Volunteering. Many of us give our time freely where, and when, we can - whether it be formal or informal. However it seems that people can be a little bit shy in discussing it. Well, on social media at least. Is it #Humblebragging or is it an important part of our society, our make-up and our lives that we really should be talking about more?
Volunteering has always been a part of my working life. When I graduated (first time around) from University, I spent a year in two different full-time volunteer roles working , and living, with adults living with disabilities in and around London. This led me into a career in health and social care, and, I think, gave me a solid set of core values which has held me in great stead ever since.
I still volunteer today. I'm an active Board member for a growing Asthma Music charity, No Strings Attached Scotland, and also for Volunteer Scotland. It was at the Volunteer Scotland Board session last week, which was also the AGM, that I was involved in a discussion about sharing stories of volunteering through social media. We heard from a variety fo European partners that people were less keen to post about their volunteering activity, for fear that it seemed 'self-serving'.
The European partnership found that before starting to volunteer, people felt volunteering was about being altruistic, helping others and making a difference. Indeed it can be all of those things. Afterwards, people reflected that they gained more personal benefits from volunteering, new skills, social connections, meeting new people and simply having fun.
Volunteering for me is about all the things. I want to participate. I'm passionate about inclusion. I value my own well-being. I want to be connected to my community, and communities. I want to be involved. I want to talk about it. I want to hear what other people do in terms of volunteering. I think it's important to encourage more, where we can. Do you volunteer? Or do you work with volunteers? If you want to talk about it, or you think I can help in anyway, please do get in touch.
HI, I'm Kevin and Third Quarter is my Consultancy. Follow my adventures here...