You must see the movie, the sand in my eyes…

grapes

Just balancing some grapes…

Most people who know me are aware of my lifelong Star Wars addiction. My son and I are heading to watch ‘Solo – A Star Wars Story’ on Saturday and I have so far avoided all ‘spoilers’. He’s disappointed that we didn’t go first day but I’m sure that after the 3D experience he’ll get over it. Amazingly my boy’s commitment to Star Wars may even be greater than mine…in some areas of parenthood I’ve failed miserably…but in some I’ve been successful…

Volunteer Week starts tomorrow (1st June) – and if you work with volunteers this is the time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. In Renfrewshire we have a deeply committed, dynamic and well-networked voluntary sector – as well as long standing traditions of people helping each other and contributing to their communities in ways which they might not think of as ‘volunteering’.  I’ve always found it fascinating how many people see the volunteering work that they do as ‘just helping’. Without this commitment to ‘just helping’ many community services would struggle and communities would feel a lot less connected & supportive.  In terms of the volunteers themselves, research suggests that volunteering enhances social capital, improves personal wellbeing and can be a successful pathway to employment.

On a personal level, I would argue that it has been my volunteering experiences that have taught me the most. For sure, in the various roles of non-executive director on charitable boards that I have held over the years I have often found myself stretched and required to learn very quickly indeed. Non-executive directors are expected to focus on board matters and provide an independent view of the company that is removed from the day-to-day running; they are appointed to the board to bring independence, impartiality and sometimes special knowledge of a sector or situation. It can be a challenging role to take up, but seeing as we are heading into ‘Volunteer Week 2018’ could I suggest that if you haven’t ever tried it and you think you’ve got specialist knowledge to offer to the Third Sector please give it your consideration! There are lots of local groups and agencies out there looking for non-executive support – so why not improve your wellbeing – volunteer today!!

During Volunteer Week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK. Renfrewshire’s volunteering celebration event, organised by the Volunteer Managers Forum, takes place at the Lagoon Leisure centre next Friday.

If you want to come along please book your place here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrating-volunteering-event-2018-tickets-45339256938?aff=es2

All the best – speak soon!

Alan

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