High five for volunteering | Action Medical Research

Touching Lives - September 2014

High five for volunteering

Q What does your role involve, Jane?

A I develop new opportunities to maximise volunteering. There are two main strands: strengthening our volunteer groups, including setting up new ones, and developing new roles such as Speaker Ambassadors and School Champions.

Q What does that mean in practice for volunteers?

A Our long-established, richlyexperienced community fundraising groups do an amazing job for us, and I’m building on that as well as looking for new opportunities in all parts of the community to complement it. It’s exciting because we are exploring new groups in areas such as Glasgow, Oxford, Belfast and Horsham. Volunteer groups can comprise young professionals who’ve met in the office, mums who know each other through a blog or the school gate, or simply a group of neighbours who’ve been inspired to support us.

Q What do volunteer groups typically do for Action?

A Some groups organise an annual fundraising extravaganza, such as the amazing Dine with Davina ladies’ lunch which takes place in Southampton every autumn or the vibrant Killer Heels and Cocktails event in Aberdeen. Others arrange a variety of events, such as pub quizzes and golf days, throughout the year. The key theme that I hear over and over again is how dedicated volunteers are to Action and how much fun they have, no matter what the event!

Q Are any special skills needed?

A Community volunteers don’t need any particular skills, just a love of meeting people and working in a team. Some people join an existing group, others start a new one, and some work outside of Action groups but within virtual groups, such as breakfast or lunch clubs.

Q You mentioned Speaker Ambassadors. How do they help Action?

A If you’re a strong communicator, you like meeting new people, and you have a little time to spare, then you could be well placed to be a Speaker Ambassador for Action. Volunteers who help us in this role talk about our work in settings such as cricket clubs and Rotary meetings.

Q And School Champions?

A When our School Champions nurture links with schools, nurseries, and colleges, we gain the opportunity to inspire young people to fundraise for Action, or nominate us as their Charity of the Year. We then benefit from events like summer fêtes and non-uniform days.

Q And what’s next?

A I’d like to explore student fundraising and get some of our universities fundraising for us.

Q If someone wants to get involved, what should they do?

A My number is 01403 210495 or you can email me at jcharlton@action.org.uk. Lots of people like using our Twitter feed @actionmedresvol or take a look at our volunteering pages here. I’m always really pleased to hear from anyone who may be able to lend a hand!

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