Over-50s internship scheme rebrands

Charity

The over-50s internship programme Charity Interns has relaunched as a community interest company called The Well Placed, after a six-month pilot programme.

The scheme, which offers paid placements to interns over the age of 50, was previously hosted by the National Council of Voluntary Organisations but has relaunched as a community interest organisation.

In the pilot programme, which ran from October to April, six people took up paid placements at Age International, Age UK, British Heart Foundation, Disability Equality Scotland and the Alzheimer’s Society. 

Four of the participants in the programme have since secured long-term roles in the charity sector, the CIC’s impact report says.

The scheme will continue under Charity Interns’ new identity, The Well Placed. 

Maya Bhose, founder of the scheme, will lead the organisation, which also has two directors and four advisers, all of whom give their time to the scheme on a voluntary basis.

Bhose said the intention was always to incorporate as a voluntary organisation after the incubation period with the NCVO ended. 

She said: “Becoming a CIC limited by guarantee felt the right choice for us in terms of governance and future growth strategy.”

Bhose said the organisation moved away from the word “interns” with its new name, saying: “[We] very quickly came to the realisation that intern was so far away from the quality and depth of skills on offer.”

The organisation’s logo was designed by Tom Barker at the agency Test Creative, who designed the logo pro-bono with Bhose’s strategic input. 

Bhose said the organisation had received no grant funding and everything to date had been self-funded, adding that she was “grateful to everyone who has donated their time to enable us to launch”.

Over the next year, the organisation plans to match 20 over-50s with experience in marketing for commercial organisations with six-month paid posts at charities, including the Alzheimer’s Society and the Women’s Institute.

The placements will involve areas such as fundraising, campaigns and membership and the organisation said that successful applicants would be compensated with at least the living wage.

The scheme is currently seeking applications via its website from people of all backgrounds and identities who feel disadvantaged in the job market due to their age. Applications are open until 12 July, with placements due to start in November.

Bhose said: “The Well Placed was my response to the challenge I faced trying to move from a senior commercial to a charity marketing role – I felt I had so much to offer but my skills weren’t seen as transferable. 

“What we want to do at The Well Placed is bridge that gap – offer over-50s a chance to turn their expertise into purpose and help charities find a solution to their skills shortages. It’s a win-win.”

Stella Beale, who took up a six-month internship at the Alzheimer’s Society through The Well Placed pilot programme and has secured a fundraising role at the charity, said the initiative had given her “great insight into how the charity sector works”.

She said: “I have enjoyed using my past experience to work for an organisation whose purpose very much resonated with me personally and would encourage any experienced marketers looking to break into the charity sector to sign up with The Well Placed.

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