International Volunteer Day

Today is International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014 and Cundall would like to join the celebration. This day gives everyone around the world a chance to recognise all volunteers’ commitment and applaud hundreds of millions of people who volunteer to make change happen. We asked a few of our staff who volunteer during their spare time about their volunteer experiences……

Rupert Lodge, Electrical Associate, Perth

IMG_0968

Rupert sailing the Duyfken.

What do you volunteer to do?
I volunteer for the Duyfken Replica Foundation which built and operates a replica of the first ship to discover Australia back in 1606. I am an active crew member on day sails and help out with the maintenance.

How long have you done this?
I have been an active volunteer for almost two years building up my skills. I recently overcame my fear of going aloft to loose and furl sail and so realising a lifetime ambition (see the news clip).

How did you get involved?
I have always been interested in sailing ships. I saw the ship sail past our local beach and then on the TV news and knew I simply had to get involved.

What is your favourite thing about this volunteer work?
Meeting new friends with a common interest in sailing and learning new skills to pass on. Standing at the top of the mainmast under full sail is an indescribable feeling.

Chloe Agg, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Birmingham

What do you volunteer to do?
I am a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Ambassador, which means that I support events arranged by STEMNet to promote STEM careers to school pupils. This can mean anything from practice interviews to judging building competitions, but most commonly means giving talks in schools about my career, what I do and why I do it.

How long have you done this?
I’ve been doing this for about 8 years now!

How did you get involved?
I first heard about STEMNet while I was at university; I had been mentoring students in the years below me and one of my lecturers told me I might also enjoy getting involved with school engagement too. I never found the time to do that during my final year, but as soon as I was in a graduate job I looked them up and volunteered.

What is your favourite thing about this volunteer work?
I find talking to kids about engineering careers rewarding in so many ways, there’s the really obvious one of seeing them being inspired to think about careers they had never previously considered but might really enjoy.

Nina Heavyside, Structural Associate, London

Nina (top left) with guides at the ihelp awards

What do you volunteer to do?
I run a weekly guide group in Taplow, Buckinghamshire proving activities for girls aged 10-15. The purpose of Girlguiding is to enable girls and young women to develop their potential and to make a difference to the world. I am also the District Commissioner for Taplow and Burnham coordinating and supporting the 20+ adult and teenage volunteers contributing to guiding in the local area.

How long have you done this?
As a teenager, I was an active young leader with my local guide unit but only got back into volunteering with guiding regularly in 2005.

How did you get involved?
Before I had my family, I was finding that commuting daily into London meant that I had no links at all to my local community in Maidenhead. Other than my small friendship group in the town, my only other contact was with the unsmiling faces of the regular commuters whilst sat on the train each day. When I found out that a mutual friend had started volunteering at a guide unit in the next village, I took the opportunity to get involved again with an activity I had loved whilst growing up. Over the last nine years, I have built-up a wide network of local links and now recognise people when I’m out and about in the town. Having two daughters of my own now has only strengthened my enjoyment of guiding and I appreciate the opportunities the organisation can offer to young girls, in terms of building independence and confidence.

What is your favourite thing about this volunteer work?
My favourite thing about volunteering is that whilst organising and running exciting activities for the girls, I also find myself learning new things, having fun and creating opportunities for myself.

Alec Stewart, Electrical Partner, Birmingham

What do you volunteer to do?
I am a volunteer coach at Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club, I coach the under 10s side.

How long have you done this?
I first got involved three years ago when the team was under 7.

How did you get involved?
My son joined the team and I love rugby and coaching provides an opportunity for me to pass on my knowledge of the sport to a great group of youngsters.

What is your favourite thing about this volunteer work?
I get a great deal of pleasure in watching the lads develop their rugby skills and teamwork. There is a great bond building within the team and within the parent group, that is the great thing about the sport. I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer at London 2012 and I have also applied to be a volunteer at Rugby World Cup 2015.

Helen Freed, Marketing Assistant, Birmingham

Helen with her mum and niece at a fundraiser last summer.

Helen (right) with her mum and niece at a fundraiser last summer.

What do you volunteer to do?
I help raise money and re-home cats that come into Cats Protection care. They could be with us because they are found as strays or given to us by people that can’t cope looking after a pet. Sometimes we have to get cats from homes where the tenants are being evicted or reports of animal cruelty and it is heart breaking.

How long have you done this?
I have been doing this for about four years now, I even roped my mum and dad into it, and now my mum is the main fundraising organiser and sits on the committee.

How did you get involved?
I have always loved cats and my cousin told me that she volunteers in Southampton. I also love baking cakes, so to be able to donate them to bake sales saves me from eating them myself!

What is your favourite thing about this volunteer work?
Talking to the public. Yes it’s all about rehoming cats and raising awareness of things like neutering, but we get to talk to the cat owners and engage with them. It doesn’t matter what the event is (a rehoming show, a collection at a garden centre or a summer fate), we get shown pictures of peoples cats and hear about stories and it’s nice to see how much cats and pets in general mean to their owners and be able to see the joy they bring.

Stephen Maddocks, Mechanical Partner, Manchester

What do you volunteer to do?
I am a Group Scout Leader at a local group in Manchester with about 100 youth members and 20 adult leaders/helpers.

How long have you done this?
I have been a member of the same group since I was 8. I progressed through all the youth sections and was awarded the Queens Scout Award, became a section assistant leader, had a career/family break for 10 years then became Scout Leader before being asked to take over the running of the whole group in 2013.

How did you get involved?
A school friend initially introduced me to Cubs and when my two sons were old enough to join, that is when I got involved again.

What is your favourite thing about this volunteer work?
Introducing the youth members to skills and activities that they may otherwise not get the opportunity to try, although as Group Scout Leader it is now more about overall management of the group, its finances and the adult leadership team.

David Collins, Sustainable Design Associate, Sydney

David (top left) with University of New South Wales Rugby Union Club 2nd Grade Team

David (top left) with University of New South Wales Rugby Union Club 2nd Grade Team

What do you volunteer to do?
I am a coach for the University of New South Wales Rugby Union Club, coaching the 2nd grade team.

How long have you done this?
I have only been involved in the coaching for one year so far, but have been a member of the club since 2002 when I moved to Sydney for university and played for their 1st grade team.

How did you get involved?
I have always loved playing rugby and when I stopped playing due to injury (I classify age as an injury), I wanted to continue my involvement with the club. I enjoy the comradery of the team environment and training with the guys too.

What is your favourite thing about this volunteer work?
When we put in a good performance (win, lose or draw). It is great to see all the hard work the team puts in paying off.

Find out more about Cundall – http://www.cundall.com/

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Category

Charitable Work, Chloe Agg, Volunteering

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