Showing posts from May, 2015

Addressing Loneliness in Rural North Yorkshire: The project and my experience as a Pro Bono volunteer #ProBonoOR #ORblog #ThisisOR

Addressing Loneliness in Rural North Yorkshire The project and my experience as a Pro Bono volunteer By Sarah Culkin, UK Department of Health The problem: An organisation in the North of England took over a rural visiting service for the elderly and was very keen to ensure that as much benefit as possible could be provided for recipients of the service.  It therefore requested a pro bono study from the UK OR Society to help a project team understand how a strategy for improving the service could be constructed.
The approach I was assigned to the task by The OR Society and started work by collecting information and evidence through interviews with stakeholders, accompanying the project team on visits to clients, reviewing survey feedback and finance information.  This information was used to produce an initial system diagram. I then facilitated a workshop with key stakeholders to present, discuss, amend and build on the system diagram (see figure 1).

Figure 1. Part of the System Diagram

Improving employability through skilled volunteering #ORblog

'Skilled volunteering is essentially lending your expertise to benefit a charity. Skilled volunteering has a huge positive impact for charities and boosts volunteers’ professional experience, improves employability and extends your professional network. In a survey that LinkedIn carried out with professionals, 40% stated that when they are evaluating candidates, they consider volunteer work equally as valuable as paid work experience.'

This is an exert from a great article on Yahoo news about skilled volunteering. To read the full article:Everyone has a skill to share, even if they don’t shout about it… why not volunteer? Please click here

Skilled volunteer analysts required for several projects across the UK #ProBonoOR #ORblog

Pro Bono O.R. is currently recruiting volunteers for several projects.  Please take a look and read the project scopes to see if you would be able to help.  Please get in touch if you require any further information.
C Change Scotland
Information about the organisation: Charitable objectives: Support people to live the lives they choose regardless of age or circumstances Main activities of the organisation: Change Scotland is a supported living organisation that provides individually tailored person centred support to people that want a better life.
Project summary: Project 1: Evidencing the local economic community benefit and wider economic impact of our practice of local recruitment and use of community resources. Time commitment: approx. 5 days Location:  Glasgow (Mix of onsite and remote working)
Project 2: Identifying the real cost reductions of transforming individualised services and the economic and social benefits to the individual, community and society. Time commitment: approx. 5 …

Free event: O.R. & Oxfam

O.R. & Oxfam: Optimising donation bank collections using remote monitoring sensors
(The OR Society: Joint Third Sector SIG, SORG and CORMSIS Event)
Date/time:         Thursday 11 June 2015 Registration from 15.30 with refreshments Talk 16.00-17.30 Location:           University of Southampton, Highfield Campus Building 2, Room 3043 Please use this link for directions: Cost:                 FREE
The major charities can spend around 20% of their income on logistics, collecting new donations from donation banks and recycling unsellable textiles via various outlets. This talk will describe the key learning outcomes from a project undertaken with Oxfam which installed remote monitoring sensors into a subset of their textile donation banks and using the fill levels reported daily, derived collection strategies using tabu search methods. These were based on a set of rules to only allow banks to become eligible for servicing once they h…

O.R. & Oxfam: Optimising donation bank collections using remote monitoring sensors #ORblog

A great example of how Operational Research is applied:

Cherrett, T.J., Shingleton, Duncan and Norton, Ben et al. (2014) Developing a smartphone app to enhance Oxfam's supply chain visibility. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications
This paper reports on the development of a smartphone app designed to give drivers and managers in a charity organisation greater visibility of transport, donation bank and shop stock in time and space. Trials of the app with samples of drivers and shop managers across three counties in the UK showed that users’ understanding of vehicle activity and how time was utilised in the business was enhanced. The app also informed their decision making, aided some collaboration and helped in their understanding of donation bank and shop performance, with one region altering their collection schedules. The quality of 3G signal was an issue in certain areas which impeded performance and the rules by which the messaging platform should be used …

Skilled Volunteered analysts required for several projects #ORblog

The Pro Bono O.R. scheme is currently looking for volunteers for three projects.  
Please find details of the new projects below.  
Extra Care
Information about the organisation: Charitable objectives: To provide better lives for older people in high quality affordable homes. Main activities of the organisation: Care and housing provider. Project summary: Project 1: To develop a customer requirements and satisfaction measurement process that can be used to inform what the service provides, to whom and when. Time commitment: approx. 6-9 days (see project scope for a breakdown) Location:  Mix of onsite (Birmingham, B31 2FR) and remote working.
Project 2: To analyse demand for the Fitness Suite service so that opening hours are better matched to customers' needs (with a view to increasing usage and therefore revenues). Time commitment: approx. 6-9 days (see project scope for a breakdown) Location:  Mix of onsite (Birmingham, B31 2FR) and remote working.
Please read the detailed project proposal…

Third Sector event: Services to Young People (write up & presentations)

Author: Jeff Jones

The “Third sector” Special Interest Group held its Spring Seminar on the 23rd April, at the London School of Economics.
The topic was pro-bono consultancy, carried out by OR Society members, to charities involved in providing support to children. The Seminar was notable for its range of topics: from strategic planning to detailed help to individuals; from poverty models for the whole country, to services in the London Borough of Camden. The Seminar was well attended by both OR analysts and charities, the lecture theatre being completely full; and it was followed by a reception of drinks and snacks in a nearby room which provided a lively networking opportunity.
The first speakers were Malcolm Fenby and Joanna Ziff, who had worked together pro-bono for the Childhood Trust. They started by emphasising the size of the problem of poverty in London. More than 600,000 children in London live in severe …