11 years of the CoRe (Community Resourcing) Programme: Octopus Community Network

11 years of the CoRe (Community Resourcing) Programme: Octopus Community Network

Published on: 
Monday, 10 February 2020

For the past 11 years, the CoRe (Community Resourcing) Programme has brought the skills, knowledge and expertise from the corporate sector into Islington’s non-profit sector. Born out of Macquarie Group's commitment to supporting the local community infrastructure in Islington and beyond, the programme sees mixed teams of Macquarie Group and Slaughter and May employees utilising their skills to transform the capability, capacity and sustainability of charities and social enterprises.

Since 2009:

  • 70 charities and social enterprises have been supported from in and around Islington
  • By over 300 employees from Macquarie Group and Slaughter and May volunteers 
  • Delivering over 12,000 hours of support

Below we highlight the experience and impact for Octopus Community Network and its CoRe volunteer team.

The charity

Octopus Community Network is a network of multipurpose community centres. Each community centre is a designated community hub and currently funded by Islington Council as a strategic neighbourhood partner.

The project

Octopus Community Network applied to CoRe with a request for support to tackle their GDPR uncertainties head on. It was hoped that improvements made to the charity itself could be filtered down to the 14 additional member community centres within the Octopus Community Network

Impact on Octopus Community Network as a result of CoRe

• Significant improvement to their capability operational processes e.g. IT, HR, etc and  staff or volunteers’ knowledge and ability

• Recognisable improvement to their capacity in ability to recruit more of the right volunteers and/or staff and to provide new or additional services

• Recognisable improvement to their sustainability to regards to their ability to identify opportunities and minimise threats to their organisation e.g. new partnerships, legal contracts etc.

Added value provided by the volunteers

• New Privacy Policy produced

• Materials produced for charity to use in the future, including templates and presentation training materials

• Offer of continued support and troubleshooting, including co-delivering training to the other member community centres

• Management and direction provided to additional volunteers recruited through City University

Octopus Community Network’s CoRe experience

"The knowledge i've now got is tremendous. It’s different to having somebody come in, like a consultant, and saying you’ve got to do this and this. There is part of it where I wouldn’t have known where to start. They really acknowledged the fact that we operate in two different worlds. I think we really worked as a team once they realised we didn’t have a lot of resources” Julie, Development Manager at Octopus Community Network

The Octopus Community Network CoRe volunteer experience

“It was a stark contrast observing the challenges faced by the charity in terms of time, money and staff against the regulatory expectation to implement GDPR to the same extent as if they had a full-time compliance team on hand. It definitely makes you appreciate the resources and economies of scale our workplaces have available which we take for granted every day. It was a really interesting and rewarding project to work on" Phillipa, Slaughter and May 

Click here to read the full CoRe 2019 report