Connect & Create BBC Volunteers
Manager of BBC Connect & Create
At some point in life everyone considers the idea of volunteering, giving their time and efforts to help others, and BBC staff are no exception. In fact I'd say that there is a strong altruistic culture amongst staff here and a requirement for the corporation to channel this energy into measurable projects.
We often hear from charities who say they are up to their eyeballs in people wanting to come and 'paint a wall' for them. We find that many charities are after something more meaningful, something that will resonate and leave a legacy for their beneficiaries. So the BBC has a small department called "Connect & Create" and we are, to all intents and purposes, the volunteering scheme of the corporation. It's a simple structure. We have formal partnerships with ten national charities and a smaller number of local project charity partners. We put together projects that place BBC staff into these charities in whole variety of ways.
Often we help the charities produce creative work, such as films or podcasts. Other times we place staff with specific expertise to lead workshops and run seminars. On other occasions they are involved in mentoring beneficiaries from all walks of life. Each project is unique and there is always lots going on, as we run projects all across the year and across the UK.
Of course you can measure the numbers of staff and projects, but the real measure comes in the stories we hear from people. We hear some amazing stories and staff seem universally bowled over by the experiences they have sharing their skills in this way. My personal favourite is the team in Newcastle who mentored a group of disabled children in how to make a film about wheelchair access for their sports classes. The children did such a great job with their film that it was broadcast on Look North that same evening.
Glynn Ryland is the Manager of BBC Connect & Create
You can find out more about Connect & Create and see a list of its charity partners on the BBC Outreach website.