If you are considering a career with Beanstalk, why not find out what it's like from those who know best?  

We meet with Bryan Rossi-Anderson, Area Manager for London....

"As Area Manager for London, I am responsible for expanding the work of Beanstalk. I develop plans to raise Beanstalk’s profile in London and work with the fundraising team to enhance their strategies for income generation. A key element of my job is to motivate staff and volunteers to excel in their work"

What does an average day entail? 

An average day at Beanstalk is filled with awe-inspiring impact, challenges, mirth and merriment. I am constantly blown away by stories about the effectiveness of our work. The challenges arise in working to enhance our service delivery, reach more people and retain the ones we have. All of this comes with its fair share of camaraderie surrounded by my colleagues.

What are your key tasks?

I work to increase the number of volunteer participants and improve the experiences of our reading helpers. I also aim to improve the way in which our staff in London work together as a team – removing imaginary barriers between staff teams to allow better communication and shared best practise.

Why did you get into the charity sector? 

I feel the need to have a positive impact on someone’s life on a daily basis. Whether that’s through being instrumental in improving their life situation, or something as simple as giving a smile to a colleague. I truly believe every little bit helps; as the saying goes.

What skills do you need to be an effective Area Manager?

A strategic mind-set and communication skills. You need to be able to create a short-to-mid-term strategic vision and communicate that vision effectively.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Where do I start? The colleagues I work with, the children and schools we help, and the volunteers who help us to reach our goals. I take pleasure in all aspects of my work because I believe in the work we do as one of the leading preventative charities in the UK.

Current vacancies at Beanstalk 

A Day in the Life of a Recruitment and Training Executive in Yorkshire

We talk to Lorraine Dowson to find out more about the role ……

What does a Recruitment and Training Executive (RTE) do?

Exactly as it says on the tin: I recruit, vet and train volunteer reading helpers, to work with children in primary schools who’ve fallen behind with their reading.

What does your average day entail?

There’s really no such thing as an average day! Last week I: Prepared and delivered a full day’s training in Leeds; attended a careers fair and spoke with students about volunteering; followed up on a networking opportunity; telephoned potential reading helpers to discuss their applications and set up interviews; and spent time mentoring a new colleague.

 What are your key tasks?

Raising awareness of Beanstalk and making connections with potential volunteers or people that can inform or influence them. Evaluating, interviewing, vetting, and training prospective reading helpers. Collaborating with colleagues to identify needs, plan campaigns, discuss concerns, provide and receive feedback. Coaching and mentoring new colleagues

 Why did you want to work for Beanstalk?

Having already retired twice, I was looking for opportunities that would be stimulating and make good use of my skills and interests. I’ve always worked in education and when I came across the job it looked as though it had been written for me. When I looked at the Beanstalk website and the values of the charity, the deal was sealed. Determined. Fun. Inspiring. Trusted. Professional. All I had to do was convince Beanstalk.

What skills do you need to be a Recruitment and Training Executive?

An RTE needs to be able to communicate with all kinds of people from different backgrounds and be clear about what Beanstalk does and its expectations of reading helpers. You need to be able to collaborate with colleagues to identify gaps and ensure there’s a mutual understanding of what’s needed. You also need to be able to recognize potential and enable trainees to develop skills and confidence.

Upholding Beanstalk values is essential, we ask our reading helpers to be role models for children so it’s important we are the same for them. We need to inspire. RTEs are responsible for the entire volunteer journey so we must be systematic, able to balance activities, and manage time to ensure there’s a constant supply of suitable applicants who have been vetted and trained.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting positive feedback. A reading helper who I interviewed and trained this year said that helping three children in school was the highlight of his week. Or when I bumped into the Deputy Head of one of the schools we work in and she came over to say what a difference their Beanstalk reading helper is making. I interviewed their reading helper soon after she retired from teaching; she was delighted to go into a small school, close to her home, that requested a Beanstalk reading helper for the first time. When Ofsted visited the school it was more than serendipity; inspectors saw her at work and congratulated the school on its successful partnership with Beanstalk. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that your work has made a difference to the lives of children.

Current vacancies at Beanstalk 

Interested in fundraising? We talk to Alexis Nielson, a Fundraising Officer at our London office...

"My role supports the Corporate Partnerships Manager in looking after and developing new corporate partnerships, as well as managing individual donors and community fundraisers. I also perform administrative tasks to ensure the smooth running of our department"

What kind of projects do you work on?

Currently I’m working on two main projects. One aims to involve both Beanstalk and non-Beanstalk schools in fundraising for us. We put together a fantastic read-a-thon pack last year and we are hoping it will be off to a flying start this year! The second involves companies in a business challenge called Gold Rush. Imagine a cross between the Apprentice and Dragon’s Den - it’s as much fun as it sounds!

What does your average day entail?

An advantage of working in a small organisation is that no two days are ever the same. One day I might write an appeal letter for our individual supporters, the next I’ll be pitching to a new potential corporate supporter, and at the weekend cheering on our participants at a challenge event.

What are your key tasks?

My key tasks can be divided into three categories. I look after our regular donors, fundraisers and supporters to ensure they have a great experience with Beanstalk and feel part of our family. I also manage a number of corporate partnerships, including several employee volunteering schemes. Finally, I perform administrative tasks such as maintaining our customer relationship database and managing our finances.

Why did you get into charity work?

I grew up knowing that I wanted to get into the third sector. Work is such an important part of our lives and I can’t imagine being in a job where I’m not giving back to the society I live in. I was fortunate to grow up in a supportive environment and benefit from a good education. I want to work towards ensuring everyone has that same chance to thrive and develop.

What skills do you need?

Patience, confidence and interpersonal skills are a must for fundraisers – the majority of your time is spent interacting with current or potential donors. Resilience is also essential, you need to accept that you will be turned down many, many times! Finally, flexibility and enthusiasm is essential in a small organisation where you end up involved in unexpected tasks. This could be watching someone getting gunged, running across London to plan a literary treasure hunt, or playing dodgeball in homemade beanstalk outfits!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Meeting children who benefit from our service and the fantastic reading helpers who deliver it. Being able to see the impact of our work and seeing just how worthwhile it all is! Interacting with our donors and supporters definitely deserves a mention too, it’s amazing to see how dedicated and generous the public is. They are willing to go to such lengths to support causes they feel passionate about, which is truly inspiring as a fundraiser.

Feeling inspired? Visit our jobs page to see the current vacancies at Beanstalk