What Do Other Volunteers Say?


“We have had the opportunity to broaden our own professional skills across a complex and fascinating set of issues. We would encourage other economists, who are looking to put their skills to practical use outside their normal work and to challenge their ways of thinking, to get involved with PBE.” Patrick Curry and Ben Gill, HM Treasury, worked with St Basils
“The work (on the project) is a great example of how economists, through PBE, can draw on their skills and make a positive contribution to the work of charities.” Lord O’Donnell, worked with St Basils
“First and foremost the work is rewarding, and allows economists to provide a specialised high value-added skill to charities.  It is good to know that the market value of your service is probably quite a bit higher than other forms of volunteering. It also provides a chance to work on topics outside your field of specialisation, particularly those focussed on Macroeconomics. " Mervyn Tang, Bank of England, worked with Barnardos
"One of the first concepts you learn as an economist is diminishing returns: the first bit of something is usually the most useful.  This is no less true for economists themselves, who can be hugely productive in organisations where there aren't many of them around.  My work at Barnardo's was not only valuable for the organisation, and the vulnerable children it works to protect, but also for me and my professional and personal development.  Working in an unfamiliar area, in an interdisciplinary team, I learned a lot that will help me elsewhere in life. " Greg Thwaites, Bank of England, worked with Barnardo’s
“The project was a lot of fun and provided variety. We delivered tangible work that is very different from our day jobs. It also meant junior staff could take responsibility for client management which would not be possible in the type of work we do every day.” Pratik Dattani, FTI Consulting, worked with Tomorrow’s People
“Because data were difficult to get hold of we had to be imaginative and use techniques that we might not typically use. That has given us confidence in using these techniques, which we have put to good use in other pieces of work.” Deborah Kelly, Europe Economics, worked with NCB
“It was nice to work in a different sector, and useful to get a sense of the limitations in budgets and resources. I was keen to get involved and it was a great first opportunity. At the Bank of England we have a public policy role, and this is a way to see, directly, impacts from public policy.” Chris Peacock, Bank of England, worked with Toynbee Hall
“My main involvement with PBE has been as the line manager of National Audit Office (NAO) economists who have volunteered with PBE. This arrangement worked very well from my perspective. PBE have been professional, pragmatic and keen to ensure that input from NAO economists has been badged appropriately. For NAO economists, working with PBE has provided the opportunity to work on projects closer to the “front line” than much of their day jobs; to have a high degree of individual responsibility for an analytical project; and to develop technical and communication skills in a different context. The NAO benefits from being able to offer its economists a wider set of experiences, and having another way of addressing its CSR agenda.” Michael Kell, National Audit Office, worked with the Social Research Unit
"The literature search on UK NGOs and aid-effectiveness provided me with new insights into NGOs and the application of development economics at the micro-level. I look forward to working with PBE in future on the project and others and recommend their services to other economists." Jennifer Sharpley worked with Retrak