Monday, 28 September 2015

New projects requiring volunteers

Pro Bono O.R. – enabling managers to make more effective decisions

Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme run by The OR Society that provides skills-based volunteers to work on short term projects with third sector organisations in the UK. 

Projects require skilled professionals who work in operational research, analytics or related professions.  If you have the skills required for a project, we’d love to hear from you.

Please find details of two new projects below that we are seeking a skilled volunteer for:

Bullion Community Resource Centre
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: to initiate and support action to change lives, strengthen communities and challenge inequalities across Chester-le-Street and the wider surrounding area.
Main activities of the organisation:  Bullion Hall is a community centre which hosts activities e.g. parent and toddler groups for approx. 800 people per weeks as well as providing office space to a number of local charities. Planning permission has been granted to extend the building (cost £600k) and they are currently exploring how this can be taken forward. In November they take on a community café operating in Bullion Hall since 2005 from Durham County Council.

Project summary:
Project: Community Café Business Case: To help review and analyse the business case for expansion and operation of the “Wait er while” community café.
Time commitment: approx. 3-4 days
LocationCounty Durham, DH2 2DW (Initial meeting on site, followed by desk-based analysis/research. Meeting to present findings/recommendations on site).
Please read the project scope and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Monday 12th October 2015.

This project is suitable for an individual volunteer, pair or team of analysts.  If you would like to work on a project with the support of a mentor please do specify in your application and I can try to arrange this.  Lastly, if you are interested in working on a project but cannot meet the deadline specified please do register your interest in the first instance before the deadline.

Walsingham Support
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: provision of housing, care and support services, primarily for those who have learning disabilities, but also for those with other forms of disability (including physical, mental, sensory and degenerative disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and brain injuries) and including those with multiple disabilities.   
Main activities of the organisation:
Support at Home
o   Supported Living & Domiciliary Care – tailored to meet individual needs, from a few hours each week to 24 hours a day.
o   Registered Residential Care & Extra Care – often chosen by people who have complex or high support needs and which may include nursing care.
Support in the Community
o   Community Based Services – including a variety of educational activities as well as more socially focussed activities which help in the development of social skills.  These services also act as a springboard to access wider community services and opportunities – including employment, volunteering and leisure.Project summary:
Project: Personalisation Research: To research the application of personalisation in organisations (both government and the third sector) working with care provision and benchmark Walsingham Support.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days
LocationLondon, N20 9HR (After an initial meeting at the location, all further work may be undertaken remotely).
Please read the project scope and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Monday 12th October 2015.

This project is suitable for an individual volunteer, pair or team of analysts.  If you would like to work on a project with the support of a mentor please do specify in your application and I can try to arrange this.  Lastly, if you are interested in working on a project but cannot meet the deadline specified please do register your interest in the first instance before the deadline.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch via email or phone (0121 2339300).




Wednesday, 23 September 2015

What is Pro Bono O.R.?

Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme that was launched by The OR Society in 2013 (a pilot scheme started in 2011) that places skills-based volunteers in short term projects with third sector organisations across the UK to assist them in making operational improvements.


Operational Research in a nut shell helps managers make more effective decisions. It is a very broad spectrum and there is usually a way in which it can be applied whether that is increasing efficiency, helping to reduce costs, plan strategy or demonstrate impact.


Since launching in September 2013 the scheme has completed 35 projects with organisations such as RSPCA, Diabetes UK, Work for Us, Elfrida Rathbone Cambden, The Disability Law Service, Parentskool CIC and many more. We work with all types of third sector organisations ranging from large national organisations down to small community groups. We are currently working on 20 projects and have a further 15 in the initial interest stages.

Volunteers are operational research/analytical professionals. These vary from people in their early career to those who are retired. Some work on projects in their own time, others are given volunteer days by their company and some do a mixture of both. Volunteers can work as individuals, pairs or teams on projects.
Pro Bono O.R. volunteers can make a huge difference in a small amount of time by using their skills to enable organisation to make more effective decisions and as a result help them become more efficient.

Projects vary greatly and as a result so do the skills we are looking for in our volunteer analysts. Skills  include: data analysis, data mining, database design, decision analysis, facilitation, financial analysis, forecasting, logistics, mentoring/coaching, modelling, optimisation, performance measurement, problem structuring, programming, project management, regression, risk analysis, scheduling, simulation, statistical analysis, strategic planning/development, system dynamics etc.

The projects vary in length of time from half a day to over a week and can be spread out over a period of time. The types of projects so far have involved: impact measurement, data analysis, efficiency improvement, options appraisal, strategic planning/review, scheduling and process improvement.

Signing up as a volunteer does not require any commitment, volunteers are added to the volunteers database and then receive emails as and when projects become available. Volunteers can then choose to delete the email (which are currently around 4 per month) or if they would like to apply for a project, volunteers are asked to send in a CV and short application form. Volunteers can work individually, as teams and can also be paired up with a mentor if they require some support.


New projects are advertised every month and volunteer applications must be received by a specific date (typically two weeks after the project is advertised) but the timings of the projects are flexible and to be agreed between the volunteer and the organisation.

For more information about the scheme, to sign up as a volunteer, register you support to receive Pro Bono O.R. support and to see the projects we have worked on so far please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Volunteer required for project with Age UK #ORblog

Pro Bono O.R. – enabling managers to make more effective decisions

Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme run by The OR Society that provides skilled volunteers to work on short term projects with third sector organisations in the UK. 

