Pilot programme cohort find charity placements

Charity Interns has successfully completed its six-month pilot with six people, including career returners, finding paid placements in charities.



Six people, including returners from career breaks, have found paid placements in the charitable sector after taking part in an innovative pilot programme to get people with decades of experience in other fields into the sector.

Charity Interns, a non-profit start-up project incubated by NCVO, launched the six-month pilot programme in late 2023. The project aims to highlight the positive impact of transferable skills from the private or public sector to the voluntary sector, and that there is no sell by date on experience at any point in someone’s career – particularly those aged over 50.

In collaboration with leading organisations, including Age UK, Age International, Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation, and Disability Equality Scotland, Charity Interns has successfully placed six people in paid placements with these organisations. Recruitment specialists Charity People also backed the project and helped to recruit the first interns.

The six had previously been unsuccessful in their attempts to secure charity jobs due to their lack of previous charity sector experience.  They come from a wide variety of industries including advertising, creative industries, financial services, banking and technology. They include people who are looking to switch from roles in another sector and people returning to work after career breaks or time away due to care responsibilities.

They are now in their new roles with their host organisations, in fields ranging from fundraising to campaigning, volunteer management to member engagement. Most positions are hybrid, with one fully remote role.

Before the pilot started, the interns undertook training with their placement charity and learnt about the charity landscape, as well as hearing from people who had successfully transitioned from the corporate world into the voluntary sector.

Maya Bhose, Founder of Charity Interns, said: “The interns are enjoying their placements and are contributing, learning, and gaining confidence for their professional futures in the voluntary sector. We believe that this pilot not only benefits the interns, but also provides invaluable experience to line managers in our partner organisations who are leading co-generational teams— a skill in increasing demand as the UK workforce ages.”

The findings of the pilot will be shared with the sector to demonstrate the impact people who have worked outside the sector can have on the sector’s skills gap.

The pilot is scheduled to conclude in late spring 2024, with plans to roll out the programme with a larger cohort in the following autumn.

*Organisations interested in hosting an internship later in 2024 or individuals looking to become interns are encouraged to contact Maya at [email protected] for more information. More details about the programme can be found here. 

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