Requester and member FAQs Requester and member FAQs

How do I get help?

How does it work?

Once we receive the request we will review your requirements and ensure we get the member(s) with the right skills and experience involved. In some cases we may arrange a meeting between you and one of our senior members - to find out more about your requirement and ensure we get the right members working with you.

Once our members have come forward to provide help, we will make the introductions and leave you to make contact for the first meeting.

After establishing contact and your initial meeting, we would typically envisage the mentoring period to be around 6 – 8 hrs worth of meetings spread over several weeks or even up to 6 months. Of course each request is different, and the longevity of the mentoring relationship may vary. Any requester/mentor arrangement that goes beyond what we would normally expect would be entirely at the discretion of the two parties involved.

We will request feedback from clients that we have been able to help. We use this to improve the service that we offer, and in some cases, once agreed with the client, we may use it for publicity and marketing material.

How much does it cost?

It costs nothing. Norfolk Knowledge members provide their service for free.

Should the period of mentoring go beyond what we would normally expect (6 – 8 hours), or by agreement the mentor takes an ongoing interest in the requester's organisation, then that will be by arrangement between the mentor and the requester.

What we do ask however, is for requesters to provide feedback on how Norfolk Knowledge has helped. Occasionally we may ask if we can use this feedback for publicity or marketing.

Who can become a member?

Our members are mainly senior business professionals, or people who have or still are running their own business. Members have some time to spare that they would like to use to help small to medium businesses or third sector organisations around the county overcome their key challenges.

You may even be retired or semi-retired and wish to use some of your time to both help others and stay involved in the world of business.

If you are unsure, why not call us on 01603 592263 for a chat. If you like we could even arrange for you to have a chat with an existing member who would be able to answer your questions and explain Norfolk Knowledge in more detail.

How does it work?

Requests come in to the admin team to and sometimes if needed we ask a more experienced Norfolk Knowledge member to make contact with the requester, so we can better understand their needs before we post the request on to the membership.

Once a member agrees to help, the admin team make the introductions and the member will then meet the requester to begin the engagement. Typically the process will be completed within 6 -8 hours of mentoring, but sometimes it can take longer, and we leave the member to manage that.

We do encourage our members to be active, and to get involved in requests that may be outside of their immediate technical expertise where they have other skills that can assist.

We encourage member feedback, as well as requester feedback.

One of our strengths is that we work as a team, so that any member can always request additional help or talk to other members about aspects of the request where a wider involvement could help.

How do I become a member?

By completing the application form here: Member Form

Once the form has been processed, somebody from the admin team will get back to you.

We will also ask you to complete a member profile so that we get to know a bit about you, how involved you want to be and what you hope to get out of Norfolk Knowledge.

What commitment do I have to make?

The commitment really comes down to how much time you wish to offer. We operate across the county, and you may be prepared to travel, or, you may wish to be only involved in requests for your part of Norfolk. That really is driven by you, the member. We do ask however that members are active.

You may also wish to become involved in helping to run Norfolk Knowledge, that would be great and is something that we encourage. We are after all a voluntary organisation so the more help we get the better we will be.

Not all requests will be for your field of expertise so you may feel unable to assist. However, we have all developed other skills during our careers, and very often whilst you may not be expert in the area of the request, you will often find that you have skills and knowledge that can be used to good effect.

What are the benefits?

Apart from being able to use your skills and experience to help businesses and other organisations throughout Norfolk overcome their challenges, thereby contributing to the county's economic growth, the following benefits also exist for Norfolk Knowledge members.

  • We run members get-together events, both centrally in Norwich and more localised events throughout Norfolk.
  • Members have an opportunity to join training and development workshops organised by the university
  • We have a close relationship with the Norwich Business School which gives members access to some of the guest lectures and the opportunity of being involved in some university projects such as the Graduate Trainee Managmennt Scheme (GTMS).