Best Charities to Work For: Six to Ten

Free food and flexible hours are among the incentives on offer to staff at these charities

MS-UK: healthy alternatives
MS-UK: healthy alternatives

6. MS-UK

Colchester, Essex | Employees 21

MS-UK is a small charity where small things make a difference. Staff at the multiple sclerosis support charity point to paid time off for medical appointments, the weekly fruit bowl and a great bicycle scheme as ways to make healthier choices easier. If needed, the charity’s telephone goes straight to voicemail over lunchtime once a month so all staff can join the walking club. There is also the nice touch of reimbursing up to £10 for pot plants on employees' desks.

7. Royal Holloway Students' Union

Egham, Surrey | Employees 56

Staff at the Royal Holloway Students' Union who do something aligned with the charity’s core values could find themselves awarded a free lunch on the spot. Then there are half-days on Fridays during July and August, birthdays off work and first-day-of-school leave for parents. Wellbeing walks during working hours and staff netball, rounders and other sports focus on socialising and health. The senior team will also issue financial bonuses for exceptional performance. And then there are the events tickets for high-profile concerts.


London | Employees 62

An unusual form of flexibility helps to keep staff happy at the type one diabetes research charity JDRF. “I'm not limited by my job title,” says one staff member. “I can work on different projects regardless.”

That flexibility goes with a very open staff culture, with staff ideas championed and encouraged to grow into something more. People have set up and run book clubs, a fantasy football league and a British Bake Off-style challenge, as well as more unusual choices such as a running club and competitive sunflower growing.

Staff who’ve left often apply to come back.

9. Back Up

London | Employees 34

Working for the spinal cord injury charity Back Up means never being far from its cause. Most trustees, half the staff and nearly all the volunteers are affected by spinal cord injury. Being peer-led helps to drive away any silo mentality, with everyone in it together, socialising and hot-desking. The core values include fun, say staff. They also take wellbeing seriously, with a daily trips to the local park, monthly lunch swaps, a book club and regular team outings to the pub quiz and comedy nights.

10. Shakespeare Schools Foundation

London | Employees 31

Staff at the cultural education charity the Shakespeare Schools Foundation say the team is one of the best things about working there. Ways of having fun and reducing stress include events organised by the social committee, a weekly staff tombola and a daily team huddle. A mentor scheme helps to promote personal and professional development, and there are training sessions from the artistic associates. There are lunchtime yoga and exercise classes too. Half-days on alternate Fridays during late July and August allow the team to soak up London's culture.

Read about the top five


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