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Charity Interns announces plans to roll out with bigger cohort this autumn

Melanie May | 8 February 2024 | News

three people in a white office space look at a computer. By Andrea Piacquadio on pexels

Charity Interns, a nonprofit start-up project offering internships to people with transferrable skills but struggling to get into the sector, has announced plans to roll out the programme with a bigger cohort in the autumn.

Charity Interns was founded and is led by Maya Bhose, and is incubated by NCVO. It aims to provide a stepping stone into the voluntary sector and highlight both the positive impact of transferrable skills, and that there is no sell by date on experience. A six-month pilot programme launched in late 2023 and with this now at its halfway point, a plan has been announced to turn the programme into a standalone organisation and roll out with a bigger group of interns this autumn.

In collaboration with Age UK, Age International, Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation, and Disability Equality Scotland, the pilot has seen Charity Interns place six people in paid placements within these organisations – three of whom are in fundraising positions. Recruitment specialists Charity People has also backed the project and helped to recruit the first interns.

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Interns – a range of expertise & experiences

The participating interns come from a range of industries including advertising, creative, financial services, banking and technology. They include people who are looking to switch from roles in another sector and people returning to work after career breaks or time away due to caring responsibilities. All were looking for an entry way into the voluntary sector and had struggled to break into it.

As well as the fundraising roles, interns are working in campaigning, volunteer management, and member engagement. Most positions are hybrid, with one fully remote role.

Before the pilot started the interns undertook training with their placement charity and learnt about the charity landscape. They also heard from people who had successfully transitioned from the corporate world into the voluntary sector.  

Maya Bhose, Founder and Project Leader of Charity Interns, said:

“The interns are enjoying their placements and are contributing, learning, and gaining confidence for their professional futures in the voluntary sector. We believe that this pilot not only benefits the interns, but also provides invaluable experience to line managers in our partner organisations who are leading co-generational teams— a skill in increasing demand as the UK workforce ages.”

Mills, who is interning in the volunteering team at Age UK commented:

“Working at Age UK has done two things for me. Firstly, without a doubt, I have got my confidence back and know that I am an able, good, and diligent employee with a lot to offer.

 

“I am getting a lot of positive feedback from my team. Secondly, I have had the opportunity to work within a charity and can use my experience to positively explain what my role was and what I achieved in my six-month placement.

 

“I see my future employment prospects as positive, and I feel that I can confidently apply for roles within a charity with the new experience I will have had over the 6-month period of my intern role.”

During the six-month pilot, Charity Interns is meeting regularly with the interns and the staff supporting them, to record their progress and observations. When the pilot comes to an end this spring, these findings will be shared with the sector. 

Paul Farmer, CEO, Age UK, said:

“As a charity that works with older people, and employs many older people, we want to play our full part in helping to support the charity sector to be the best possible employer of older people. The Charity Interns programme pilot is an excellent way for us to support some older workers to transfer their skills to the voluntary sector, and for us all to learn more about what we need to do as employers. Both Age UK and Age International are delighted to be taking part in the pilot and we are looking forward to the results.”

Applications for the current cohort opened last summer, shortly after the project was announced.

Find out more about taking part

Organisations interested in hosting an internship later in 2024 or individuals looking to become interns can contact Maya Bhose via ma**@ch************.com for more information.

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