August 2017 Volunteer of the Month

ELBA’s Volunteer of the Month for August 2017 is Tim Diviny of Royal London. Tim has been recognised for his outstanding work with Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA).

Tim initially volunteered to support BDCA with the development of a marketing strategy. He really applied himself to the challenge and, rather than just focusing on marketing, he worked alongside BDCA to strengthen their overall communications strategy. BDCA have implemented the strategy and are reaping the rewards.

Jessica Craig of BDCA said: “Tim has been a real support to our charity. He offered to review our current marketing efforts and use his background in the integrated advertising industry to help us develop a communications strategy. He gave a great deal of thought and effort to this piece of work and took the time to thoroughly research our organisation and understand the resource limitations that we face in the third sector. His practical advice gave us fresh insight and, having implemented some of his suggestions, we are already seeing increased engagement with our marketing materials. We are really grateful for his partnership and support”.

Tim’s volunteering is a fantastic example of professional skills being used to benefit a community organisation. He is a worthy winner of the ELBA’s August 2017 Volunteer of the Month.

Why did you volunteer?
I have volunteered once before and got so much satisfaction out of it, I’ve kept an eye out for opportunities ever since. And this was no exception! Their requirement for marketing help was something I do day-to-day, so there was no difficulty in helping out. It was enjoyable and satisfying to devise a workable plan that was so greatly appreciated.

Why is volunteering important?
Many charities can be under resourced or simply don’t have access to certain skills – something many may not realise if they work in an environment surrounded by professionals like themselves. Also, having previously worked with street kids, I have helpful reminders that there are others less fortunate than myself.

It’s easy to live in a comfortable bubble, but really, if you are lucky enough to find yourself in a first-world city, earning a living as a professional, it takes nothing to give up some time to help others. The skills you employ on a daily basis can be a rare commodity for some charities. I’ve no doubt many would find them most welcome. Charities work hard to provide a service for communities that may not be as fortunate as us. So, in some small way, volunteering gives you the chance to help redress the balance between the haves and the have-nots.

Would you recommend volunteering to a colleague?
Definitely! We all have skills or years of experience that we draw on in our workplace – these can prove useful to others. And while you put them to good use every day, volunteer and you’ll deliver a tangible and immediate benefit. However, as I work in advertising, in convincing a colleague I would sell the concept on personal reward…it’s immense. I know from experience that personal gratification is a great motivator. But when we speak of charities, this may sound somewhat self-centred. True. But giving up your own precious time for others is a hard sell in anyone’s book. So while I’m quick to talk about the difference you can make for others, I don’t shy away from the self-satisfaction you get.

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