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Episode 202 - The Hard Truth: Diversity & Inclusion from the Volunteer Perspective

Time + Talent Podcast

Release Date: 09/28/2020

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After decades as a leader of volunteers for high-profile national charities in the UK, Helen Timbrell switched gears to work as an organizational development consultant and coach.

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After decades as a leader of volunteers for high-profile national charities in the UK, Helen Timbrell switched gears to work as an organizational development consultant and coach. This afforded her the opportunity to develop and collaborate on unique research, and with a PhD she has the ability to straddle both practitioner and academic worlds.

Earlier this year, Helen conducted qualitative research into the experiences of volunteers and race. “What the bloody hell are you doing here? A comparative study of the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and White volunteers in four organisations” was completed in March 2020.

The following four organizations participated in the study:

This rare, candid glimpse into the lived experiences and perceptions of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and white volunteers is eye-opening and serves as a call to action for volunteer-driven organizations.

In this episode, Helen and Hadji share some of the results. We discuss the challenges volunteers of color face when contributing time and implications for future practice. 

If you would like to get a free copy of the research study, contact Helen at [email protected]. Hadji can be reached through Helen.

You can also find Helen on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-timbrell-1800415/?originalSubdomain=uk.

Guest Bios:

Dr. Helen Timbrell
People and Organisational Development Consultant

Helen works as a Consultant, Researcher and Coach, specialising in supporting charities to effectively blend staff and volunteer teams. Prior to working independently Helen was Director of People and Organisational Development at Samaritans, a UK charity working to reduce death by suicide and involving over 20k volunteers. Before that she was Director of Volunteering and Participation at the National Trust, a UK conservation and heritage charity involving over 65k volunteers.

Helen has an MBA, is a chartered member of the CIPD and is currently studying for an MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change. Her PhD explored geographical variations in volunteering in Scotland.

As a volunteer, Helen is a parkrun Event Director and a member of the HR Advisory Committee for Amnesty International UK.

Hadji Singh
Volunteer/Volunteer Coordinator

Hadji was initially a research participant but became interested advocating and educating interested stakeholders about the results. He now presents regularly with Helen and shares his perspectives as a volunteer, participant, and now advocate.

For More:

If you are interested in more research on volunteer diversity, equity, and inclusion, check out Season 1 of the Time + Talent podcast, Episode 108: The Rewards & Challenges of Nonprofit Board Diversity - Part 1 and Episode 109: The Rewards & Challenges of Nonprofit Board Diversity - Part 2.