Volunteering and me

Blog post posted on 01/06/22 |
Members Story

“Oh, you’re just a volunteer then!” a friend said to me recently. “The days of being just a volunteer have long gone” I replied.

Alex Beeston TVGAMActive volunteering harnesses the skills we have learned in our working life and often enhances them.  Yes, we’re giving something back to organisations and individuals we choose to support with our capabilities, but we’re also enriching our own lives in the process through the work that we do and the people with whom we meet. The real secret is giving our time and talents enthusiastically and ‘being involved’ in something that is both interesting and rewarding.  

Sceptics might argue that it’s just free labour or organisations wanting something for nothing or even worse the arrogant “they need us more than we need them” attitude. But unless a volunteer truly experiences the rewards that go with giving their best to achieve benefits for others then they really should consider whether volunteering is for them.

Now retired, I worked for 30 years for a top 100 electronics company and their investment in training me to senior management level was both career enhancing and financially rewarding beyond my expectations. Now I have the opportunity to draw on those skills and experiences to support, develop and improve my chosen charity. Those organisations that fail to adapt to change often do not survive, as witnessed on the UK High Street.

My enjoyment of driving and road safety has bought about my enthusiasm for belonging to an inspirational organisation who deliver just that. IAM RoadSmart is an excellent charity that depends on volunteers to run its 180 Groups.  Its members, like me, who have the capability to make sustainable contributions to benefit drivers and riders nationwide with a willingness to roll our sleeves up and get involved.  It’s all too easy to sit on the side lines, and then complain after the match that you didn’t get on the pitch.  Get involved, get noticed and give your best whatever your skills level – that’s volunteering.

By Alex Beeston

Membership Secretary and Associate Co-ordinator at Thames Valley Group of Advanced Motorists (TVGAM)