Time to Shine is an internship programme established by The Rank Foundation and is currently in its sixth year of operation. It has evolved in alignment with The Rank Foundation’s mission as it sits firmly within the Foundation’s ‘investing in people and organisations’ principle.
To date 95 charities have benefited from a Time to Shine internship – typically UK youth and community care organisations. It was set up following discussions in 2008 about the impact of the impending recession on charities that The Rank Foundation supports and on young people setting out on their chosen career path. Following an extensive pilot project, based on a volunteering scheme, the Time to Shine Internship Programme was created in 2011.
year of operation
Interns so far
What's The Point?
Its purpose is twofold: to address organisational development gaps within the charity, and to enable a person with the right skills mix, talent and work ethic to experience a 12 month Living Wage paid position in a meaningful work role.
The programme aims to bring about sustainable improvements to the charity’s performance, boost employment prospects and build interest in career opportunities in the social sector.
How does it work?
Each year charities are invited to apply, outlining a priority organisational development gap and what difference an intern would make in addressing this need. Charities are shortlisted and then the charity identifies an individual with the skills and talent to carry out the internship. An interview that includes Rank, the line manager and the intern takes place in order to ensure that the organisation is clear about the role of the intern and that support structures are in place.
At the start of the programme the line manager and intern are both invited to a launch conference. This is an important activity as it provides the opportunity to share information on Time to Shine, and offers a chance for interns and line managers to meet and create new support networks.
Each internship is designed specifically around the needs of the charity. The internship does not replace a core function but often offers the opportunity to test new areas of work that may lead to a permanent post or new system (not funded by Rank).
What Does The Intern Do?
This year there are 38 interns in 38 different organisations within the Rank network. The charities and social enterprises address many significant and deep-seated problems in society such as bullying among young people, knife crime, food poverty, loneliness among older people and rural isolation. These organisations face different challenges externally but share similar organisational needs internally such as marketing, PR, fundraising, research, social media and I.T. systems. The Time to Shine interns are specifically recruited on merit of their skills set and work ethic, to address these business needs and, over the 12 month period, to improve the host charities capacity to deliver services in the longer term.
Six months into their work the interns describe how they feel about the experience; ‘challenging, creative, beneficial, varied, a learning curve, stretched but in a positive way’. These are not easy tasks and taking on such roles in the social sector is definitely not the easy option but the rewards in terms of feedback from managers and peers and opportunities to develop professionally are plentiful. ‘Being told that I have captured the voice of the charity’ and to be ‘Inspired to dream big for the future’ help the interns to build their confidence not only about their skill set but also about who they are and how they can make a lasting and significant impression on the success of the host charity for years to come.