Passionate about volunteering! Here our CAN Team talk about their own volunteering experiences For #VolunteersWeek, some of our CAN team have shared what volunteering that they do and why they have got involved. Liz Soffe Where do you volunteer: As a Parent Champion (BCP council/Sendiass/Parents and Carers Together) Why do you volunteer? My own daughter has Special Educational Needs and I have spent over 8 years dealing with different agencies and professionals. This is my chance to share what I have learnt with other parents in a similar situation and help support them. Would you recommend volunteering to others: Definitely! It is a chance to share what skills you have to help others and give back to the local community. Karen Loftus Our Chief Executive – Karen Loftus volunteers on the Board of Bournemouth and Poole College. Karen said ‘I have a passion for further education, giving young people an opportunity to learn not just traditional academic skills but wonderful creative skills such as carpentry, catering and hairdressing. I left school at 15 with a couple of GCSE’s and have gained all my further education as an adult - I started that journey at The College, so now I can give back. Volunteering takes many forms, and I enjoy using my strategic and financial skills to hopefully support the executive to do a great job. I fit all this around my very busy work life thanks in part to CAN who release me to volunteer for 25 hours a year.’ Emma Lee Where do you volunteer: I am a School Governor at Broadstone First School. Why do you volunteer? Volunteering as a school governor is a challenge and makes me use my skills in a way I wouldn’t usually but it is rewarding and allows me to make a difference for children and young people in my community Would you recommend volunteering to others: Without a doubt! The benefits are immense. Benefits include: Developing your professional skills and experience such as strategic planning, chairing, financial planning, and team working, all of which are valued by employers and can assist your own career development Amy Collins Where do you volunteer: Trustee at Dorset Children’s Foundation. Why do you volunteer?. I started off volunteering for Dorset Children’s Family at their events, getting to know the parents / carers and their amazing children, who have a wide range of disabilities. This role was flexible and fitted in with my other commitments. Within a short space of time, I saw how invaluable the work of the charity was and the difference they made to the families they supported. When a Trustee position came up, I wanted to utilise my skills and knowledge of the voluntary sector to help Dorset Children’s Foundation continue to grow and so I joined the Board. Would you recommend volunteering to others: Certainly! It is so rewarding to be able to support a small local charity at a strategic level and to also be able to support families directly at the various events that I still volunteer at when I have a spare hour or two! If you are inspired to get involved, please contact Amy - [email protected] or Liz – [email protected] for one to one support to find the right volunteer role for you!