ coverage of these findings here.

Dr Burchell and Dr Cook suggest that relationships between the businesses and third-sector organisations need be facilitated – they work best when both groups can work with someone who manages the relationship and ensures that they’re a good fit. This will require infrastructure and funding, but would help to overcome the four gaps identified by the research team:

Skills gap: Volunteers should consider using their professional skills in the volunteer organisation
Capacity gap: Third-sector groups must get to the point where they have the infrastructure to accommodate volunteers, and also pitch the benefits of a relationship to large organisations
Knowledge gap: When relationships are formed, they rarely understand the difficulties experienced by the other group
Infrastructure gap: Relationships between businesses and third-sector organisations work well when they’re ‘brokered’ – there is a benefit to someone looking at each party’s needs, and matching successfully

Dr Burchell and Dr Cook discussed these gaps further on a recent radio interview – listen to it here.

For more information on the gaps identified by the research team, click here.

We teach champions! Enactus and the Steelers hit the big time

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Enactus Sheffield - National Champions 2014

Enactus Sheffield, a student-run company specialising in social enterprise projects in Sheffield and around the world, claimed an emphatic victory at the Enactus National Finals 2014.

This means that they will be joining the international league in Beijing – representing the UK. The success was a team effort, spearheaded by a small executive group formed mostly by students on business and accountancy programmes at Sheffield University Management School.

Managing director of Enactus, Caroline Turner, who is a second-year BA Accounting and Financial Management student at the Management School, said: “The team have been absolutely incredible, the hours they put in showed through at nationals this year. Every single one of our 169 members has had a part to play in changing lives through social enterprise and winning nationals gives us more opportunity to further the projects. 

Our presentation started with an update on three of our international projects but focused very much on our local portfolio. We presented two of our longest running projects: Homemade and HOPE working with the survivors of human trafficking, survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and the homeless. We also presented the extensions to these projects HOPE Cosmetics and Re:Made, which gives vulnerable individuals the chance to be employed in a business, sometimes leading to their first job.”

Although Enactus Sheffield’s team has representatives from all five faculties at the university, 50 per cent of students who work with them are from the Management School. Caroline first got involved with Enactus Sheffield during first-year intro week. She said: “There was a large introductory meeting and part of it was a quick talk on Enactus. Jahaan [the previous managing director] was so inspiring, I knew it was for me! The School has given us such amazing support – Jon Burchell is one of our long standing (and long suffering) advisors who is always there to offer guidance.”

Prior to China, the team will refine their presentation and work hard on the projects mentioned to be even more competitive on an international stage. On the rewarding nature of Enactus Sheffield, Caroline enthused: “Working with such inspirational beneficiaries is the best thing for me, seeing the difference that social enterprise makes in their lives makes everything so worth it!

“Everybody should get involved in Enactus! The people you meet are incredible and driven, and it’s such a great environment to be in. You’ll develop so many skills – we have training in all areas and being pushed beyond your comfort zone all the time means that you learn so quickly. We have incredible sponsor companies who support us, improve the projects and are keen to employ our members  – in fact, over 70 per cent of the executive team last year landed jobs with sponsor companies, whilst the other 30 per cent all received a graduate job with another company using their experience). But, most of all, there’s no bigger motivator than knowing you can make a life-changing difference to somebody, and we give you all the tools you need to help achieve that.”

Steelers Play-off Champions 2014

Also demonstrating the Management School’s winning ways in front of a national crowd were ice-hockey team, the Sheffield Steelers. Victory against the Belfast Giants made them Play-off Champions 2014, and the team consisted of five of the School’s MBA delegates, captain Steven Goertzen, Frank Doyle, Gord Baldwin, Dustin Kohn and Drew Fata.


If you are a member of staff or a student and want to get involved with Enactus Sheffield, please email: Read more about Enactus Sheffield’s ‘Road to China’ on their blog:

Event – ‘Employee Volunteering – What have you got to Offer?’

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

‘Employee Volunteering – What have you got to Offer?’ – The Third Meeting of the Employee Volunteering Network.

Half day workshop taking place on Tuesday 24th July 9.30am – 1pm

KC Stadium, Hull, Main Entrance, West Stand, Hull – Needler Suite

Background to the event

This is a joint event hosted and sponsored by KC with the Hull University Business School and the University of Sheffield Management School. It is designed to bring together business, public and third
sector organisations to explore the value in working together to develop employee volunteering for maximum community and business impact.

This is an ongoing network of organisations and professionals that work in the field of employee volunteering and participation and it also is open to anyone who is working in this field. This meeting of the network focuses upon the need for a stronger partnership approach which matches the requirements of both business and third sector partners. Including the marketing and costing needs for the third sector and the skills and development requirements of employers. It is hoped that by creating a space for organisations to come together that new more effective ways of working will emerge.

The workshop will feature presentations from organisations developing brokerage and marketing models around ESV and will begin with open plenary presentations by Anna Millar (KC), Nigel Mills and Emma Platt-Lowe (Humber East Yorkshire Community Foundation) and Dave Smith (The Social Enterprise Support Centre, Leeds) and Tim McGinley (University of Reading). The remainder of the workshop will then be spent in working groups where we will develop an outline of the component that each party needs to gain from ESV. Followed by a short feedback session and ending with a lift-pitch/speed dating session over lunch. It should be fun!

The event is free to attend. To register please follow this link.

There is also a linkedin group linked to the network which you can join here.