At DSC, staff are encouraged to volunteer with other charities and organisations. In fact, our Volunteering Policy allows us to take up to half a day of paid time off a month!
To celebrate #VolunteersWeek, we wanted to showcase the time given by our staff at DSC to voluntary organisations around the UK. We asked a few members of our team to explain their volunteer positions. See what they said below!
Here’s the fantastic Rickie Josen, Head of Training & Events, explaining her two trustee positions with Fareshare Midlands and Birmingham Civic Society:
“Currently, I am a trustee with two brilliant yet different organisations. It is a privilege to serve on the board for Fareshare Midlands. Fareshare Midlands is a fairly large charity, the team of staff amaze me week after week with all they do to fight hunger and tackle food waste, the other is the volunteer-led Birmingham Civic Society, I am the ‘marketing trustee’ for both. Although with the latter, I am hands-on with a long list of ongoing tasks, and I do a lot of writing and implement their marketing strategy. This puts me in the front line and I’m able to hear from the people of Birmingham who want to help us shape the city.”
Here’s the wonderful Dean Renshaw, Senior Researcher, speaking about his volunteer position at Open Door Charity:
“I volunteer with the Open Door Charity which is based in Birkenhead in Merseyside. I’m a volunteer mentor and I help young people experiencing poor mental health to use Bazaar, a computer-based programme that blends CBT and Mindfulness. For me, volunteering means so much. I get to help out in my community and I get to mentor some amazing young people who, just like me, struggle with their mental health.”
Here’s the incredible Jane Altmann, Training and Customer Services Coordinator, giving her account of volunteering during the pandemic:
“As soon as the first COVID lockdown was announced, many pharmacies were faced with a sudden and major challenge of exceptional proportions. Their usual systems of getting regular supplies of medicine for people with heart conditions, cancer and diabetes were cut off.
New systems had to be suddenly found to connect people with urgent medication. For people with diabetes, access to the essential insulin they need is vital. To meet this need, people like myself were accepted as a volunteer by a pharmacy to deliver medicine to people in their homes.
Within a day or two of being furloughed from my role at DSC, I was taking insulin to people at home. Through this, I gained the invaluable experience of meeting and dealing with older people in my own town. I had been a State Registered Nurse many years previously, so it was a great privilege. I felt really pleased to be doing a small thing to help in my town. The pharmacist gave me some top-quality PPE which made me feel very safe. One of the unexpected benefits of this volunteering was that I suddenly had to get better at using Google Maps to give me directions to locate people’s flats and houses!”
For us, it’s important to allow our staff the opportunity to volunteer with other charities and organisations. It’s a chance for them to pick up new skills, meet new people and contribute to another cause that’s close to their hearts.
Rickie, Dean, Jane and all the other volunteers across the country are vital to the sector, and that’s why they deserve to be celebrated this #VolunteersWeek.