What is Charity Next?

Charity Next, established by The Prince's Charities over 10 years ago, is an initiative to improve understanding between the sectors through secondments. The scheme, managed by The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) since 2010, gives organisations in the not-for-profit sector the opportunity to benefit from hosting and nurturing emerging talent through short-term, project-based secondments. Secondees have the opportunity to contribute their skills and enthusiasm to these key posts, and to experience life in another sector, in turn facilitating an exchange of expertise, building greater mutual understanding and encouraging closer working. Since its inception, Charity Next has facilitated 469 secondments and benefited 182 not-for-profit organisations.

Aleema Shivji, CEO of Humanity and Inclusion shares her experience of being a Charity Next host:


Are you a Civil Service fast streamer or potential secondee interested in finding out more about the scheme?

  • How does the Charity Next scheme work?

    The Charity Next team at WIG:

    • Seeks and partners with a wide range of UK based not-for-profit organisations, supporting a broad mix of causes with varying sizes and structures, aiming to be a truly representative sample of the breadth and diversity within the sector.
    • Supports organisations to put together viable six-month projects with tangible deliverables that meet their business needs, offering exposure to specific skills such as commercial, digital, project delivery, finance and communications.
    • Shortlists applications. This currently takes place twice a year corresponding with two cohorts of secondees in spring and autumn.
    • Matches host applications with secondees' individual development needs.
    • Facilitates an introductory meeting between the host and secondee. 
    • Supports hosts and secondees for the duration of their secondment, acting as a trusting sounding board and source of advice. 
    • Evaluates the quality of the secondment and measures its impact, on individuals and organisations. 
    • Charges a brokerage fee to hosts once they are matched to a successful placement. (Secondees remain officially employed by their home organisation throughout the duration of their secondment.)
  • Benefits of hosting
    • Benefit from the skills and ability of a talented future leader.
    • Hear from a valuable external view point that will undoubtedly bring a fresh and useful perspective into your organisation. 
    • Add a substantial and practical contribution to your organisation’s strategic and operational goals.
    • To date:
      • Over 90% of participating organisations have said that a key project or service could not have been delivered without a Charity Next resource, leaving a lasting impact on host organisations and their beneficiaries
      • 100% of hosts would apply again to the scheme.


    Learn more about the benefits of the scheme from Charity Next Director Lydia Garrett

  • Generalist v Specialist

    The Charity Next Scheme currently works with a number of Civil Service Fast Streams such as: 

    Please click the above links for some further reading on the streams, or email the Charity Next team for more information.


Meet the Charity Next team:

  • Lydia Garrett

    Head of Membership

    Lydia is Head of Membership. She builds and maintains relationships across WIG's member organisations to maximise engagement and the benefit they get from their corporate membership. She is also responsible for ensuring the membership itself is balanced and reflective of the UK economy comprising representation from all key sectors.  Prior to this, Lydia was in WIG’s Talent team where she was the Director of the Charity Next programme, facilitating secondments for future leaders of the public sector into the not-for-profit sector. She also organised placements for senior leaders and brokered cross-sector mentoring partnerships. Before WIG, Lydia was Project Manager at a think tank also with a mission to improve collaboration between the sectors, where she focused on tackling UK financial reform and climate change. Lydia achieved a 1st-Class degree in Arabic and French and uses her language skills outside of WIG to support a range of organisations in the UK and abroad, working to improve the lives of refugees. She is also a Fellow of the Charityworks Not-For-Profit Leadership Development Programme, through which she currently mentors trainees.

  • Edwin Oliver-Watts

    Senior Charity Next & Talent Executive

    Edwin works on the Talent team, including helping to co-ordinate Charity Next, a programme facilitating secondments for future leaders of the public sector into the voluntary sector. Edwin graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in History and Politics.


Get in touch

If you would like to find out more, speak to Charity Next team. Call us on 020 7222 1166 or email using the link below

For our first experience of a Charity Next secondee we weren't sure what to expect, but we couldn't have been happier. He adapted quickly to our workplace and produced high quality work which has been really well received by our Senior Leadership Team and Board. Jo Royden-Turner, Beanstalk