Volunteering as a Committee Member
Hear about Sharon's volunteering story!
Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer because so much of society simply doesn’t move forward or deliver what it is capable of without volunteers. When you take the benefits of being a member of a community I feel it is responsible and respectful to give back. For some that’s a donation or a sponsorship and for others that can be time or expertise.
What's your favourite part about volunteering?
It's the interaction with people across all parts of the membership and workforce. They're what makes it motivational to say yes to adding more commitment to life. Every person I meet whilst volunteering has a different story and that brings the perspective to my own life! Many of the people I have met are now good friends.
What would your advice be to someone who wishes to volunteer in your role?
Just do it! Bring your open minded best self to the table and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get on with tasks. I would especially encourage younger members to volunteer as the time invested can help build confidence, skills for jobs, career ideas and even gain personal references for applications. It's also genuinely fun and I can hand on heart (and head) say that volunteering improves my life.
What's been the most memorable moment?
My most memorable moment volunteering with BD was as BD Scotland Chair in 2019 when the then Development Officer, Emma phoned me and told me Scotland had won the Youth Home International. A lot of effort had gone into teams, training and supporting parents to enable their children. I was waiting for the call and had been following progress keenly but hadn’t quite anticipated the wild excitement of the team members and parents singing down the phone - it brought a tear to my eye because the amount of support they gave each other and the way the more experienced members lifted those who hadn’t had the best first day had changed next day outcomes - that’s what team sport and sporting infrastructure is all about. They are all turning out to be fantastic young adults and BD has had a small role in that.
My role now on the training committee is about bringing external business perspective and advocating for amateurs but I also think it’s important to advocate for the staff in HQ who are handling very high volumes of work ensuring the sport moves forward, complies with governing bodies and supports the whole workforce including a vast number of volunteers. There's so much work that happens behind the scenes to run a sport that operates from Olympic to grassroots levels, requires funding and equity, standardisation for all and safeguarded professional education standards across a huge workforce.
What are the key skills you have to be able to do your role?
For me the most essential skills when starting out in volunteering are enthusiasm, positive attitude, the willingness to learn and the bravery to constructively highlight issues. Of course cake baking, a wicked sense of humour and interest in people and horses help an awful lot too