In this blog for Volunteers Week 2016, Marie Campbell tells us why she supports Action Medical Research…
After I took early retirement I wanted to use the skills and experience I had gained during my career in clinical research for a charity. I was looking for a local charity so I could spend what time I had usefully rather than commuting.
Action’s commitment to funding the very best medical research for sick children, their amazing research projects and their location just down the road from me seemed to fit the bill, so I applied as a volunteer, not really sure what I was letting myself in for!
I’ve volunteered with Action for about two years and the support I have received as a volunteer has been excellent. I work from home and can spend 30 minutes or a couple of hours at a time depending on what needs to be done and what spare time I have. My time commitment is extremely flexible and fits in very well around my family, my other interests and our holidays. As I am based from home, my original location priority need not have been so important but it is handy (and enjoyable!) to be able to call in to the office occasionally.
I’ve been helping Volunteer Development Manager Jane Charlton and the Community Fundraising Managers with volunteer recruitment, firstly with university students but also, for the last 18 months, with creating Action’s presence on the UK’s national volunteering database, Do-it.org. Do-it is a huge resource for volunteers which lists 1.5 million opportunities for 50,000 organisations.
It took a little while to get things running smoothly but we now advertise 200 opportunities across our regions and have received nearly 400 applications. There are the core volunteer roles (group leaders/ members, business/speaker ambassadors, school champions and event/outdoor event volunteers) and also the adverts for volunteers for Action’s huge range of events such as the Trossachs Ton ride and the Action Cream Teas as well as the Eroica Britannia Festival in Bakewell where Action is the charity partner.
This has been a highly successful volunteering experience for me. Even though I volunteer from home, just occasionally popping in to the office, I feel very valued, my efforts are really appreciated and it is a lovely group of people to work with.
Recently another volunteer, Jackie, has joined me and with the tremendous support we receive from Jane hopefully we can continue to contribute to the flow of volunteers attracted to give their time to Action Medical Research and support essential medical research for sick and disabled children.