CIWM’s CEO Sarah Poulter says volunteering is more than simply doing a job or performing a task without payment, as she looks at how CIWM’s volunteers are its “backbone”.
Volunteers have never been more important. During this time of lockdown, when our key workers are risking their lives to continue to keep the country going, we should not forget the people that give their time selflessly to a cause, whatever that cause may be.
Did you know, a quarter of a million tasks have now been carried out by the NHS Volunteer Responders recruited by Royal Voluntary Service to support the NHS and to help the most vulnerable to coronavirus?
This shows the community spirit and generosity inherent in the army of volunteers working diligently across the UK and all parts of the world.
Like most membership organisations, CIWM has hundreds of volunteers who help keep the institution running on a daily basis. Volunteers are a core part of the life and culture of CIWM and they have a role to play at each level of the institution.
Our volunteers include our CIWM Board of Trustees, WAMITAB, our CIWME Board Members, Centre Councillors, Special Interest Group Steering Committee Members, NMN Co-ordinators, ISWA National Committee, Scientific and Technical Committee, our COVID-19 Advisory Group, and those that sit on stakeholder working groups to represent CIWM. Not to mention the many speakers at webinars and events, both nationally and locally (when these are running, of course) who all volunteer their time and expertise.
Volunteering is more than simply doing a job or performing a task without payment. It’s about giving time and skills – the most precious things you have to offer
Every year, without fail, these volunteers show their dedication to the waste and resources sector, committing their own valuable time, helping to run CIWM in a way that helps promote and encourage community and best practice – not just within CIWM, but throughout the sector as a whole.
And with the added pressures of lockdown, not only on our personal and mental health, but on our working lives (not to mention the resource strain on the country as a whole), I believe we all owe a lot to the volunteers who are – to quote a perhaps over-used phrase – keeping calm and carrying on.
Volunteering is more than simply doing a job or performing a task without payment. It’s about giving time and skills – the most precious things you have to offer.
Volunteering is also about being a part of something and is a way of giving back. It offers opportunities and experiences to learn from and communicate with people you might not ever have met otherwise. It can help build self-confidence and can contribute to a sense of achievement and community.
Volunteers’ Week took place last week, from 1-7 June 2020. This is an annual celebration of the contribution that millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. The charity’s President, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, said this year in particular, we owe a great debt of thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, who have stepped forward in astonishing numbers, pulling together to support those affected by COVID-19.
I whole-heartedly agree, and as the proud CEO of CIWM, I would like to echo her words in saying our volunteers truly are the backbone of CIWM.
It’s with this in mind, that I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our volunteers for the amazing contribution each and every one of you makes to CIWM.
Thank you all.