Projects require skilled professionals who work in operational research, analytics or related professions.  If you have the skills required for a project, we’d love to hear from you.

Please find details of a new project below that we are seeking a skilled volunteer for:

Age UK Dacorum
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: To support older people and their carers.

Main activities of the organisation:
Service provision – Befriending, carers support, day centers, friendship teas, memory support clubs (COGs), telephone support, handyperson.
Project summary:
Project: Long-term sustainability: To help Age UK Dacorum develop and implement a business change plan aimed at improving its long-term financial sustainability.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days (to be completed by 25th October 2015)
LocationHemel Hempstead Mixture on onsite and remote working.
Please read the project scope and LSF application form if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 30th October 2015.

This project is suitable for an individual volunteer. 

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.

Kind regards

Felicity McLeister
O.R. Pro Bono Project Manager
Direct Tel +44 (0)121 234 7826, Main Tel +44 (0)121 233 9300

If you are not already a member of The OR Society and are interested in joining please visit https://www.theorsociety.com/ or send an email to carol.smith@theorsociety.com

Additionally you may be interested in becoming a member of our Third Sector Special Interest Group (ORiTS). For more details visit:  https://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/SpecialInterest/ORThirdSector.aspx

Other webpages that may be of interest:


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Volunteer(s) required for scheduling project #thisisOR #ORblog

Pro Bono O.R. – enabling managers to make more effective decisions

Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme run by The OR Society that offers free support to third sector organisations in the UK. 
Please find details of new projects below that we are seeking volunteers for.

Emmaus Mossley
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: At Emmaus Mossley we offer a home, work, companionship and personal development opportunities to previously homeless and unemployed people. The project finances itself by collecting, refurbishing, and selling donated goods such as furniture, bric-a-brac, antiques, electrical appliances, clothing, books, toys, etc.

Main activities of the organisation:
·         Providing a home, work, companionship and personal development opportunities to 24 previously homeless and unemployed people.
·         Operating a recycling and re-use enterprise.
·         Generating funds to assist others in greater need.

Project summary:
Project: Scheduling: Help to devise a computerised work-scheduling system which will save staff time and allow rapid response to changed circumstances.
Time commitment: Phase 1: approx. 5 days
Phase 2: dependent on phase 1 (volunteers do not have to be able to commit to both   phases.  A second volunteer could be found to do this if necessary)
LocationMossley (Greater Manchester) One day required on site, the rest can be done remotely.
Please read the project scope and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 23rd September 2015.

This project is suitable for an individual volunteer, pair or team of analysts.  If you would like to work on a project with the support of a mentor please do specify in your application and I can try to arrange this.  Lastly, if you are interested in working on a project but cannot meet the deadline specified please do register your interest in the first instance before the deadline.

We are still looking for volunteers for the following two projects:

Disability Rights UK
(Although the deadline is tomorrow if you are interested please let me know by midday (GMT) tomorrow and late applications will be considered)

Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
·         Mobilise disabled people’s leadership and control – in our own lives, our organisations and society.
·         Achieve independent living in practice.
·         Break the link between disability and poverty.
·         Put disability equality and human rights into practice across society.

Main activities of the organisation: disability rights, policy and campaigning, putting information in the hands of disabled people through advice lines and publications e.g. Disability Rights Handbook and DR UK website
Project summary:
Project: Develop a consistent approach to impact measurement: Review existing approaches to gathering, analysing and reporting impact data in order to recommend a more consistent and “modern” approach.
Time commitment: approx. 6-9 days
LocationLondon
Please read the project scope and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 9th September 2015.

This project is suitable for an individual volunteer or pair of analysts.  If you would like to work on a project with the support of a mentor please do specify in your application and I can try to arrange this.  Lastly, if you are interested in working on a project but cannot meet the deadline specified please do register your interest in the first instance before the deadline.

Selby Trust
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
To promote for the benefit of the public resident in the London Borough of Haringey and neighbouring areas without distinction of sex, race, colour or political or religious or other opinions
Main activities of the organisation: The Selby Trust manages The Selby Centre which encompasses the diversity of Haringey and aims to include everyone. It is an inclusive space for local people in an area of high deprivation that brings together a rich mix of individuals and organisations, primarily from BME, refugee and other historically marginalised communities.
The Selby Centre is used by over 500 visitors a day accessing programmes either run by the Selby Trust, its 39 onsite organisations or delivered by the 100+ social enterprises, environmental projects, charities, not-for-profits, sports groups, employability support organisations and faith groups in its network.
Project summary:
Project: Impact measurement: The Trust seeks an analyst who can critique how well they measure impact against their plans to date and work with them to develop an holistic framework of impact measurement along with the identification of any further measures/indicators and further development of their databases to support measuring impact. 
Time commitment: approx. 5 days
LocationLondon (mix of remote and onsite working required)
Please read the project scope and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Monday 14th September 2015.
This project is suitable for an individual volunteer or pair of analysts.  If you would like to work on a project with the support of a mentor please do specify in your application and I can try to arrange this.  Lastly, if you are interested in working on a project but cannot meet the deadline specified please do register your interest in the first instance before the deadline.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.

Felicity McLeister
O.R. Pro Bono Project Manager
Direct Tel +44 (0)121 234 7826, Main Tel +44 (0)121 233 9300


Webpages that may be of interest: