The ORiTS special interest group met today (3rd May) at County Hall, London to hear a presentation from Pat Fitzsimons of Community Network, a social enterprise which provides teleconferencing services in order to fund telephone befriending groups to combat social exclusion.
Pat spoke about her experience of working with OR practitioners to develop Community Network’s strategic direction and to make the most of the organisation’s data. She was joined by some of the OR practitioners who have been working with her, to share their experiences of volunteering with Community Network.
The presentation was followed by an interesting discussion of the benefits for charities and OR practitioners of being involved in pro bono projects. It was universally agreed that this was a win-win situation.
Charities win by gaining access to skilled OR people and OR people win by adding to their portfolio of experience and by “making a real difference” to an orgnaisation that might not otherwise have access to their knowledge and skills.
The ORiTS special interest group aims to help O.R. analysts working or planning to work in third sector organisations (charities, social enterprises, voluntary and not for profit groups and NGOs) to do a better job and to promote to O.R. analysts the opportunity to practise in a wider arena.