Di’s CSR: the final countdown


Dianne

Week 4 started really well with Boots the Chemist joining our Charity Volunteer Recruitment Day. I spent the remainder of my 20 hours voluntary work on the Newbury High Street obtaining further contact details from the participants and ensuring they had all the details about the event.

On the 5th June 2010 the Volunteer Recruitment day was finally held in Newbury. In total, there were eighteen shops and banks each hosting a different local charity looking to promote themselves and recruit volunteers.  Local MP Richard Benyon was the star attraction and kicked off the event outside a branch of HSBC Bank.  I felt so proud to be a part of this event.  Knowing that as a result of my efforts, 25 new volunteers where recruited on the day made all the hard work worthwhile.

At the end of my 20 hours I asked myself what I had gained from this experience what can I take back to the workplace that will benefit my employer?

I believe this experience has built my confidence and improved my communication skills.  It also increased my determination and commitment to a project.  There were times out on the Newbury High Street that I just felt like giving up!  There were plenty of rejections, along the way, but with determination, perseverance and a positive attitude I was able to see a fruitful end result.  It is this positive attitude I will take back to my work place, and apply to any projects that I undertake in the future.

I used to think that the correct approach in organising an event is to sit behind a computer and dash off a series of emails and expect action.  I am now aware that there is no better form of communication than getting out and away from my desk and making contact with people, face to face.  I discovered that if you take the time to do this, you gain so much more. 

One particular business I approached felt that they were unable to participate because of lack of space on their shop floor, so instead, they offered to make a monetary donation to the Volunteer Centre.  It must have been the look of disappointment on my face when they told me they were not participating that compelled them to offer to help in different way.

At times, I found that my approach had to be modified according to each Manager I met, in terms of understanding their expectations about the event and their appreciation of time factors involved.  I would often check if it was convenient to speak to them and if not, I would offer to return at a more convenient time. 

Some Managers wanted to know in depth about the Volunteer Centre and others were interested in gleaning the bare essentials.  I am sure I couldn’t have established this level of rapport via email.  By varying my approach and bringing my own unique style and enthusiasm to the project, I feel I was able to help make this event a success.

I hope my success has inspired my colleagues at Appletree to engage in a project of their own.

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