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Jobs from the Reach files - 13

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In this regular series Olive Braman tells how volunteers can use their skills and expertise through REACH, the charity that places professional and business people in part time voluntary jobs

You can find all the Jobs From the REACH Files articles from the Volunteering Index

Richard reaches out for new volunteers

Richard Crabtree is the new REACH area manager for Sheffield, working as a volunteer to encourage more people like himself to become volunteers.  REACH is the charity that finds voluntary posts for experienced managerial professional people with voluntary organisations needing their skills.

When Richard retired from his post as IT manager for Barclays Bank Technical Services in Knutsford, Cheshire, he had  two specific aims for mental satisfaction.  He wanted to work with people and he wanted to use his IT expertise.  As is the case with so many people now retiring from IT or related professions,  he felt he had many years of competence ahead of him.

Voluntary work seemed to be a good option.  “ It is not easy to find another paid job in a climate of multiple redundancies and rapidly moving technology, so this is the way I can keep my mind alive.”  

It was not his only option.  “I know that taking on voluntary work in this field may be a route into paid employment. One IT specialist did a number of voluntary jobs in the year she was unemployed, during which time she actually learned new skills.  Now she is on the staff of the Marie Curie Foundation.” 

But for Richard, REACH was a special challenge.  Since it was started in 1979, REACH has made over 10,000 placements in voluntary organisations, and the value of this expertise which is being ploughed back into the community is estimated at over 16,000,000 a year.

REACH currently has 1000 volunteers on its books, their backgrounds include such areas as financial services, marketing, education, PR and engineering.  They are drawn from all levels of management. The REACH files are continuously up-dated, thanks to the charity’s own team of volunteer professionals.  The database covers the whole of the UK, there are no age limits and no charges are made to either voluntary organisations or volunteers.

Richard says, “Getting the right person for the job is the big challenge for every voluntary organisation. Our system has to ensure that the expertise of the volunteer matches the needs of the organisation. We can always find the jobs – what we are trying to do now is to attract more people who can offer their professional expertise.”

Anyone who is interested in finding out about volunteering with REACH should contact Richard on 0114 268 6173 or e-mail richard@crabtree. freeserve.

REACH London office:  Tel: 020 7582 6543.   email:  website:               

Look out for future features from Olive Braman on Jobs From The REACH Files or view all the REACH Files Articles from our Volunteering Index


laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also regular columns of a more specialist nature such as healthwisereports from the REACH files, and a beauty section called looking good in later life.

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