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Making a Difference Together: How our volunteers are inspiring change

Author Megan Greenhalgh
Published 20 Apr 2023

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Findings from The National Lottery Community Fund’s (NLCF) community research index show that 49% of Brits intend to volunteer in 2023.

It’s unsurprising that with the rising cost of living, more of us are keen to support our communities this year. Not only does volunteering provide tangible benefits to charities, organisations and individuals who receive support, but it also has a positive impact on volunteers themselves.

We are incredibly proud of our team members who volunteer their time, talents, and energy to make a positive difference to our communities. In this blog, we want to shine a spotlight on the inspiring stories of our volunteer team members, and share the impact they are making in their communities and beyond. We hope their stories will inspire you to take action and make a difference in your own way, no matter how big or small.

Maryam Dorudi, Account Executive


Tell us about your volunteering…

I tutor with Team UPside, a fantastic charity which helps young people (aged 14-18) from underserved backgrounds achieve their full potential in education. For the last two years, I've spent most of my Saturdays tutoring GCSE English Language - teaching virtually with the 'Online Community School' and running in-person sessions in Ealing too. As part of this role, I've also led training workshops for other tutors.

Why do you volunteer?

I feel really strongly about tackling opportunity gaps and educational inequalities in the UK. I was immensely privileged with my own education, so I feel driven to ensure all children are able to reach their full potential. I also genuinely love it. The Team UPside community is amazing, full of really inspirational people, and the tutoring sessions are fun! It's always the highlight of my week.

Would you encourage others to volunteer, and why?

YES! We're all smart and curious people with so much to offer to our communities. It's a great way to spend your time. You'll be making a real difference, and it's so rewarding to see the personal impact you can have. You'll also develop new skills and make new friends, what's not to love?

Cai Green, Senior Account Executive


Tell us about your volunteering…

For the past year, myself and Hanover’s LGBTQ+ Network have been working with the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre on a pro bono basis, providing comms and PR support. Through our work, we have helped them to launch their first research report (which was covered by Gay Times), helped them to build relationships with journalists, and successfully pitched many of their recent announcements to media. Recently we secured the Centre coverage from Reach’s new social media-based platform, Curiously, and provided on the ground support during their first fundraiser, which raised over £12,500. I catch up with the Centre’s media team on a weekly basis to discuss proactive pitching, background briefings and broader strategy.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer for the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre because I firmly believe in its mission to provide a sober safe space for LGBTQ+ people of all backgrounds. The majority of LGBTQ+ spaces revolve around nightlife, so it is vital that alternate spaces exist which provide a welcoming and safe environment to everyone. It is also an excellent opportunity to put my PR and comms skills to use in service of both a worthy cause and the local community, with the Centre only being a brief walk from Hanover’s offices at Southwark Bridge.

Would you encourage others to volunteer, and why?

I would always encourage people to volunteer as and when they can. Not only is it a powerful way to give back to the communities and causes you care about, but also an excellent way to build a broader base of experience, both personally and professionally.

Gavin Megaw, President and Managing Director


Tell us about your volunteering…

I volunteer weekly at parkruns and for several additional hours as Chair of Trustees on top of that. I have been in that formal position for nearly five years.

Why do you volunteer?

I gain so much from it. And without the volunteers, parkrun wouldn’t happen. On a Saturday I get to meet new people often trying parkrun out for the first time. I get to see people who have become friends as I see them every week. It’s my ability to be part of a community, and to help others within that community. It’s special.

Would you encourage others to volunteer, and why?

Yes! Not only are you helping others, but you are helping yourself. Why wouldn’t you!? I am a HUGE advocate of volunteerism and believe that those who give time gain massively for doing so. This study from parkrun is very interesting on that.

Nicole Wyatt, Senior Consultant, Advocacy


Tell us about your volunteering…

I currently volunteer with I Have a Voice, a social enterprise aimed at getting people from disadvantaged backgrounds involved and interested in politics. As a mentor through the organisation, I support a young university student understand the world of public affairs as she begins to think about progressing her career. This has been done through regular catch-ups, mock interviews, CV and cover letter reviews and networking practice.

I also volunteer my time with Women in Public Affairs as an executive committee member. In this role, I organise events aimed at supporting women in the public affairs sector either with training, networking or speaking up about issues. For example, I supported the launch event of our latest survey on how women are being affected by the cost-of-living crisis, with issues like gender pay gaps and pay transparency covered.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because I want to support people in my sector. I experienced being confused and overwhelmed when first starting out, so I would like to help others navigate this world, particularly young women. I also have grown my network and support system through volunteering, which is an added bonus.

Would you encourage others to volunteer, and why?

Absolutely! I understand we are all under time pressures, particularly those who have caring responsibilities after work, but I do think it’s important to give some of our time to causes that do not have the resource to do it without voluntary support.

Looking forward

After hearing about the brilliant initiatives and organisations Hanover’s volunteers are supporting, I have been inspired to dedicate more of my time to volunteering this year. I hope you have been too!

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