My name is Rosemary and I’m from Bradford, West Yorkshire. I have worked in sustainable building design, construction, events, community projects and research. I volunteer to share my specialist skills and to feel part of the local community where I live, supporting important projects that simply wouldn’t happen without volunteers.
I have volunteered with community events focusing on sustainability such as Envirolution in Manchester, Energize Festival for Carbon Co-Op, Youth Climate COP25 with UK Youth Climate Coalition, and community energy projects with The Alternative Technology Centre. Through Reach Volunteering, I was also a Trustee at Snowball and a content contributor for B Corp Labs.
I tend to look for volunteering projects where I can either share my skills or experience, or learn something new such as trusteeship. I choose an organisation which focuses on interests that I care about and one that is delivering engaging and impactful work. Some of the organisations that I volunteered with were facing a shortfall of interim staff and needed to deliver a large scale event, or required specialist knowledge for content or networks of funders. By volunteering, I was able to support these organisations by providing my knowledge, signposting to relevant contacts in my network, developing strategies or simply providing a helping hand on the day of an event.
The benefits of volunteering
Volunteers enable organisations to take on new perspectives and ideas when they might be facing a blank page. I have supported grant applications, provided oversight on governance as well as improved their reach. Personally, volunteering has given me more of a sense of my own accountability, a support network to ask questions and the opportunity to develop and implement my ideas.
I have worked with some truly inspiring social entrepreneurs, had lots of fun at events and have felt good about taking positive action (keeping the climate anxiety at bay). I have gained confidence, made friends for life and opened my mind to the experiences of people from all walks of life.
There will always be charities needing support so I will continue to volunteer alongside employment. With more of us working from home, it is also an excellent way to meet new like minded people.
There are so many challenges, perspectives and types of action related to climate. If you’re thinking about volunteering, there will definitely be an organisation which will be the right fit for you. Do your research but also reach out to organisations (even if they haven’t advertised for volunteers). There will be work that you can support!