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Specialist Areas

  • Volunteering
  • Team Development
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Project Planning
  • Creative Thinking
  • Problem Solving

Companies trained for

  • PWC
  • HBOS
  • John Lewis Group
  • National Australia Group
  • Scottish Entreprise
  • The Melting Pot
  • GalGael Trust
  • Cyrenians
  • Unity Entreprise
  • Business Community Connections
  • Fayre & Square
  • Surplus Educational Supplies
  • Gillian Forster Market Garden
  • The Glasgow Wood Recycling Project
  • Craigowl Communities
  • Forth Sector
  • Recycle Fife
  • MoBUS

The Training Tree & Evolve


The Training Tree in association with Scottish Business in the community (SBC) and Firstport have created a unique skills transfer day between businesses and third sector organisations dealing with social issues.

Firstport is the key support sevice for the development of social entreprises and SBC is responsible for encouraging scottish businesses to engage in integrated and sustainable CSR systems, strategies and activities. Evolve was created originally as a volunteering day for senior directors of HBOS who wanted to apply their skills in a meaningful way.

Since then this transformational day has been used both as a team day out to volunteer and as integrated part of team development programmes, especially useful for teams looking at strategy, project planning, creative thinking and problem solving across leadership, management and departmental teams.




This is a facilitated workshop that enables knowledge transfer between the private and third sector while providing significant learning and development opportunities for both participating teams. A business and a third sector organisation are invited for a day to creatively scope out a strategy and action plan for the third sector organisation in an area of challenge or opportunity for them.


Businesses: have the opportunity to develop their skills and broaden their commercial awareness whilst gathering and understanding of the bigger picture and the community in which the business operates.

This is powerful as a team day or as an additional element to learning and development in the process of

  • leadership
  • creative thinking
  • project development
  • problem solving
  • team development
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Influencing without hierarchy
  • Working toward a common goal

Third Sector Organisation: Have the opportunity to build business support for their organisations and establish beneficial relationships with the private sector. They benefit from:

  • Confidence in themselves and their business
  • High valued consultancy and experience from the private sector
  • An opportunity to see what they do from different perspectives
  • Time saving strategies and ongoing support
  • Confidence in financial planning and application

Format and Duration

One or half day, workshop normally on the site of the third sector organisation if possible.

Teams are introduced to their third sector organisation and have the opportunity to learn about them through presentation and Q&A session

With the aid of the facilitator the teams select the key challenges they wish to work on and then are taken through a walt disney style of creative thinking, strategic and action planning.


Call us at 08455213747 or click here to fill the form.

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"What expertise can I offer, I am not Alan Sugar?  "
"How can I help anyone to develop a business idea?"
"Why me? "

"These are some of the initial statements from colleagues when my work team decided to do undertake a volunteer project with a difference. Instead of  the usual corporate volunteering "brawn power" we were required to use "brain power".

The  Evolve event involved meeting and working with a group of Social Entrepreneurs and helping them develop a business plan.  We were expertly chauffeured through the process by business strategy consultant Mel Harris from The Training Tree.
The experience provided us with the opportunity to meet creative, talented, determined, self sacrificing and unique individuals. We were given fantastic insight into projects that are helping the vulnerable in our society and provide valuable public service to local communities.  The enthusiasm and energy generated on the day highlighted inherent skills and techniques within each of us and our fellow work colleagues that we had not necessarily seen before.
My team members and I realised that we did have the expertise to help these social entrepreneurs , we simply hadn't all realised it beforehand.  The event really challenged us to think differently about what transferable skills we already had, and by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones I felt that my team really learned something about themselves.  For most it felt like a challenging, but immensely enjoyable, day and only upon reflection after the event did they realise and value the learning they had experienced.  For others, it was more like in-the-moment realisation that something important was happening right here, right now."

Jeremy J Lewis, Head of Management Information, HR Shared Services, Lloyds Banking Group

"My business idea is to build gardens as a source of community focus and inspiration, which will be open to all (particularly high-rise) residents, as a meeting space, relaxation area, marketplace and source of pleasure and healing. Profits from the sale of produce, will be channelled back into the community both directly (via participant spending in local shops) and indirectly (via plot rental and donations). I was a bit intimidated initially due to my lack of financial understanding but Evolve program assisted me in planning and improving my business in collaboration with the HBOS graduates. It increased my confidence and helped me:

  • Save time in forming an action plan.
  • Save consultancy costs that I would otherwise have spent on training / professional development.
  • Benefit from networking - one of the HBOS graduates went over business plan for Award Application afterwards and two other graduates interested in my project contacted me to hear more about my project.
  • Increase my understanding and awareness of options.
  • Increase confidence in being able to draw down grant funding.
  • Structure future plans and made me more savvy about finance
  • Gain further support from the HBOS graduates.

I was blown away by the whole experience and amazed at how such a simple idea has such far reaching consequences!"

Claire Galloway, Calder Garden