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GTKPB - June 2018



Get To Know Pro Bono - Issue 7

4th June 2018  

Welcome to the 7th issue of “Get to Know Pro Bono”.  We have able to find volunteers for many of the recently advertised opportunities but not all of them.  A very large THANK YOU you to all the recent (2018) volunteers:

A reminder of the current open opportunities appears at the end of this mail. In this issue we mainly focus on two things:

  • Short term volunteering opportunities.
  • Celebrations of the great work we do.

But first, a request for a mentor:

Mentoring request Alicia Weston at Bags of Taste

After a background in science and investment banking, Alicia Weston established Bags of Taste 4 years ago as a food poverty intervention that is effective at improving the diets of people in or at risk of food poverty.  Operationally, it teaches nutrition, cooking and sells food bags that provide the ingredients to feed 4 people for £3. Participants state that the organisation has changed their, and their families', lives and saved them an average of £1,400 pa.

The venture has doubled or tripled in some way every year since inception, from a pilot project to 10 regional branches with several hundred volunteers, many former clients. Currently, Bags of Taste is in discussion with large healthcare bodies, Public Health and the NHS in providing its services to a wider public. Alicia wishes to continue that trend but realises that “what got her here will not take her there”. She is therefore seeking mentoring help to transition from “innovative founder” to the leader of a much larger enterprise. Her ideal mentor would have experience of scaling businesses, the food industry, the public health landscape and people management. Alicia is based close to the City.  Click here further information  or contact David Glassman.

Short term volunteering opportunities:

Recognising that not everyone can manage to support longer pro bono assignments I wanted to summarise the various opportunities that exist to volunteer without too much commitment of time.

1) Short sharp interventions – e.g. workshop facilitation.   I talked about these opportunities in GTKPB Issue 5 and several people have signed up to my “short and sharp” list.  Many thanks to those of you who have done so.    I will contact you directly when these opportunities arise.

2) Livery Schools Link (LSL) – which we talked about in Issue 5 too and we now have more details.

It is easy to overlook that giving up just a small amount of one’s personal time can also have a major impact on young people. Let’s be clear - we’re talking ½ a day a year here.  Promoting our Livery whilst encouraging and motivating students (particularly the under privileged) to achieve, think outside the box, believe that there is a world outside of theirs that they can be part of – is incredibly rewarding.

The Company has joined up with LSL, to offer a very simple way for our Liverymen and Freemen to register their interest in volunteering to visit Schools (that’s schools generally – not just “Livery Schools” - and a range of other establishments)  and to help in areas such as Career/Motivational talks, becoming a Governor (or even recommending a friend).

  • The system is a volunteering platform and it is extremely simple to use , please follow this link.
  • Registering does not commit you to any specific volunteering at all – you are just expressing willingness to volunteer.  You don’t need to tell me about it – just do it.
  • You will be asked a set of clear questions re, what you might be able to help in, where and possible timings 
  • There is a postcode matching element on their platform – so volunteers can be paired with schools convenient to their locations.
  • The platform will match you with any requests from schools and offer you a chance to show interest.
  • If a school is interested in you, then and only then will they be given your e-mail, to get in touch. 

I would positively encourage you to register as a potential volunteer and help us in our volunteering efforts. I will get summary reports on our collective efforts, so your time will be added to our overall Pro Bono pot.

If you want to know more about the Volunteering Platform itself, please e-mail Peter Cave.  

3) Sea Cadets

The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants has a long affiliation with London Area Sea Cadets, but with 45 units across London with 14,000 Sea Cadets aged between 10 and 18 there are more ways for you to help.

The Sea Cadets need volunteers who are happy to roll up their sleeves, get involved and make a huge positive difference to the lives of the young people that the Sea Cadets work with.  The 45 London area units need new Trustees to help run a unit’s operation.  You could help to manage the finances, help fundraise for the unit, organise events, write press releases for the local media or build corporate relationships with local businesses.  For more information or to register interest in becoming a volunteer with the Sea Cadets please contact Cdr James Nisbet VR RNR - or just contact a local unit near you. Kanan Barot looks after the Company's relationship with the Sea Cadets.

