A little of your time can go a long way

November 2nd, 2014

The University has helped launch a volunteering scheme in Nottingham which is aimed at professionals who don’t have the time to make a regular volunteering commitment – but who would still like to help community groups by lending their skills.

As well as helping to pilot the Nottingham Skillsbank, the University’s Community Partnerships Team hopes to encourage employees to sign up.

The scheme, which was launched this month by the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service (Nottingham CVS), has been described as “bite-sized volunteering for busy people”.

Volunteers register, offering to share their professional or practical skills and are approached by community groups requiring support for a particular project.

The University’s involvement in piloting the scheme – members of staff were the first to sign up – underlines its commitment to actively engage with the wider community.

Skills Sharing and Knowledge Exchange Manager Jacqui Storey said the University was delighted to join other major employers, such as Boots and Experian, in encouraging staff to sign up and share their skills for small, one-off projects.

Jacqui said: “We are not looking for a weekly or regular commitment. This ‘bite-sized’ volunteering can suit the busy person who has work commitments but nevertheless has skills and something valuable to offer.

“There are more than 7,000 staff here and every one of us has something to offer. The volunteering could take place at a Nottingham organisation or the person could provide support from home. Flexibility is important.

“A small amount of input can make a massive difference to organisations.”

She added: “The University supports staff by giving time off to volunteer and Nottingham Skillsbank will be an excellent vehicle to maximise this opportunity to support our local community.”

Anyone interested in helping voluntary and community groups can register direct at

Once registered, community groups will search for the skills they need and will contact volunteers to discuss how they can work together.

The Skillsbank is open to student volunteers as well as staff, offering skills ranging from IT and accounting and HR advice to social media and marketing.

The scheme was developed by Jacqui Storey and Stacey Foster of Nottingham CVS, which is now running the project. Stacey said: “We are working with a number of businesses and employers. It offers them a great way for to help fulfil their corporate social responsibility by encouraging their staff members to use their skills to help their local community.

“Nottingham Skillsbank is also great from a professional development point of view for employers, as by getting their staff involved it gives them a chance to broaden their experience by using their skills in a different setting.”

Olumide Adisa, Fundraising and Marketing Office, at Nottingham Women’s Centre, said volunteers were just as valuable as staff. “Without the skills, ideas and enthusiasm they bring we simply could not be as effective as we are in the current economic climate,” she said. “Through Skillsbank we will be able to offer volunteering opportunities as smaller tasks, making it ideal for people who might otherwise not be able commit to a volunteering placement with us.”

Sharon Clancy, Head of Community Partnerships, said: “The University is delighted to have been involved in Skillsbank right from its conception. With a large number of staff and students willing to give their time and skills to the local community, Skillsbank will do much to enable people and organisations to connect in an effective way. We will be promoting it extensively across the University and look forward to Skillsbank going from strength to strength.”

To find out more and to register visit:

For more on Community Partnerships at the University and volunteering visit: http://tiny.cc/UoNPartnerships

Gemma Wilks, a web designer in the Marketing, Communications and Recruitment team, is signed up with the Skillsbank, pictured, said:

“I’d often thought about doing more charity work and when Community Partnerships  invited employees to the NCVS Skillsbank session in July I instantly signed up. I listed the services I’d be happy to provide and the time I’d be willing to commit.

“My first project through the Skillsbank was to design an information leaflet for NCVS to showcase what they do as an organisation.

“I’m also due to start work on a website for SFICE who reduce poverty by educating children in India.

“Branding, website design and designing for print are the main services I offer via the Skillsbank and I chose to do this in the capacity of my brand and design agency which I run in my spare time.

“Aside from making a positive impact on the day-to-day running of Nottingham charities and organisations I’ll have a bunch of artwork to showcase in my portfolio. Whatever your area of expertise and whatever skills you have, I’d strongly recommend offering them via the Skillsbank.”

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