October 2017 Volunteer of the Month
ELBA’s Volunteer of the Month for October is Susan Guy from Royal London. Susan was nominated for her great work using her legal knowledge to support an internal ELBA team to improve their process.
The Challenge: ELBA programme were in need of some support to amend and update their disclaimer document. The programme arranges 400 team challenge events each year and for each event, the three parties involved (the volunteers, the community organisation and ELBA) sign a disclaimer agreeing to the expectations of each party in setting up and completing the event. So needless the say the document is well used! However, it had become out of date and was in need of some amendments as well as a pair of legal eyes to cast over it. We advertised for some support and Susan Guy came promptly to our rescue. Susan worked on the documents over several months, taking on board our feedback as she went and producing the final product. We now have a disclaimer form which reflects recent changes to our programme and is relevant for the activities we organise to support the community.
1) Why did you volunteer?
I volunteered because I had been looking for some time at the ELBA opportunities which appeared on the Royal London internal website and this one absolutely fitted my aims which were to put my legal skills to use for a charity. This particular requirement called for legal and drafting skills and with the aim of making some terms and conditions clear and easy to understand by all users. There are numerous opportunities via ELBA which enable professionals to donate their time and expertise in a new and exciting role. At the time I volunteered I knew that I would be retiring this year and I have always intended to maintain my legal skills and work for any charity that needs legal help.
2)What did you gain from your volunteering experience?
An insight into some of the work that ELBA does, in this case putting charities and volunteers together so that company volunteers can plan a team day of a corporate responsibility activity but also ELBA have to remind the charity and volunteers that there are some legal obligations, in particular health and safety policies, which need to be understood by all participants. I also began to understand the amount of pre-work that goes into organising these volunteering days on both sides. The result of the work and the fact that ‘my document’ is in practical use also confirmed to me that I want to go on to do more work like this.
3) Would you recommend volunteering to a colleague and if so then why?
Yes. It is very rewarding. I think a lot of professionals in the City appreciate how lucky they are in that they have had the opportunity to train to do a satisfying job that often pays well and they feel at the same time that they want to put something back into the local community. The volunteering opportunities that ELBA offers enable those people to use their professional skills, or sometimes they just want to give some time and work for a charity but they don’t know how to go about it. It’s much easier to respond to a request for volunteers than to look for opportunities by oneself.