Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Volunteer celebration write up

On the 21st June a joint event was held by The OR Society’s Pro Bono O.R. and O.R. in Schools schemes in order to thank all the volunteers involved in both schemes.  We recognise without their support and generous contribution of their time and skills these schemes would not be possible.

Guests gathered and chatted over an initial tea and coffee before The OR Society’s president, Ruth Kaufman officially opened the evening with her welcome speech.  Ruth said there were many possible reasons why people volunteer their time for these schemes including:

  • Love trying out different O.R. things
  • Want to make a difference in the world
  • Want to spread the word about O.R.
  • Like educating young people
  • Add to the CV
  • Meet new people
  • Take on more challenges
  • To support The OR Society in its mission
She added that both of the schemes contribute to The OR Society’s mission of raising the awareness and understanding of O.R.

Felicity McLeister, the Pro Bono O.R. Project Manager then went on to give an overview of the Pro Bono scheme and how organisations and volunteers can get involved. Pro Bono O.R. connects volunteer analysts with third sector organisations across the UK to work on short term projects. Highlights in the past year include making two promotional videos, increasing the number of volunteers and recipient organisations and working with some well-known charities which helps spread news about the scheme. The scheme has now completed over 50 projects and is currently working on a further 35.  To find out more about Pro Bono O.R. please visit:

Jon Richards, a Pro Bono O.R. volunteer, then went on to explain the project he worked on with Diabetes UK.  Diabetes UK’s supporter donation management processes was complex, involving duplication and using multiple external parties and internal depts. Two volunteers from Thales conducted a donation process review in order to provide recommendations to ensure the best supporter care and internal use of resource. At the end of the project Diabetes UK said: ‘We are very pleased with the outputs of this project. The team provided us with a number of recommendations and actions that will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the relationships we have with our supporters.’

Charlene Timewell, Education Officer, spoke about The OR Society’s O.R. in Schools initiative which promotes O.R. to young people and their teachers. Achievements include an increase of 10% in the number of visits in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15, re-establishing the OR Ambassadors in Schools Scheme for 2016-17 and a new design for the LearnAboutOR website:

Following the presentations guests had the opportunity to network over drinks and nibbles whilst looking at several case study posters we had displayed around the room.  The evening was a huge success and we look forward to repeating it again in the future.

To see the presentation slides please click here

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