Queen Mary apprentices use time on furlough to organise charity auction

A number of apprentices at Queen Mary University - including Ilford resident Adarsh Ramchurn - recen

A number of apprentices at Queen Mary University - including Ilford resident Adarsh Ramchurn - recently organised a charity auction which has raised around £1600. Picture: Adarsh Ramchum - Credit: Archant

A number of apprentices at Queen Mary University recently organised a charity auction which raised around £1600.

The group of 13 — part of the UK’s first apprenticeship which aims to create a generation of charity leaders — organised the auction after finding themselves with a lot of free time.

Apprentice Adarsh Ramchurn explains: “It was initially the idea of the apprenticeship team as so many of us were on furlough and they didn’t want us to do nothing.

“We have certain standards to meet to pass the apprenticeship, and this presented a good chance to make sure we do that. It’s the first time any of us have done anything like this.”

With each person employed by a designated charity for the duration of their studies, it was vital that the time on furlough was spent productively.

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The auction — which included prizes such as The Life Trilogy by David Attenborough, signed Anthony Joshua gloves and a ten-minute Zoom call with explorer Ed Stafford — was a huge success, with prizes now en-route to the highest bidders.

Initially the idea was to divide the proceeds between the respective charities of all 13 apprentices, alongside three smaller organisations.

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Adsarsh says that this may change to solely focus on the smaller charities whose situations may be more financially precarious.

Sarah Bryan, a development manager at the university’s school of business and management, discusses how staff dealt with the “dilemma” of students being furloughed and potentially having an enforced break in their apprenticeship:

“We came up with the idea of the charity auction to enable the continuation of work-based learning, as well as giving back to the charity sector who have been so badly impacted by Covid-19.”

While Adarsh works with the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), his fellow apprentices are spread across an array of organisations including The Alzheimer’s Society, the Scouts and the National Charity of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Arvinda Lalli — paired with the Scouts — feels this experience allowed the group to put theory into practice: “We were successfully able to integrate what we’ve learned into this altruistic project that will help support a number of charities.”

Elliot Berke from the The Alzheimer’s Society adds: “The auction was a great way for apprentices that were on furlough to work on their management skillset.”

To learn more about the BSc Business Management (Social Change) apprenticeship, visit this link.

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