- Date published: 12 Jun 2019
Hello, I’m Marie and I’ve been volunteering at Rainbow Trust since March this year.
I worked in the Public Sector for 36 years and spent most of my career in HM Treasury. I spent the last 10 years of my career at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman initially as an Investigation Manager before moving to the corporate side as Director of Service Delivery.
Five years ago, I took redundancy, aiming to have a couple of months off to recharge my batteries. I took up walking to get fit and help me unwind and I discovered that I loved it. I love being outside whatever the weather and watching the seasons change. I got a dog to keep me company on my long walks; he was great fun and kept me fit so I got another. Before I realised it I had gone from being a fulltime worker and commuter, doing 10 hour days, to being a walking mad, outdoor loving, dog owner who just couldn’t sit still. Needless to say, I haven’t found time to look for a fulltime job!
How did you first hear about Rainbow Trust and why did you decide to volunteer?
I was aware of Rainbow Trust as it’s a local charity to me and after reading an article about it in Surrey Life magazine it inspired me to see if there were any volunteering opportunities. I saw the Celebrity Support Volunteer role and thought it sounded great. I was keen to do something completely different from anything I’d done before and it fitted the bill, so I applied.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteering?
I enjoy being part of a team and learning about the organisation and the brilliant work it does. It’s nice to feel like I contribute in some small way to having a positive impact on someone’s life at a time of need. Everyone has been very friendly and approachable and Anna and Claire, the PR team, always make me feel so welcome even though I’m only in one day a week.
Can you describe a typical day volunteering and what it involves?
Initially I did quite a bit of housekeeping getting records updated, which was good for me as I got to learn about the software that the PR team uses.
Now my days are usually filled with progressing celebrity Asks. A team may want a celebrity to attend a specific event or take part in a sporting activity. They may have a celebrity in mind or we may need to research new celebrities to approach. I’ve recently been working with the Sports and Challenges team to identify potential celebrities to run the 2019 London Marathon for us. I’m also working on trying to secure celebrities to attend the ICAP Charity Day in December.
It can be slow progress and there is lots of gentle chasing up of emails etc. But that’s just the nature of the work area as agents are very busy and there is a lot of call on celebrities’ time. However, the stakes can be high as getting the right celebrity can make a huge difference, raising our profile and to the amount of money we raise; so I don’t mind sticking with it and keeping my fingers crossed that someone says yes!
Do you have a particularly distinctive memory from your volunteering so far? Or a quote from a parent or child you’ve been working with?
Yes, the first time the celebration hooter went off during the all team meeting, I nearly jumped out of my skin and spilt my coffee – you really need to add a warning about that in induction!
If you were to meet someone who was considering volunteering for Rainbow Trust what would you say to them?
Do it! There are a variety of roles with something to suit everyone. You will work with a great team of people and you will be contributing to making a huge difference to people’s lives.
If you could sum up your volunteering in one sentence what would it be?
Doing something worthwhile with a great bunch of people.
Like to volunteer?
If you would like to volunteer, click here to view our current opportunities.