Tory Volunteering Pledge – CIPS and DRIP to Take Advantage of Proposed Scheme

The crazy, costly, headline-grabbing, thoughtful and caring scheme from the Conservative party manifesto to make all large employers give staff three days a year off for voluntary activities sets up some interesting possibilities.

One that comes to mind is an opportunity for CIPS (the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply). CIPS is a registered charity, so presumably volunteering for CIPS activities would fall under this new scheme. Now in my experience, most firms are pretty helpful if, for example, their staff get involved with CIPS national bodies such as Congress or the Board. Some paid time out for that type of contribution is usual.

But if this initiative does come to fruition, could CIPS look to provide volunteering opportunities to many more members? How about getting members to go into schools or colleges and do presentations to promote the profession? Or what about a mentoring scheme whereby members from large organisations could support smaller firms, that either don't have a professional procurement person at all or perhaps have a one-person function that could do with some occasional support or advice?

It would be worth CIPS thinking about this - at least after May 7th if the Tories are in a position of power. It could get many more people actively involved with the Institute.

However, I plan to develop my own response to the scheme. I'm starting a new charity - DRIP (Drinking Responsibly in Pubs). DRIP has the mission to encourage responsible and courteous drinking in pubs, to help reduce incidences of drunk driving, violence, general anti-social behaviour, alcoholism and people ordering Lager Tops. Our volunteers tour pubs, on foot of course, to provide a calming influence on the drinkers in those hostelries, to offer advice, and to demonstrate by example how to drink responsibly.

So, in return for a small donation to DRIP, we will be organising what we have termed "pub crawls" (a rather original and descriptive term, we think you will agree). Our volunteers will be able to sign up to these tours of local public houses on their paid days off from their large employers. We think this is a great opportunity for people to put something back into their local communities - at the expense of their employers of course - and really get the feeling that they are helping. The "big society" at work, if you like. Or "London Pride" (4 pints please, my good man) if you are based in the Capital.

Our website will be live shortly and you will be able to sign up then, and we look forward to DRIP rapidly becoming the best supported charity in the UK. (Free paracetamol with every registration).

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First Voice

  1. Emma Scott:

    CIPS would love more members to commit some time on one of our volunteering initiatives, so this would be great news.

    CIPS started a project to encourage young people to think about procurement as a career choice early last year when we launched our website. We then launched an Adopt a School campaign where we have a whole suite of resources for members to download and use in local schools, including presentations, mini workshops and challenges. Many members have formed long term relationships with schools in their area offering careers talks, work experience placements, site visits etc. We have a case study on the website where John Lewis Partnership Procurement team have adopted Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead.

    We’ve had a great response so far and the feedback from schools has been very positive.I’ve delivered the resources many times now and so many young people have come up to me and asked for more information on where to study or look for jobs. We also partnered with Inspiring the Future (they are a bit like internet dating for schools and businesses) to make it easier for members to get in touch with schools that need help.

    If it’s mentoring that members are interested in then we can help there too. CIPS Foundation was set up to give bursaries to students across the world who are struggling financially to continue with their studies. We donate books, pay for exams and also offer mentors to these students to give them the very best opportunity to pass their exams. We have also partnered with the Cherie Blair Foundation who look for business mentors to support women entrepreneurs in Africa.

    There’s also our vast branch network who are always looking for new volunteers, knowledge groups, as well as our study centres who welcome guest speakers and lecturers.

    Here’s a link to our volunteering page to find out more.

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