Celebrate the difference a volunteer can make

On International Volunteer Day, we share our gratitude with all our volunteers, and Reach volunteer Jeanne Davis tells why she volunteers and what a difference it makes on both sides.

Volunteering in my later life is far more fulfilling than I had ever thought. Recently retired from a long career in journalism and widowed, I needed to find something to do. I tried freelance journalism. It was not good. Assignments were few and far between and, working alone in my flat, I missed the camaraderie of a busy office.

Then a friend told me that the charity Reach Volunteering was looking for a communications volunteer at their office in London.

How have I used my skills volunteering at Reach?  And benefited too?  I write up the stories of how a Reach volunteer helped a charity succeed. These experiences help us particularly when we are looking for funding to show the impact that Reach has made. I help edit the annual review.

I have learned to spread the word about Reach through the new communication channels of social media, contributing to blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

And the camaraderie. Reach has a small staff of six and a group of volunteers who like me are donating their professional experience. We take time for lunch and interesting conversation, often from diverse points of view. I have made new friends, meeting to go to the cinema and exhibitions.

Best of all, by helping to make Reach sustainable, I have in my small way, contributed to the success of many other charities. This year, we will place nearly 900 volunteers making a difference in over 600 causes as diverse as the environment, mental health and poverty relief.

I have been with Reach for 13 years and look forward to many more helping in whatever way I can.

A retired writer, Jeanne is Reach’s Volunteer Publicity Officer. You can read more about Jeanne in her series on the Laterlife website.
December 5th, 2016 by