15 December 2014 14:32

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) has taken up residence at Lancaster University to help forge links between academia and the ‘third sector’.

Lisa Atkinson, from the charity Safe Child Africa, is the first ‘NGO in Residence’ to be based in Lancaster University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The role of the NGO in residence is to help to create more partnerships between academics at the university and charity and voluntary organisations. The role will also highlight routes into careers in the sector for students and graduates.

Miss Atkinson, who has a BA and MA in Religious Studies from Lancaster, and who has worked in the sector for more than three years, said: “A key role for me as NGO in Residence is to increase knowledge of the sector – both with academics and students.

“There are so many students with the passion for the third sector, but they do not necessarily have the knowledge of how to go about starting a career with these kinds of organisations.

“Likewise, there are a lot of academics who are already engaged in research areas that could be of great benefit to NGOs – this role will provide an additional route to contacts in the sector.”

Miss Atkinson will be NGO in Residence at the university for a year and then a representative from another NGO will continue the role for another 12 months. The position is an initiative of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science’s Enterprise Centre.

Joe Buglass, Enterprise Officer at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, said: “The NGO In Residence scheme has already been a big success and we’re extremely happy to have Lisa in post. The scheme is a great demonstration of the innovation that has become a hallmark of the Enterprise Centre.”

More information on the NGO in residence is available by visiting http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/enterprise-centre/external-organisations/ngoinresidence.htm

Safe Child Africa is a child rights charity that was established by Lancaster graduate Gary Foxcroft. More information about Safe Child Africa, which has recently changed its name from Stepping Stones Nigeria, can be found at www.safechildafrica.org