How did we get here?

 In News

In September four graduates  will step over the doors at Macmillan Cancer Support and British Heart Foundation, nothing that remarkable about that until you understand that these two leading charities have come together to develop the scheme in partnership and graduates will enjoy the experience of working across two of the UK’s leading charities. This month saw a series of assessment centres jointly run which have successfully recruited 4 people to take part in this truly unique programme.

This graduate programme is a first of its kind in the sector, bringing together two of the UK’s leading charities to deliver one graduate development programme.

The premise of the scheme is to develop people with the right kinds of skills and behaviours required to work effectively in the sector.  Each person will experience what it is like to work in two different cultures delivering real projects in realistic time frames. No other graduate scheme developed in this sector does that in such a unique way. What we are hoping to achieve in 2 years is to have people effectively grounded in both organisations values and behaviours and a perfect fit for both charities future talent requirements.

How did we get here?

This co-developed scheme was the product of a charity network conversation between Kathy Osborne – Executive Director of People at Macmillan and Kerry Smith Director of People and Organisational Development at the British Heart Foundation both with intentions of developing a Graduate scheme for their respective organisations.

Both Kathy and Kerry explain “Increasingly the public expectation of this sector is that we collaborate more and make the best use of the resources we have. By joining forces, both Macmillan and British Heart Foundation are aiming to provide a ground breaking scheme to attract the best talent and develop them in-house.

The development of the scheme from inception has been a collaborative one with the recruitment teams managed by Kate Russell at British Heart Foundation and Andrew Hyland at Macmillan Cancer Support coming together to design and deliver the scheme.

Both Andrew Hyland from Macmillan and Kate Russell from the British Heart Foundation explain “the recruitment campaign was a tremendous success with over 540 applications made for just 4 places”.

The development pathway

The Learning & OD specialists from both Macmillan and British Heart Foundation have worked together to design a quite unique development programme for the graduates. This is a comprehensive development programme which consists of the design of a development pathway that looks to develop people both professionally and personally and will be delivered jointly through the 70: 20: 10 approach to learning.

It also includes

Week induction for the graduates – opened by both CEOs, split between the two sites, training in project management, meet their mentor, meet their placement manager and employees from each charity, personal development sessions that will explore their own learning styles, introduction to different learning interventions such as action learning sets.

Informal learning and on the job development, with each graduate being allocated a personal mentor

Access to an online portal – that will act as a one stop shop for information to help keep the graduates connected. The portal will also provide the graduates with access to information on career development and online learning tools

The graduates will further benefit from on the job experience, each person will gain real experience from managing real projects in areas such as fundraising events and campaigns, policy and evidence There is also the opportunity for the graduates to talk about their experiences and learn from each other so there are activities like lunch and learn sessions where they can take it in turns to share their experiences in a particular area with their graduate peers.

Kathy Osborne, Macmillan’s Executive Director of People, and Kerry Smith, Director of People and Organisational Development at British Heart Foundation, are enthusiastic about this initiative.

“We see this as a fantastic opportunity for us as leading charities to grow and nurture talent and to bring in our charity leaders of the future”.

“Increasingly the public expectation of this sector is that we collaborate more and make the best use of the resources we have. By joining forces, both Macmillan and British Heart Foundation are aiming to provide a ground breaking scheme to attract the best talent and develop them in-house.

“Not only will this help us build a great pool of talented graduates but uniquely it will give those taking part in the scheme experience of working in more than one charity in a range of roles – helping prepare them for their future career within this sector.”