UK Online Centres / Online Centres Foundation Annual Review
April 2011 - March 2012

Online Centres Foundation UK Online Centres

Online Centres Foundation

In December 2011, Online Centres Foundation took over the running of UK online centres following a competitive tender by the Skills Funding Agency.

Online Centres Foundation is a not-for-profit social enterprise formed by the team that had previously managed the UK online centres network under Ufi Ltd.

As a staff-owned mutual, four members of staff sit on the Online Centres Foundation board; Helen Milner, our Chief Executive, alongside three team members elected by the rest of the staff body.

Being part of the Online Centres Foundation board is a great honour, and even more so because I have been voted in by my colleagues. I'm really looking forward to shaping the future of the organisation, and ensuring its long term success

Pete Carr - Network Manager

I'm really proud to have been elected to the Online Centres Foundation board, and I look forward to representing the views of the staff. I'm looking forward to the challenges it will bring, and to help move the organisation forward.

Gail Hawxwell - Network Co-ordinator

Being a staff elected board member is really important - it gives me a voice, helps me to understand the business better and lets me have a great say in making Online Centres Foundation a success now and in the future.

Vic Stirling - Network Co-ordinator

Our board

Being a mutual - a word from Helen Milner

"Establishing Online Centres Foundation as an independent organisation has been something that we’ve talked about as a team for a long time - it had even become something of an in-joke - and so the very fact we’re now operating as our own, completely independent organisation is such a huge achievement. The competitive tender process was arduous, and we had a few stressful moments, but I knew we had the team, the understanding and the vision to take the organisation forward, and to help people and communities improve their lives through technology.

Online Centres Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, so our staff don’t actually make money from having a share in the business, and any surplus we make is reinvested in our social aims, but the fact that employees are encouraged to have their say and are valued means they reap genuine benefits from working here.

Only a few months down the line the benefits of being a mutual are clear - staff have a far greater role in decision-making which means they’re more invested in the organisation. And most importantly, we have an even greater commitment and sense of urgency to provide the service to learners, centres and communities that we know they really need. That’s why we bothered to become a mutual and to put ourselves through the hard work in the first place, so despite all the stress and late nights, I for one wouldn’t change a thing"