Back in 2021 Stowe added a new benefit for all colleagues – a days paid leave for volunteering. As we continue to strive to support everyone to be their true self and embrace what is important to them, find work life balance and give back to their local community or wider society we want to encourage more individuals (and teams) to utilise this benefit.
We appreciate though that its not easy – it can take time and organisation and it’s often hard to know where to start! We’re delighted to share how Sally Purdy from our Finance team has used her volunteering leave to inspire others, and we have shared a few links below that might help you if you are thinking of getting involved and giving back.
How I use my volunteering leave as a volunteer counsellor for Childline, Sally Purdy
Last year I signed up to be a volunteer counsellor with the Childline virtual base, where I can sign up to shifts to suit me to provide email support to young people (in a similar way to taking calls, but the virtual base allows you to volunteer remotely). I mostly sign up to volunteer shifts on a weekend, so have loved utilising the Stowe volunteer days to increase the hours I am able to give to Childline.
I was able to complete all my training & assessments from home on evenings after work, and the whole Childline team have been so helpful and supportive throughout my training and the past few months as a volunteer counsellor. The rotas are really flexible, and I am able to sign up to whichever shifts suit me, all that Childline ask is that I am able to provide a certain amount of hours per year to ensure the investment in my training and support is worthwhile.
This page from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations has some useful tips on how to find volunteering opportunities near you
Rethink the mental health charity have volunteer vacancies on their site, from gardener and befriending