April 2018 Volunteer of the Month
The April 2018 Volunteer of the Month is Andrew Pamphilon of Bupa! Andrew’s volunteering during 2018 has been nothing short of exceptional. He has taken part in a Career Insight Visit with a class of east London secondary school pupils, supported a group of young apprentices to develop their CV and interview skills, delivered a bespoke social media masterclass and is now in the process of joining the board of an east London charity. Andrew has approached his volunteering with incredible enthusiasm and has taken every opportunity to champion volunteering activities to his colleagues.
We caught up with Andrew to find out about his thoughts on volunteering.
1) Why did you volunteer?
I was super excited when my company (Bupa) struck up a partnership with the East London Business Alliance (ELBA). Businesses often take the easy route of choosing a ‘charity’ partner to raise money for over the year, but the ELBA partnership offers a much more ‘hands on’ volunteering opportunity. It is less about raising money, and more about supporting with your time and energy – giving you the chance to see first-hand the difference you can make.
2) What did you gain from your volunteering experience?
Volunteering and other ways of ‘giving back’ aims to have a positive impact on the community or people you’re trying to help, but less is said about the positive impact it has on those doing the ‘giving back’ – but more should. Over the last few months we’ve hosted college students at our office for a career skills workshop – I coached on interview skills and helped with CV writing. And 25 teenagers joined us for a careers insight day – we split into groups and competed to design a new health insurance product (my group won, which I was pleased about). Hopefully the kids left with new skills and insights that will help them in their future careers. But I got lots from it too – it was great fun, hugely rewarding, and I went home those days that little bit cheerier.
More recently, I presented to a group of small charities on creating a social strategy. And not wanting to offer up a generic ‘this is how you build a social strategy’ deck, I approached it from the perspective of those attending – small charities, stretched resources, not that active on social.
It gave me the opportunity to think about things from a different perspective –something we should all do more of but often forget to do.
So as well as (hopefully) providing some practical advice on social media to those attending, it led me to question why I do things certain ways, and I considered what I could be doing better. Win-win.
3) Would you recommend volunteering to a colleague and if so then why?
Yes! That’s the great thing about volunteering. You ‘give back’ but you get a lot back in return. Whether it’s feeling like you’ve made a small difference to a kid’s career prospects or learning a few new things along the way. It isn’t just a one-sided relationship and shouldn’t be seen that way.
My advice. Make some time for volunteering. Whether your company facilitates it or you sort it out yourself – it’s fun, you’ll learn a lot, and it makes you feel good.
Read Andrew’s blog on his ELBA presentation here: Five steps to social success for charities and small businesses.