Somerset Community Foundation is encouraging people to boost their careers, their wellbeing and their communities by joining the Somerset Skills Bank.
As people enter a new year and a new decade, many may be thinking about their personal and professional development. Some may have signed-up for a marathon, or a new qualification. But how many people have thought about volunteering?
For many, volunteering means sorting through donations to charity shops or helping with fundraising. These are great ways to lend support, but one of the greatest gifts people can give to small, local charities is their skills and expertise.
Somerset Skills Bank is an exciting new initiative set up by local charities Somerset Community Foundation, Spark, and Engage. It aims to encourage volunteers to share their unique talents with local charities.
Whether people can spare just a few hours or commit to more sustained, longer-term support, the Somerset Skills Bank team will match people to a charity that will complement their skills, location and interests.
People can volunteer in three main ways:
- Expert Skills Workshops: deliver a short workshop on a specialist subject, such as digitalmarketing, health and safety, or strategy development
- Specialist mentoring: give time on an ad hoc basis to mentor charities through specific projects or challenges. This may range from how to improve their finance systems to how to create a new website or navigate an aspect of charity law
- Become a charity trustee: many local charities face huge struggles recruiting trustees – particularly those with specialist skills such as law, HR, marketing and finance. Being a trustee is a great opportunity for experienced or aspiring leaders to give back to the local community and gain new insights and experience
Offering this kind of support helps to keep local charities strong and effective and helps them make an even bigger difference in local communities. Research has also shown that those who volunteer frequently have higher levels of mental health and emotional wellbeing, improved quality of life and life satisfaction.
To find out more and join the Skills Bank, visit www.somersetcf.org.uk/skillsbank.