Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Charitable Giving

Lehman Brothers are hiring again for the first time since the CRASH... the upturn in the economy should herald an upturn in disposable income for both businesses who are doing better and individuals who are on a firmer footing than they have been for some time and with that should come an increase in charitable giving!

When we set up, one of the most important aims of the business was to donate on a regular basis to a London based charity. Since launching we have researched possible charities and recently met with Rachel Waldron, the National Development Manager, at Chance UK, a charity that works with 5-11 year olds and whose aim, so correctly, is to intervene before anti-social behaviour at this age develops into criminal behaviour a few years down the line. This foresight, together with the fact that their systems and processes are in place having been in operation for years, made them an excellent choice. Our money would be going to a charity that was not only local but where we would know exactly its destination. We will be paying for the activities that the children and mentors choose to do together on a weekly basis over the year that they spend in their relationship. What could be better? We feel fortunate to be in a position to be able to be affiliated with such a worthy cause and indeed, because it is London based, to be able to take a more hands-on approach. Although none of us are currently in a position to be able to commit to mentoring for a year, we can attend the graduations of those who have undergone the programme and because there are two people in the relationship - the child and the mentor - there are two sets of graduates who receive certificates and absolutely huge amounts of applause.

Oli and I attended the graduation of nine children and their mentors last Friday in Hackney and it certainly was a wonderful occassion set in the grand surroundings of the Town Hall with a Councillor handing out the certificates. The children's achievements were many, including one young man who raised £400 for Chance UK by completing a Triathalon (his mentor also completed one on the same day - the adults one of course), this was a boy who had barely swam, run and ridden a bicycle until this past year. It was a joyous and moving occassion, not least because this would be the last time that the children and mentors would see one another and there were some tears... inevitably!

Charitable giving - whether it is hands-on as in the case of the Chance UK Mentors or by providing financial support as a business or a private individual, is an important aspect of being part of a wider society. There are many thousands of people in this country who manifest their desire to be of help to others and give daily, weekly, monthly or annually. We don't often hear about these people let alone get the chance to meet them and hear about their experiences. Oli and I were lucky to have been able to do that last week and it was indeed a humbling experience.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The need for flexible Jobseekers

A recent survey by a top job search site has revealed that job seekers in the public sector are much more willing to take a pay cut, travel further to work and even take a lower position than their pay grade.

A survey of over 1600 job seekers has shown that more than two thirds are willing to take a pay cut in comparison to less than a third a few years ago. This coupled with a 14% decrease in public sector jobs openings over the second quarter of 2010. Conversely there has been a 7% increase in private sector jobs in the same period.

John Salt, director of, said: "Public sector jobseekers have a high level of transferable skills. However in today's market, this isn't enough. Jobseekers need to be flexible to secure that next position and it seems that they finally understand this. Those willing to move with the times will find they will reap the benefits in the long term."

This means that jobseekers need to be more dynamic with what they are looking for and perhaps willing to accept a little less.So perhaps now might be the perfect time to change your profile around and diversify your skill set.

Best Wishes