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This #VolunteersWeek we are focusing on the amazing difference volunteering makes.
At All We Can we are privileged to journey with hundreds of people who give their time in one way or another to make a difference to people living in some of the world’s poorest communities.
One of the most common questions asked of All We Can staff is whether we should focus on the wider world when there are so many challenges facing the UK. Volunteering gives us the chance to vote with our feet and actions every day about the kind of community and world we want to live in – both locally, nationally and globally. This is why many All We Can staff love their job serving our global neighbours but also get actively involved locally and nationally with volunteering too. All We Can’s Churches and Volunteers Manager, Claire Welch, shares with us why she said ‘yes’ to volunteering.
I first started volunteering for altruistic reasons. I wanted to give something back and to make a positive difference to others.
It all started when I was asked to join the youth leadership team of my church, and, remembering the hard time I gave my youth leaders, I thought it was the least I could do! Little did I know then that ten years on I’d still be there, leading the team and enjoying every bit of it. However, my ‘yes’ didn’t stop there – I said ‘yes’ to being a school governor, ‘yes’ to being a charity trustee, ‘yes’ to serving the homeless at the shelter, ‘yes’ to befriending older people and ‘yes’ to organising community events.
But why am I so keen to say ‘yes’?
Ultimately, it is because I find volunteering thoroughly fulfilling. Through it I make friends, I stretch myself, I learn, I develop my skills, I use my creativity, I have fun, I’m productive, I’m active, I lead, I’m a team member, I make a difference, I express my love, I’m useful, and let’s face it, it’s better than watching TV.
In case you are worried, I do not volunteer because I am discontented working for All We Can! I have a very satisfying full-time job working for All We Can. In fact, I am fortunate that I can say, ‘I love my job’. I get to share stories about how people’s generosity in the UK, the giving of their time, resources and energy, is making a huge difference to people living in some of the world’s poorest communities, and I get to see this first hand. I care passionately about bringing positive change to our world, both globally and locally, and this is why I too give some of the gifts and resources God has given to me, including my time, to this end.
I see that for most of our volunteers their contribution comes from a place of passionate intention. They are genuinely committed to making a difference in the world and because of what they do, and the passion with which they do it, an impact is made in countries thousands of miles away. The valued work that our volunteers engage in throughout the UK as speakers, event coordinators, representatives in their local church, trustees and fundraisers makes a huge difference to people around the world – but so often, like me, our volunteers tell me that they find their roles fulfilling too.
For me volunteering has been incredibly rewarding in many different ways, not just because it makes a difference to others, but it also makes a difference to me. That is why I continue to say ‘yes’.
How about you, what will make you say ‘yes’?
Would you like to say ‘yes’ to volunteering with All We Can? Find out more
Claire Welch is Churches and Volunteers Manager for All We Can. She is responsible for producing materials, including Bible studies and services, and provides support to our volunteer coordinators and speakers.