“They’re all people, right?”, by Helen Timbrell

Charitable organisations play an increasingly significant role in society today and the success of many charities is often down to the combined efforts of paid staff and volunteers. Effective management and leadership of these communities is at the core of organisational success but what does ‘effective management and leadership’ look like? And is it the same for staff and for volunteers?

In this lecture, drawing on research commissioned by the National Trust, Helen Timbrell will argue that there are clear distinctions between the successful support and engagement of people gifting their time and those being paid to do so, and that increased recognition of this can lead to greater success in organisations.

Helen will argue that adopting an approach of ‘one size fits all’ may be well intentioned but can be ill thought through. Greater understanding and willingness to work with the delicious complexity of combined staff and volunteer teams is a significant opportunity, yet one few organisations have yet to fully seize.

Part of the Dean's Lecture Series

The Dean’s Lecture Series features invited speakers who are regarded as leaders in the areas of management, economics, finance and business. Hosted by the Dean, Professor Zoe Radnor (School of Business, University of Leicester), the lectures take place three times each year and are open to students, staff, alumni and the public. The theme of each lecture is chosen for its topicality and relevance to the understanding of contemporary economics and management, with each speaker being an influential leader in their field. Each lecture features an expert respondent from the academic team, an opportunity for questions from the audience and further discussion at the post-lecture reception.


Helen Timbrell

Helen Timbrell is Executive Director of People and Organisational Development at Samaritans, the charity working to reduce deaths by suicide.  The charity involves over 20,000 volunteers and prides itself on being volunteer led.

Prior to joining Samaritans in November 2017 Helen spent eleven years working at the National Trust, five of these as Director of Volunteering and Participation. As a volunteer Helen has previously been a Director of the Association of Volunteer Managers, a Trustee of Girlguiding UK and a dog walker at the local animal rescue centre. Helen’s PhD research explored geographical variations in volunteering and was sponsored by Volunteer Development Scotland.  Helen has an MBA from Bath University and is a chartered member of the CIPD.

Bookings open now