The Capgemini Community Challenge at Birmingham Business School

Capgemini and Birmingham Business School have a very special relationship. Together we have designed a unique consultancy training programme specifically for first and second year University of Birmingham undergraduates. The programme runs one week a year with 25 students, chosen via application, split into 5 groups of 5. This year 21 of the chosen students were from the Business School.

comm_challenge_003Students spend a week based at Capgemini’s offices where they work in consultancy teams to provide tangible and potentially game-changing solutions for their third sector client. Few opportunities for students are so real, demanding and ultimately rewarding.

The students work from Capgemini offices, conduct site-visits to their clients, and present back from the renowned Capgemini Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE), a state-of-the-art facility which enables the students to interact with their clients in a highly innovative and unique fashion.

comm_challenge_002The programme has just completed its third year, with seventy five students now having gone through the programme and fifteen charities helped. Each year the feedback from the charities, Capgemini and the students has been outstanding. Capgemini actively works with the University to keep in touch with all the students who come through on the challenge, arranging socials with them, assisting them in their professional development and offering them further placement opportunities, some of which have already resulted in full time employment.

Furthermore, the students and the charities often remain in touch of their own accord and this has led to ongoing initiatives between them including internships and fundraising activity.

Capgemini Vice President Billie Major says:

We get so much energy from the students during the week and it’s moving to see just how much they gain from the experience and achieve for their charity. It’s great to collaborate with the University of Birmingham in this way and we certainly intend to continue running it”.

This year the charity clients were as follows:

Blists Hill and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
Brief – to bring the visitor experience at Blists Hill into the 21st century and make the solution expandable to all Ironbridge Gorge museums and attractions.

Delivery – the Team looked at the whole visitor experience, from pre-visit research, through to visiting and experiencing the museum. They created a 28 page strategy, which included proposals ranging from using Google Street View of the attraction on the website, e-tickets and hospitality packages, through to the building of a whole new attraction for the central hub. The proposals are to be put forward to the Board of Trustees for action.

Shrewsbury & Telford Women’s and Children’s Services
Brief – to create a recognisable brand for Women’s and Children’s Services

Delivery – the team fulfilled their brief by creating a new logo for the Women's and Children's Services encompassing what they stand for and the riverside theme which will run throughout the department. They also created a new slogan, a mascot, prototype webpage, downloadable fundraising packs, a social media platform and have arranged with Telford Hornets RFC to host events.

Christmas Smile
Brief – to move Christmas Smile from pilot status to a fully inclusive annual charity project providing seasonal food and gifts to all vulnerable Telford residents.

Delivery – the team developed the idea of a 'gift giving tree', which will be stationed within local primary schools and Capgemini offices in Telford, where people can leave a present for a vulnerable child. Those places with a tree will be sent a 'gift giving pack' with full details of how to give. They have secured sustainable free storage and transport of the gifts from a local company. They also pulled together a full project package for Christmas Smile, including timeline, a risk register, transformational map and plans to expand the project for the upcoming year.

Brief – to develop a new way of working, one that puts the emphasis on efficiency and time saving and allows the promotion of our support service rather than focusing on administrative tasks.

Delivery – the team developed a new logo and strapline which has already been adopted by Maninplace and gone to print. They have managed to develop a strong social media presence for the charity, as well as fundraising plans and a #SleepOut twitter campaign. They also developed and demonstrated a new user-friendly database and have spoken with external firms about getting that set up free of charge.

Kewford Eagles
Brief – to create a clear, maintainable and sustainable pathway allowing young people with disability to make contact with, and come and play for, Kewford Eagles FC.

Delivery – the team created a social media plan and user guide for the charity, a new website proposal and prototype, new publicity material and a press release which they successfully propelled into the media. They really focused in on the need to identify participants who would benefit and enjoy playing with the Eagles, and created a fully functional database to build on which contained full contact details for the 11 schools they had already made connections with. They also secured a relationship with MENCAP's Me2 award, and agreed for the Eagles to have a regular feature in their newsletter.

Find out more

For further information, contact: Andrew Miles;

View tweets from the 2014 Capgemini Community Challenge: #UOBCC2014

View a newscast of the first Community Challenge event.