Celebrating Volunteers Week 2019

This week we are celebrating Volunteers Week 2019, a UK-wide campaign ran by NCVO to thank volunteers for their fantastic contributions to the sector.

We wanted to say a big thank you to all our employees who volunteer in their spare time at local charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations.
We spoke with Kevin Richards, our Head of Technical Broking, who volunteers at a local community group in his village…
Where do you volunteer and what is your role within the group? 

I volunteer at Arts for Health in Countesthorpe. Arts for Health is a community group that aims to improve the wellbeing of adults experiencing mental health difficulties, through the provision of accessible arts-based workshops.

This currently includes music, art and creative writing. I’m a drummer in a local band, and have also been lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for a number of different rock bands, since I was in my teens.

How did you find out about the volunteering opportunity?

Basically all the stars aligned, more by luck than judgement. Whilst reading through the local entries that BHIB/Brokerbility had put forward on the Aviva Community FundAwards listings, I noticed this group was based in my village and was involved with music. I had been considering volunteering for a while, but could not find any local opportunities and had simply not heard of this group. I made contact with the organiser via a link on the Blaby District Council website, and it just so happened the group were looking for someone to assist.

What is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering? 

Putting a smile on people’s faces. Music is a great community activity. People want to sing their favourite songs, or learn to play instruments, or just listen to other people playing, whilst having an opportunity to chat and share a few jokes and stories over a cuppa. The relaxed atmosphere helps to bring people out of their shell and I’m really impressed by the way everyone is so supportive of one another.
What is the most challenging part of volunteering?

There’s nothing hard about volunteering within an area where you already have a skill or can share your experience. If you want to do it, and have time to do it, then it’s easy. The hardest part of volunteering in this group is getting people off the mic so someone else can have a go!
What accomplishments are you most proud of within this volunteering role? Why?

It’s very early days for me (I have only been to half a dozen workshop meetings at the time of writing this), but the best thing so far has been settling into what is an already established group and making new friends. We are already working on improvements to a full set of songs, chosen by the group themselves, with a view to a fundraising performance at Christmas.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about volunteering?

Just try it. You might be surprised how good it makes you feel to make someone else feel good.

If you know of a Charity group or Not-For-Profit organisation who could benefit from Aviva Community Fund funding or you are looking for Charity Insurance, please contact Katie Ford for more information.

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Clear Councils Insurance provides specialist insurance solutions for Local and Parish Councils. As part of Clear Insurance Brokers, we have been delivering professional insurance and risk management guidance to our customers for over 50 years.

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