Put your hand up!

It is Volunteers’ Week and not surprisingly Helen, our CEO, asked our Board if anyone would like to contribute a blog in support of this. I’m always nervous about putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, as that blank sheet of paper fills me with nerves and apprehension. I don't believe writing is one of my strengths.

And that made me think about the trepidation you can feel when considering volunteering.  There are many who don’t and just throw themselves into volunteering opportunities with relish, but there are many more who are on the cusp, thinking about it, unsure.

This led me to recall a conversation I had last week, at the Charity Governance Awards, about volunteering and joining a Board. The person I spoke to was thinking about becoming a trustee, but had several different reasons why they didn’t think they could do it. Of course I spent most of the conversation advocating why they could, they can.

I would encourage anyone thinking about volunteering to just do it – you really don’t have anything to lose and so much to gain. I have actively volunteered for over 10 years now, and still have some nerves going into any new volunteering venture – which I think is healthy. But without doubt all my volunteering experiences have been positive and impactful,for me personally and I hope for the people and causes I have supported.

The elements that stop us doing something are usually because of confidence, fear of the unknown or doing or saying something wrong.  Reasons why I was nervous about writing this piece. Which compelled me to write in the hope that I can make you reconsider why you should make that leap of faith and volunteer. Channel the reason you considered volunteering in the first place, that cause, campaign, that passion to support others – hold on to that and throw yourself in. You will learn new skills, share your experience, make friends, change someone’s life.

So if you are thinking about volunteering just do it – block out those reasons why you can’t and listen to the reasons why you want to do it, can do it. That desire and passion will always help you break through the nerves and trust me, you will always find others on hand to help and support you. Take that step forward, push that hand up high, bake that cake, share your digital skills, mentor a young person, learn to teach English, join that Board. For those fabulous people who do volunteer, put your hand out, share your story and encourage others to put theirs up.