National Volunteer Week 1-7 June 2021

Happy National Volunteer Week, this year's theme is a 'time to give thanks'.


Over the weeks running up to National Volunteer Week we will be giving 'thanks' to our System Group team who give back to their own communities! We praise you for your hard work and dedication.



Why is volunteering important?


As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too. It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.


Read our teams volunteering stories and get inspired to give back to your community:





Sam Laing

Stakeholder and Learner Engagement Manager

Chair of the Governing Body of my local Primary School


"I am the chair of the governing body at my son’s primary school. Being a chair of governors is a key role in the leadership and management of schools. To be effective, I need a good understanding of the role and its responsibilities so that your school gains maximum benefit from the work that you do."
"I lead effective governance: giving the governing body a clear lead and direction, ensuring that the governors work as an effective team and understand their accountability and the part they play in the strategic leadership of the school and in driving school improvement.
Build the team: attracting governors with the necessary skills and ensuring that tasks are delegated across the governing body so that all members contribute, and feel that their individual skills, knowledge and experience are well used and that the overall workload is shared.
Relationship with the headteacher: Being a critical friend by offering support, challenge and encouragement, holding the headteacher to account and ensuring the headteacher’s performance management is rigorous and robust; a good comparison is with the role of the chair of a board of trustees who works with the chief executive of an organisation but does not run day-to-day operations.
Improving your school: ensuring school improvement is the focus of all policy and strategy and that governor scrutiny, monitoring and challenge reflect school improvement priorities."
"I enjoy having an active role in the school and supporting and challenging the senior management team. Since becoming chair of governors 5 years ago I have led the school through a Headteacher leaving, recruiting an entirely new senior leadership team, an OFSTED inspection and of course lockdowns 1,2 and 3!"




Karen Barham

IQA / Designated Safeguarding Lead

Secretary for Northumberland Centre of the Caravan Motorhome Club


"I am Secretary for Northumberland Centre of the Caravan Motorhome Club where members go rallying. This is not as you might think off roading with a caravan or motorhome but a gathering of people & families to enjoy a break from everyday life, in caravans and motorhomes."
"My role as secretary is to manage the membership respond to their queries, plan agendas and take the minutes at the monthly meetings and ensure that the centre complies with Club Guidance including GDPR. I also have a proactive role encouraging new members to join us on the rally field.
On the rally field when we meet up it great for everyone’s wellbeing as we are away from home often beautiful locations and we are with friends. On some occasions we organise the rallies. Which means arriving early siting the vans and when allowed provide entertainment and food."
"I volunteer as I have been caravanning since I was 10 and it was good for me as a child and for my children and in fact my son bought a caravan last year and now my grandsons love it too. It has had a great impact on my life, and I like to encourage others to enjoy the freedom and sense of wellbeing it offers. Also over the years I have taken part in fund raising which usually involves me making cakes, for Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, RNIB and the one closest to my heart Diabetes UK."








Marc Skinner

Adult Education Tutor

Cadet Force Adult Volunteer


"I am currently a CFAV (Cadet Force Adult Volunteer) member with the RAF. I have recently taken on a role within the RAF cadet force for the Lancashire and Cumbria wing, which sees me assisting them with their legal obligations surrounding Permit 19 operations ensuring the safe operation and transport of 32 Squadrons with around 1,200 cadets and staff.
As part of the wider organisation I also agree best practice with the whole of the North West region (border of Humberside across to border of Merseyside and north to the border of Scotland with over 6000 cadets and staff) There are calls for me to become a member of the RAF and return to uniform rather than as a civilian assistant which is what I am at present."
"I served in the armed forces as a member of the Royal Navy during the first Gulf war in 1991 and then in the later Bosnian conflict in 1995. Having struggled in civilian life since leaving I stumbled upon the RAF Cadet Force when my son joined as a cadet 5 years ago and joined as a member of the civilian committee raising funds for the cadets. I have since become a civilian instructor in the last year, my reason for joining was to give something back and help drive the youth of today towards a rewarding career in the Armed Forces."
"The squadron I am attached to have had some very distinguished alumni in the past with some of the cadets going onto rewarding careers not just in the RAF but also in the other services. Seeing the young cadets when they join and how they develop new skills and gain nationally recognised awards is a great source of satisfaction and I would recommend anyone who can spare the time with or without military background to assist these cadet units throughout the country, we don’t just give our time to develop them but we gain our own development through dealing with different challenges."




Sophie Grant

Human Resources Advisor

Committee Member at Maghull Musical Theatre Company


"I volunteer as a committee member for my local theatre group, Maghull Musical Theatre Company: https://www.maghullmtc.co.uk/. As the committee it is our responsibility to oversee the running and decision making of the company, with each member of the committee having a key part to play. My role is Youth Liaison/Merchandise: I provide support and act as a voice for the younger members of the company and I am in charge of merchandising for the company, this includes company and individual show merchandise."
"The company as a whole carries out small fundraising and volunteering events throughout the year including visiting The Royal Liverpool hospital to sing for patients who will be spending Christmas in hospital."
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