Feature

What it's really like inside VSO

We asked the marketing team at VSO what it's like to work there

VSO's headquarters
VSO's headquarters

Describe the marketing team in three words.
Committed, hardworking, good-humoured.

How do you come up with new marketing ideas?
By talking to those who volunteer with us, to find out what inspired them. Like all charities, we have a bit of an obsession with flipcharts, Post-its and coloured pens.

What is the main marketing challenge you face?
Making sure our resources go as far as they can and pers-uading professionals and their employers that investing their time in development work can bring unique skills and insights to the UK workforce.

What are the perks of the job?
Inspiring people to share their skills to tackle global issues.

Is there a dress code?
Jeans around the office, smart work clothes for the public.

Does the team socialise outside office hours?
We have been known to enjoy a post-work wine in Putney. If we're being a little more cultured, we might make the occasional trip to the theatre. 

What are the hours like?
Nine to five or flexi-time, with evenings and weekends at events as needed.

What is the company like for training and progression?
There is good commitment to training, and this year we appointed of a head of learning and development.

What about the salary and benefits package?
Let's just say you don't work for a charity because of the financial bonuses.

Are there any downsides?
There is pressure to achieve results while becoming ever-more resource-conscious.

What is interesting about the inside of your office?
There's lots of photography of our work in countries from Cambodia to Malawi. We also have small gifts and reminders of our international work, plus interesting snacks from our colleagues' international visits.


Company facts

  • VSO's headquarters is at 31 Putney Bridge Road, London SW15 2PN.
  • The charity has 200 UK employees, of whom five are marketers.
  • Notable corporate partners include AstraZeneca, Accenture and Cadbury.
  • VSO's annual turnover is about £43m. Its annual UK marketing spend is about £430,000.
  • VSO works in 44 countries and celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Former volunteers include Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow.
  • Marg Mayne is the chief executive; Shelley Reynolds is VSO's top marketer.