And now those celebrations:

World Heart Beat Music Academy

Freeman Nick Bush has been working Pro Bono with World Heart Beat for over a year.  World Heart Beat is a fresh, modern award winning music charity that envisions a global environment where music, as a universal form of communication, bridges cultural, political, economic and linguistic barriers.  It’s all about nurturing Young Musical Talent in the Community.

Nick, together with the Master and Steve Cant, Chair of the Pro Bono Committee attended a celebration this week: an afternoon of jazz at Ronnie Scott's performed – brilliantly – by young musicians from World Heart Beat.  

 Why the celebration?  Well, World Heart Beat has been singled out from a field of 42 organisations to become the newest cultural tenant at Embassy Gardens, a multi-billion pound regeneration project in London's Nine Elms. The developers (Ecoworld Ballymore) together with Wandsworth Council, chose World Heart Beat to create and drive a new educational, cultural and performance venue, to open in 2019. Nick has helped to steer World Heart Beat to this major success. Hearty congratulations to him and to World Heart Beat. It just shows what can happen when you get involved.

Youth Business International (YBI)  

YBl's accreditation process is central to its approach to building a high-quality network for the support of young entrepreneurs around the world. It strengthens and assures the quality and integrity of YBI and its members through independent assessments generously undertaken by expert volunteers.  As you probably know the Company plays an especially integral role in YBI's accreditation process, through extensive advisory support, experienced pro bono assessors, and financial support.  

A group of Company Accreditation Assessors and the Master attended a celebration event on 22nd May at the YBI’s Headquarters in London. 

So what were we celebrating? Well some facts and figures tell the story:

In 2017 we visited 11 countries and assessed 15 network members.  Since the start of our support for YBI in 2010, 29  WoCoMC assessors have carried out one or more accreditations in that time and 95 in total.  Of that group special mention should go to both Gia Campari and Satjit Singh who have both carried out eight accreditation visits.  This is no small commitment, since each visit, writing the report and attending the accreditation committee can take about 10 days effort.  Over the 8 years that’s nearly 1000 days work, worth say £1.5 million.   In 2017 our efforts also included a major pro bono assignment for YBI themselves. Chris Wilson is providing advice on People Policies.   Taking this and all the accreditations into account, our contribution to YBI in 2017 would be worth over £200,000.  These are numbers worth celebrating.  3W Bob Harris looks after our relationship with YBI on behalf of the Pro bono Committee.

Get To Know your Pro Bono Committee

It seems appropriate to get Bob Harris to introduce himself this time.

Following degrees in Mathematics and Operational Research, most of my career has been as a management consultant working in large firms – firstly EY and subsequently Accenture.  I spent over 30 years bidding for and directing major programmes of work - primarily in the public sector - across most major departments and most functional areas.  I became a freelance consultant in 2000 and continued to work with Accenture as a senior adviser up to 2013.

I am a founder member of the Company.  I have also been a member of the Pro-Bono Committee for more than 10 years, in which role I have personally undertaken more than 20 pro-bono assignments as well as acting as client director for YBI over the last three years, during which time the Company has undertaken some 50 assignments.

I also played a lead role in organizing the Celebration Dinners in 2013 and 2014, where we re-engaged with several of the large management consultancy firms, achieved our highest ever dinner attendance, collected all the money in beforehand, and made a surplus on top of substantial charitable donations.  Finally, after a couple of years of frustration at lack of progress, I put in place procedures to enable the Charitable Fund to reclaim Gift Aid, resulting in over £16,000 being received from HMRC earlier this year.

.Current open opportunities

And finally, …. a brief reminder that the following charities are still looking for help:

Safe Child Thailand          Marketing advice

Cambridge House            Advice on better utilisation of assets

EG Culture                        Small start up – advice on scaling up. 

If you think you might be able to help with any of these, or know of someone who could help, then simply let me know.

Thank you for reading this far.

Thank you
​Kind regards

Steve Cant

Steve Cant
Chair, ProBono Committee





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WCoMC is a collegiate forward looking Modern City Livery Company; we maintain City traditions,
share expertise and information between fellow members and give back to the community through our pro bono activities.
We provide a unique opportunity to engage with those shaping the future of the UK, particularly management consultants working within the City.
WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).