In the run up to this year's Volunteers' Week we spoke to some of our staff who volunteer their time outside of their work with KeyRing.
Steve Wood is our Commercial Manager.
Previously, I was a Magistrate (Justice of the Peace for the County of Essex) for 13 years, which was a voluntary position. For the last 20 years I have volunteered in the motorsport sector as a journalist/organiser for the Britcar championships. Professional sport in the UK wouldn't survive without an army of volunteers.
Read one of Steve's articles.
Catriona Huck is an Area Manager in the North East.
I'm a volunteer with Re-engage - a charity that helps to provide social connections for older people at a time in their lives when their social circles are diminishing.
I volunteer as a driver and a host - we organise monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for older people and my role is to drive people to the party and at other times to host the party in my home.
I chose to volunteer with Re-engage because I am aware of how hard it can be for older people to maintain connections. When I first started working with older people in my role at KeyRing I was shocked at how easy it is for people to become isolated as they get older. I wanted to help remove some of the barriers that people face to getting out.
I get a lot out of this role - I can see the impact on the guests who attend the parties and it is clear that this monthly connection is a vital part of some of their lives.
It feels nice that I can volunteer in a really informal way and build relationships with the guests - most importantly though we get to have some fun and we always end up eating well at the tea parties!
Anne Robertson is an Area Manager in the North East.
I do some counselling as a volunteer for Cruse Bereavement Support. Cruse are the largest bereavement charity in the UK supporting people when someone close to them has died.
Cruse train and support all their volunteers how to counsel a bereaved person. The training was intense and emotionally challenging but the rewards were totally worth it. I kind of stumbled into the role when I represented KeyRing at a volunteering event. Their stall seemed to be getting all of the attention and I thought I’d be cheeky and see if I could tempt anyone over to us. I took some literature home with me and being the impulsive person I am arranged to meet their local manager in Grimsby.
Over several years (with a few breaks in between to recharge) I’ve helped people to learn how to cope after losing someone close. I have experienced a close bereavement myself, as I suspect many Cruse volunteers have. I believe that having the opportunity to turn my experience into something positive and help other people through the grieving process helped me understand and come to terms with my loss.
I’ve met some amazing people through Cruse and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you know you’ve had a positive impact on someone’s life.
Charlie Crabtree is our Marketing and Communications Lead.
As a school governor, I am part of an amazing team that works with the school to get the best out of the resources available to us. School is not just about learning to read and write; it is about ensuring a nurturing and safe environment where children thrive.
Governors work with the leadership team to support and ask questions about the work that they do. It's a challenging role with a lot of responsibility but it is also great fun. I have been involved with lots of different things including recruiting for a head teacher. My favourite thing though is to go into school and see how much the children love school.