Tell us about the volunteering that you do and the impact this makes...

It’s National Volunteers Week. Do you volunteer by yourself, does your organisation support you to volunteer? We’d love to hear all the different ways that you give back.

On Thursday, we're celebrating our volunteers by hosting a Volunteer Summit. 

  • My organisation doesn't support my volunteer work, but only because there's no need for it to.
    I volunteer in several capacities. Arguably the most important roles are both within the NHS - one as a breastfeeding peer supporter and one as a lay attendee of the maternity services action group. Both have the intention of improving services for women in the area, and, ultimately, if they're improved then health outcomes in the area improve.
  • I volunteer for a charity that was founded in the last few years. In the months I have been here I have seen quite a significant transformation in the workforce and its wonderful to be contributing to this.
    The voluntary work is separate to my main employment however, the company I work for are offering to support individuals to do 3 days voluntary work for a local charity per year.
  • Volunteering has been a huge part of my life over the past eight years.

    For seven years I volunteered with the NCT, first as a Branch Treasurer, then as Regional Coordinator, Regional Treasurer Support and Regional Trainer, supporting NCT branches across the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber. I gained a huge range of skills from the experience - from learning how to manage branch finances and use a finance system, organising events for parents, recruiting and managing a team of volunteers across the region, supporting new volunteers to set up their own branch, training volunteers - the list goes on.

    For the past four years I have been a school governor - supporting the Head to restructure the staffing in the school, hearing performance and pay appeals, sitting on the pay committee to approve applications for pay progression, managing a project to select an academy partner for the school, recruiting a new Headteacher.

    In the last year I've become a helper at my local Cubs - designing and running interesting session for the Cubs to work towards their badges and last weekend I spent four amazing days with 20 of our Cubs at the North Yorkshire County Camp, running activity sessions for Cubs from North Yorkshire and helping them having an amazing time.

    Oh, and I also work full time!

    All the things I've done have not only benefited the organisations I've volunteered for, but they've helped me develop as a HR practitioner. For the last ten or twelve years I've become very specialised in my career and my voluntary work has helped me maintain a broad and current generalist skill set which has helped me move back into a generalist HR role in the last six or eight months.

    I can't emphasise enough how much benefit volunteering has brought to my life - it's connected me to my local community and helped me make friends in my local area and given me a sense of pride and achievement, especially in the last year when my career had a wobble.


  • Loving the responses so far. Thank you :)
  • I've been volunteering as a Trustee at a local charity for just over a year, the charity has been running for over 30 years and its great to be able to support them, it has given me the opportunity to learn new skills but also to share my expertise and strengthen my knowledge.

    There are so many small charities out there that are crying out for support because they just don't have the funds or the skills in house. Our trustees get involved with everything and anything , fundraising, marketing, business planning. My organisation allows me to fit these commitments in around my working hours (as I am full time) and they are really supportive.

    There is so much variety and opportunity out there and you can turn your hand to anything.
  • I have been a school governor for about five years, chaired the curriculum committee until recently, and sit on the staffing committee and the Headteacher's appraisal panel. Like others have said, I've found it a fascinating and very helpful experience - particularly as I work in the charitable sector, so am very used to working with governors/trustees, and the perspective of actually being one is really valuable.
    A volunteering role that I really enjoy, but sadly can't do very often these days because of work pressure, is the volunteering I do for Smart Works. It's a charity that provides interview coaching and a 'dressing session (advice and support from people who know about that kind of thing (not me!) to choose an interview outfit from donated suits/accessories) for women who have been long-term unemployed, who have a job interview in the next few days. In honesty, some of the women I've coached in this process have been incredible. The charity has a fantastic success rate (of the women they support, 60% succeed at the interviews they are going for), and give enormous confidence to people that really need it.
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    Wow - didn't know about Smart Works until you mentioned it, Nina. 

  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    It's a great organisation - I'd encourage everyone to get involved! Sadly my commitment there was one day a month previously, but I just can't do that in my current role. I cover standby days when they can't get coaches in now, and I've done a few sessions remotely.
  • Sorry for the late interactions.
    I'd like to share that I volunteer on the Board of Trustees of a new employer pension scheme. i have been involved in its setting up and now supporting in its active management.
    I also volunteer in the support of children's education and welfare via Save the Children programme.
    in the organisation I work with I lead a few volunteering/ community engagement programmes such as blood donations, free health screening tests and support to needy children.
    Volunteering can lead to a lot of satisfaction knowing how one is contributing positively towards the welfare of others and helps developing empathy and understanding towards others - a critical skill in HR, in my humble opinion.