Volunteering for any role can be a daunting thought for anyone, with lots of questions running around our heads such as:
- Am I qualified to do this?
- Do I have the time to spare?
- Will I know anyone there?
- Do they really need any more help?
- Will I enjoy it?
Generally, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES!
- The majority of volunteering roles don’t need a formal qualification – life experience and enthusiasm are key, and training can always be given.
- If you enjoy what you do, you will always find time for it, and roles are generally flexible to enable you to give what time you can.
- Going somewhere new can be a little daunting if you don’t know anyone there already, but most volunteers are met with open arms of friendship and support – and it’s often true that a stranger is just a friend you’ve not met yet!
- In our experience, the majority of organisations that have volunteers always need more help, even if they’re not advertising it – they keep going because they are passionate about the project and just one more person joining them will make a huge difference to the rest of the team.
- The rewards of volunteering vary in magnitude depending upon the person, but everyone agrees that volunteering gives a sense of satisfaction that you’re helping, a rewarding feeling for doing your best, and helps people to feel better about themselves both physically and emotionally.
The same is true for becoming a Trustee – it may come with a little more responsibility, and you may have the same doubts at the beginning of your role, however these will blossom into the same rewards and satisfaction. Like all volunteers in an organisation, Trustees are part of a group of many voices in their committees, supporting each other and working together towards the common purpose of the organisation – Many Voices. Working Together. With Purpose.
Don’t just take our word for it though, these real-life Trustees have kindly given a profile of their roles:
Daniel Hazlehurst – Bramshall & Loxley Village Hall – Chair of Trustees
My wife and I volunteered to manage the bookings for the village hall after using the hall for many happy family events including birthday parties, our daughters christening and even our wedding. I then volunteered to take on the role of Chairman in March 2023 after the previous Chairman stepped down following many years on the committee.
I am 46 with two young children and working full time as a Sales Manager which requires nationwide travel so it can be a challenge to fit the work as a Trustee/Chairman into my life. This work however I find extremely rewarding and once the new heating project is completed and I see the hall finances in better shape, this will be nice to look back and think that I have played a part in the history of the village hall, the first of which was donated to the village by a local landowner in 1978.
The company I work for have a large corporate social responsibility scheme and as part of this we are encouraged to take part in projects which benefit our local communities. The company support me by giving me some work hours each year to work with community projects for which the village hall qualifies being a registered charity. I register my hours spent volunteering for the hall including committee meetings, etc. and this helps me towards my volunteering goal.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoy my time spent working on behalf of the charity and being a trustee to ultimately carry out the wishes of the person who donated the original village hall to the village and ensure that it remains available for use by all.
Emily Hou – Support Staffordshire – Trustee
Emily has been volunteering at Support Staffordshire since 2018, during which time she developed a strong passion for dedicating herself to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector. While pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, Emily chose Support Staffordshire as one of her research topics. She conducted an in-depth examination of the organisation’s structure and performance and discussed the constructive potential of Support Staffordshire.
In 2023, after completing her masters thesis at Cambridge University, Emily joined Support Staffordshire as a Trustee. She is eager to dedicate her expertise to assist Support Staffordshire in achieving its missions and making a positive impact on the community. Over the years that Emily has supported Volunteer Star Award evenings, helped to secure sponsors for events, given free lectures to our members and much more, all whilst maintaining a highly demanding professional and academic life. Her unique blend of practical experience and academic exploration, along with her unwavering enthusiasm, have all played a part in her transition from Volunteer to Trustee.
“My unique experience with Support Staffordshire is not merely being a volunteer, but also continuing to support Support Staffordshire as sponsor and researcher when I was working for the local business and studying in Cambridge. My connection with Support Staffordshire has remained unwavering, regardless of the role I’ve taken on in the past 5 years. Now, as a Non-Executive Director, I’m proud and excited to be able to assist Support Staffordshire even more.”
This is my first staff card at Support Staffordshire. I’m incredibly proud to have been a volunteer since 2018.
If you’re inspired to give it a go yourself you can search for Trustee roles in your local area here OpportunitySearch – VMS (vcconnectsystem.org.uk)