Primarily, my role (both at local level and at regional level) is communications and using them to bring our volunteers and members together.
The expansion of our communications at local level has been progressive in a number of ways;
On a personal level, our volunteers develop a sense of belonging and friendship with those around them. This encourages us to get even more involved and get to know people, building a sense of community. That community is further built through inter-area collaboration.
Gosport and Fareham have actively worked with other areas – Southampton, Portsmouth and the IOW – to pool our resources for the benefit of our members. The net result is a series of trips designed to be open to all members, regardless of area – even as far as Maidstone!
This kind of collaboration has been noted by Head Office. The levels of communication have been significantly improved, with Gosport and Fareham volunteers, such as myself, being included in regional positions and selected for special tasks like the trialling of new systems.
Personally, I even wrote a paper in response to the Volunteer Strategy announced by Head Office. This has further placed the area on the map, as an area that will give honest and trustworthy opinions to support the work of Head Office for the benefit of our members.
Our members are key, and everything we do is in representation of them. To volunteer for such a position is an honour. Our members rely solely on the work we do to provide them a service. Not just a service, but also one that is proportionate to their needs – however varied they may be.
For us, and for me, success comes from seeing and receiving the thanks from our members for the work we do. So whilst there are many individual success stories from our events within the area, the true success story is that we are delivering for our members, services that are wholeheartedly in their interest. Development of ourselves in the process is a bonus.