Charities Evening Report 2006

An Evening of Revelation

In the words of The Four Tops, 'Oh what a night' - Fellows and Charities met together for the first time at an arranged event and had the chance to explore opportunities of working together. The chances for volunteering covered a huge range; Financial, Marketing, HR, Health, IT, Design and Campaign Work to mention a few and even some areas came to light as charities and Fellows chatted!

Suzy Lambert, a member of the Steering Committee, organised the event and it succeeded in putting a stake in the ground to kick start the relationship between Fellows and Charities. The Royal Society of Arts was a great venue which allowed for a relaxed and informal ambience. Indeed the evening was described as 'an Happening Event' by one enthused person - the opportunity for Fellows to meet other Fellows and chat with charities about possible volunteering opportunities is what we are all about.

The speech from Mark Cook, a former Ghurka, was inspirational and set the scene for people to interact and find common ground for mutual benefit - the feedback from Fellows and Charities alike has been hugely positive; 'it was interesting to have contact with the varied charities at the event and to meet such highly motivated and dedicated people'.... 'we certainly benefited enormously from the opportunity to chat with some of the Fellows'. A match made in the Arts!

On quick reflection the night has already resulted in at least 14 offers of help with many Fellows enjoying the chance to further their knowledge of the implications from volunteering. Whilst some are too busy to take on anything more in their lives immediately, it gave a taster of what could be done later in life.

The willingness to 'put something back' is hugely strong amongst the Fellows but the opportunity to assess possible opportunities and talk to charities is harder to organise - well this was the first event of its kind and judging on the results it will become a feature of the calendar with ongoing activity facilitated on the website.

It was well attended, attracting 60 Fellows, 14 Charities (The Back Up Trust / Cambridge House / Jubilee Sailing Trust / Jump / Kings Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association / London Youth Support Trust / Prospex / RSPB / Salmon Centre / Shelter / Time and Talents Association / VSU Youth in Action / The Westminster House Youth Club / YMCA George Williams College) and senior representatives from the Rank Foundation.

The attendance of the event by Fred Packard, Jason Chaffer and Peter Attenborough was testament to the ambition of this enterprise whilst the success of the event was clear to see by the attendance and feedback from the Fellows and Charities. There are always many people to thank on an occasion like this but 2 people stand out for special praise - Suzy Lambert and Peter Attenborough....without you both who knows what would have happened, or not, as the case may be! It is superb that Peter can retire from The Rank Foundation in the knowledge that this part has taken steps to fulfilling its 'raison d'etre' and put something back into society.

Lets ensure that this is the start of something which gains momentum and can form the foundation of our part of the Rank Foundation - something about which we will be both proud and supportive.

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