Candle experts: Ben Serbutt @ Fat Beehive

December 14, 2020

We’ve been catching up with some of the tech experts from Candle, to get a glimpse into their thinking and the experience of doing a Candle call. Ben is Head of Creative from ethical web design agency Fat Beehive

Why did you get involved with Digital Candle?

We are offered two days of volunteering per year at Fat Beehive as part of our benefits package. This seemed like a good way to share my digital experience, especially with those smaller charities that are at the early stages of their digital journey or might have a range of questions that need strategic answers.

I’ve also previously worked in volunteer recruitment and retention for the Olympic legacy project, so I’m aware of how good volunteering is for your wellbeing. 

How long did your call last: was it an hour, or longer / shorter?

All of the calls were at least an hour, one longer, but I’m generally happy to chat for as long as they need!

Did the charities ask any questions that you found difficult to answer?

There was a real range of digital knowledge and experience, which I’ve found fascinating so far. Some questions were creative, others technical but many were around strategy and organisational change, services being offered or marketing and communications strategy – things digital projects often inadvertently raise. 

For the questions that bordered my areas of expertise, I just said ask someone new on a different Digital Candle call or introduced them to another expert in my contacts.  

What did you find rewarding about doing a Candle call? Did you learn / take away anything useful from the experience?

I’ve found it very rewarding and am looking forward to doing more calls in 2021. It’s a lovely way to spread knowledge, share experiences and offer best-practice advice. It helps me consider the advantages and limitations of digital and where pixels might not actually be the solution to the challenges raised.

What would you improve about Candle?

It depends on the ambition for the project, as managing and recruiting volunteers is a skill in itself. Perhaps Candle could introduce a co-ordinated programme rewarding volunteers to ensure retention? 

It’s good to hear you’re already looking at ways to reach even more charities, as so many are undergoing a fast-tracked digital transformation, given the year we’ve just had.

But overall communication is handled extremely well, with the level being just right for someone like me to help out when I can.