London (UK), December 2022 -The Charity Learning Awards honour the outstanding work of learning and development (L&D) practitioners in the third sector. After the last few years of turmoil, it's time to celebrate the amazing work in L&D that charities have been doing throughout the pandemic.
The last few years have been tougher than most for the charity sector, with Covid impacting the vital work they do, with greater demand than ever for their services at a time when budgets are increasingly stretched. To face these challenges, members of the Charity Learning Consortium quickly learnt new skills, and changed and adapted the way that they deliver L&D. All charities are stars, but some of the members of the Consortium have gone above and beyond in the service of L&D.
The winners of the Charity Learning Awards 2022 are
- L&D Influencer: Lisa Bateson, Shaw Trust
- L&D Influencer: Rachel Winfield, Leeds University Union
- Technology Trailblazers: Llamau
- Community Contributor: Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
- Best Use of Online Learning: Mencap
- Best Use of an LMS: BH Live
- Rising Star of L&D: Michael Dickinson, Yorkshire Cancer Research
- L&D Team of the Year: Shelter
- L&D Professional of the Year: Stacie Lloyd, Royal Voluntary Service
- Outstanding Dedication: The Action Group
- Online Learning Superstar: St John Ambulance
Find out more about the award winners below:
L&D Influencer - Lisa Bateson, Shaw Trust
In October 2020, Shaw Trust began to deliver a contract for the Department of Work and Pensions to support people who lost their jobs during the Covid pandemic to get back into work. This meant quickly recruiting and onboarding more than 500 new home-based employees. Working at speed and scale, Lisa and key stakeholders designed a virtual induction and onboarding programme that has continued to evolve. This impressive work was shortlisted for a Learning and Performance Institute award. Lisa has also shared her tips for induction with the Consortium and been interviewed for the charity spotlight on Learning Now TV.
L&D Influencer - Rachel Winfield, Leeds University Union
Rachel Winfield, Head of Employee Experience at Leeds University Union (LUU), lives and breathes L&D. Her exemplary approach to L&D has included
- fostering discussion and action points after eLearning, in topics like equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
- creating courses and resources using a blended, multimedia approach to enrich learning with a focus on impact
- encouraging a great learning culture, with the learning-management system (LMS) provided by the Consortium at its heart. Branded Love to Learn, more than 400 staff and thousands of student leaders use it.
- introducing reflective practices and action learning sets
- developing a leadership development programme called Love to Lead
- incorporating learning and development into LUU's strategic plan, to ensure that staff - and not just students - love their time at Leeds
A committed member of the Consortium, Rachel is always happy to support others and her inspirational work has been featured in reports created by the Consortium as well as on TrainingZone.
Technology Trailblazers - Llamau
Laura Mustoe, Learning and Development Manager, was quick to see the benefits of creating learning pathways when this new LMS feature was launched by the Consortium in 2021. This functionality meant that the small learning team at Llamau could create clear, logical, and relevant learning journeys.
In February 2022, Cassie Conibear, Learning and Development Coordinator, quickly set up ten pathways to group courses together, making a noticeable difference in just a few months. A training survey, sent to all staff, asked how people found the new feature. Feedback was resoundingly positive, with everyone finding it easier to navigate learning. There have been other benefits too, with new starters completing mandatory training more quickly, and learners reporting a greater sense of achievement when they've completed pathways.
All of the L&D team have worked together to achieve this - whether it's user testing or brainstorming ideas to get the most use from each pathway. It's a great example for others to follow.
Community Contributor - Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
Martin Botting, HR Business Partner, and Pete Thompson, Head of HR, have been supporting people working in charities for more than a decade. Martin worked in organisational development and human resources at The Aldingbourne Trust for ten years before joining the RAF Benevolent Fund in January 2020.
Meanwhile, Pete Thompson has spent more than ten years at the RAF Benevolent Fund. Together they truly embrace the meaning of community and are always ready to help other members of the Consortium with advice and/or resources. This award recognises their outstanding service and dedication to HR and L&D in the charity sector.
Best Use of Online Learning - Mencap
Launching online learning as part of a digital transformation at Mencap has been an incredible success, with people enjoying it and seeing the benefits. In 2019, approximately 30,000 eLearning courses were completed, rising to more than 100,000 in 2021.
This has meant a huge amount of work for Matthew Perkins-Martin, Digital Learning Manager, along with the L&D team at Mencap. A comprehensive approach to online learning has included user testing; engaging with stakeholders; co-creation, an emphasis on learning experience design; researching needs; and adapting and changing content when necessary.
Ongoing evaluation, formal training, and informal mentoring have all been key to success, as has research into how people learn and a culture where experimentation has been encouraged. It's a shining example of putting learners' needs at the heart of everything.
Best Use of an LMS - BH Live
The LMS - branded Learning Zone at BH Live - is the learning team's biggest asset, which they've utilised to its full potential. Sarah Stickland, Learning and Development Manager, and Louise Oliver, Learning and Development Advisor, have created a red, amber, and green “traffic light” signposting system. Red-labelled eLearning courses are mandatory and need to be completed as a priority. Anything flagged as amber is desirable, while courses marked green are optional. Together with learning pathways, this has helped create clear, engaging learning journeys for time-strapped colleagues. They've also created and embedded new digital content onto the platform, tailored to fulfil learners' needs.
Rising Star of L&D - Michael Dickinson, Yorkshire Cancer Research
Michael Dickinson is the Retail Development Manager at Yorkshire Cancer Research, with more than a decade of retail experience. He was keen to provide courses and resources for retail volunteers, but was completely new to L&D, so he rolled up his sleeves and customised the LMS provided by the Consortium. To achieve this, he used a wide range of features and functionality to create a fantastic looking platform. He's also built several induction courses for volunteers. With his can-do attitude, he's definitely a rising star in charity learning!
L&D Team of the Year - Shelter
The learning and organisational development (L&OD) team at Shelter are the ultimate professionals. Using collective knowledge gained over many years, members of the team are always looking to evolve their L&D offering using a “test and learn” approach. By curating and creating resources and learning journeys, they've recently launched a digital-led leadership programme on a tight budget, as well as a remote-working toolkit to support staff. The team prioritise great user experiences alongside organisational impact and use coaching-style questions to empower their people.
Members of the L&OD team at Shelter have also contributed widely to the charity learning community, sharing their expertise through presentations, interviews, and case studies that have appeared in multiple formats, including a range of reports and little books. The Charity Learning Consortium is honoured to have worked with them as members for the last 14 years.
The learning and organisational development team at Shelter
- Beth Carter, L&OD Assistant
- Sergio Fernandez, L&OD Officer
- Katharine Henderson-Nice, Head of OD&L
- Anna Lister, L&OD Business Partner
- Emma Maxwell - L&OD Assistant
- Kris Medlang, L&OD Business Partner
- Jane Meggison-Hill, L&OD Business Partner
- Karen Sutor, L&OD Business Partner
- Haruka Tsumori, L&OD Projects Officer
L&D Professional of the Year - Stacie Lloyd, Royal Voluntary Service
Stacie Lloyd, Learning & Development Manager, has worked for Royal Voluntary Service since 2004. The organisation was also one of the first members of the Charity Learning Consortium, joining a pilot group in 2005. Always professional, Stacie has adopted a “fail fast and move on” agile approach to L&D. She's great at listening to feedback, whether it's from the CEO, business partners, or from running trials, surveys, or focus groups. This reveals “little nuggets” she says, that change the way that learning is delivered.
Listening to key stakeholders and responding and adapting to needs was critical during the Covid pandemic, when Royal Voluntary Service rapidly recruited 750,000 NHS Volunteer Responders.
A committed member of the Consortium community, Stacie is always willing to share her knowledge with others. She has been interviewed for the charity spotlight for Learning Now TV, presented at Consortium events and has contributed to a range of little books.
Outstanding Dedication - The Action Group
Louise Brunton, L&D Manager, and Gareth Timms, L&D Officer, as well as the rest of the Action Group's L&D team, have shown outstanding dedication to both staff and people supported by the charity. With a background in health and social care, they've stepped in to provide practical care work to cover for colleagues when they've been ill with Covid. This is on top of their day job in L&D. They've faced these dual pressures with an extraordinary level of passion and commitment, drawing on their combined wisdom built through long service. Always proactive, they've curated and created resources and learning pathways - alongside their care work - to provide quality L&D.
Online Learning Superstar - St John Ambulance
These statistics from St John Ambulance speak for themselves:
- 4,000 volunteers were trained in 2020 in a new Covid Care course that was created in just nine days. Trained volunteers have since provided more than 380,000 hours of patient care
- Ambulance crews, trained using eLearning as part of a blend, have responded to thousands of 999 calls and have spent hundreds of hours transporting patients
- Around 30,000 vaccination volunteers have been recruited and trained, giving more than a million hours at vaccination centres around the country
- St John Ambulance people have contributed more than 1.6 million hours to frontline health services since spring 2020
These outstanding achievements definitely deserve recognition.
Martin Baker, founder and CEO of the Charity Learning Consortium commented: "I've always been impressed by the efforts of our members, often on shoestring budgets, but I've never been more proud of what they've achieved in the last few years. These awards recognise the outstanding dedication, commitment, and results of just a few L&D practitioners, but there are plenty more unsung heroes working in the sector, all trying to make lives better for the staff, volunteers and people they serve. Congratulations to everyone who has won an award, but all of our members deserve recognition - what they achieve really is extraordinary."