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Focus on Volunteering

I am a volunteer. I always have been and always will be. It is just who I am. It is wrapped up in my purpose. In fact, I would go as far to say that volunteering has played a significant role in shaping and fulfilling my life purpose.

My first volunteering moments were as a young eight year old. I would walk my elderly neighbour’s dog for him. I loved it and I certainly never expected to be paid. It was just something I felt was the right thing to do and it was a win for Vic my neighbour, a win for Bruce the dog and a win for me.

In my teenage years, I volunteered my time as a rowing coach at my own club and also for the RNIB New College in Worcester. Seeing the partially sighted and blind children thrive, develop and love being out on the water gave me not only a sense of purpose but a huge sense of achievement and fulfilment.

Throughout school, university, employment, sporting and professional membership organisations, charities and my children’s schools, I have without hesitation put myself forward for various voluntary positions of responsibility. As a volunteer, I have raised thousands of pounds, given thousands of hours of my time and over the last 40 years probably walked thousands of miles. It’s where I am able to combine my passions with my strengths whilst giving me the opportunity to offer my time and expertise in the areas that I excel.

This time of year always reminds of my time as a volunteer for London 2012. I can't describe what it felt like to be a Team Leader Games Maker. All I can say is that I am just so pleased I made the effort to complete the 20 page job application two years prior to the Games starting! It took a lot of patience, preparation and perseverance to become a Team Leader Games Maker volunteer. Of course, nowhere near what it actually takes to be a competitor in the Games!

Working with different teams of 12 people every shift, I was a Team Leader at the North Greenwich Arena, the rebranded 02, where Gymnastics, Trampolining and Basketball events were held. In the six months preceding the Games I volunteered as part of the intensive Games Maker training programme and for the London School Games so I had the opportunity to hold the torch, touch the medals and be one of the first people to step inside the finished Olympic Stadium.

I am not alone in my passion for volunteering in my family. My husband, Jon, also loves volunteering. He is often to be found either driving between hospitals as a volunteer ‘bloodrunner’ or coaching school, club or county level rugby. Our two adult children have also inherited the desire to volunteer and have held various voluntary positions already.

As volunteers, we know that we are not alone. We share a common purpose with millions of likeminded individuals who also choose to make a positive impact on others’ lives bringing a sense of fulfilment and purpose through accomplishing tasks and projects. We appreciate that it is about community engagement, working towards a common cause, providing opportunities to leave a lasting legacy, serving as role models to inspire others to take action. It’s also about a sense of belonging and about creating a better world. Volunteering is an essential part of living with purpose.

Do you volunteer? If not, investigate today how you could share your expertise, skills, passions and interests with others to actively contribute towards your community. Together, purpose and volunteering create a positive cycle that benefits both individuals and society as a whole. It really is a win win!

Go on! Contribute to the greater good. Focus on Volunteering!

ACTION POINT - Are you committed to making a difference? Volunteer with purpose today!


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