Charities to get a skills boost thanks to new scheme

AN INITIATIVE to use business knowledge to help charities has enjoyed a successful launch in Scarborough.

Yorkshire Coast Homes were the hosts for an unusual event, organised by former Scarborough businessman, Edward Ryder from Leeds based Biskit Marketing.

Skill Will was an initiative co-founded by Mr Ryder in 2011, which helps volunteers with business skills to connect with charities and community groups needing support.

Several Skill Will events have already been run in Leeds and Hull, with Bradford, York, Sheffield, Huddersfield to follow.

An estimated £200,000 of volunteered time has already been generated.

Mr Ryder said: “I was delighted to visit my home town again. Scarborough still means a lot to me, and I was especially delighted with the support from the Yorkshire Coast Homes team, led by Chief Executive Shaun Tymon.

“On the night, people chatted about how they could help each other. Offers of help included IT support, market, HR and general admin.

“I was thrilled with the support and conversations that were being had.”

Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team, Seachange, Ellies Fund and St Catherines Hospice were just some of the organisations that attended the Skill Will event.

My Ryder believes the need for volunteer support is increasing, especially with the additional pressure brought by changes in funding structures and the economic climate. He says this had led many charities struggling to cope.

“We are pushing Skill Will hard, and expect to visit at least 20 cities or towns across the UK this year,” added Mr Ryder.

“If you think that we will visit each area between 3 to 4 times, then this is quite an operation.

“One immediate benefit from the evening in Scarborough was the offer of a free workshop to help some of the charities use social media more effectively.

“Yorkshire Coast Homes have kindly offered their premises for free again. If any charities or community groups want to attend, then please check out the website and book online.”

Furthermore, Skill Will will be organising another networking evening later this summer. Visit