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People can find their volunteering paths in different ways. Some have a lifelong connection to a cause, while others stumble across it when they least expect to. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that sparked Lewis Keating's journey, a Risk Advisory Senior Manager in Leeds. His advice? if you're interested in getting involved, take a leap of faith.
Futures Month, our firmwide virtual volunteering event this May, is an opportunity for more of our colleagues to start their own story. They can get involved, for example, through advising individuals who are looking for work because of the pandemic, recording an audiobook for visually impaired people or creating inspirational e-fact cards on Black and LGBTQ+ role models for inclusive education.
It’s also the perfect time to recognise the achievements of some of our seasoned volunteers like Lewis…
Count me in!
A snap decision to join a colleague on a school visit one afternoon led me to discover new skills and unearth a passion for volunteering.
I had offered to take part in an employability workshop designed to help pupils with CV writing and interviews. It sounded interesting and fun - a good thing to do and to experience - so I said, 'Great, count me in!'.
I'd only ever been in a classroom as a student, so when I stood up and started talking about how to prepare for an interview, I might have had a bout of imposter syndrome for a few seconds, but I really enjoyed it. The proof is in the pudding - I've volunteered plenty since then.
In fact, I've never looked back. Several years on, as part of 5 Million Futures, I'm managing the relationship with IntoUniversity, our Leeds office charity partner. The organisation provides local learning centres where young people from disadvantaged background are inspired to achieve.
My involvement has spanned a range of activities, from hosting pupils at our offices and running business games, co-ordinating fundraising activities, visiting local centres and looking for opportunities to support the charity through a variety of pro bono work.
Ultimately, it's about making sure that we, as a firm, provide the best support possible to the charity, which feels good.
Nothing quite like it
Finding the time hasn't been an issue for me. After all, volunteering has pulled me out of my comfort zone, which is something I welcome. It has given me greater confidence in my day-to-day work and a broader perspective on society's challenges.
Some of my best experiences have been behind the scenes, seeing the impact of our pro bono projects. I've been able to help a charity grow and amplify its impact. They are my 'wow' moments.
I've been lucky to have people invest their time in my career and give me some great advice, and now I'm in a position where I can help other people. Why would anyone not do it?
If you're thinking about volunteering, give it a go. You won't regret it. You'll feel great and you'll know that the impact you've had has really made a difference. There's nothing quite like helping someone.
Find out more about Futures Month, follow us on twitter @DeloitteUK_5M.
Charlotte has been working at Deloitte since 2011 across various marketing roles. She has been part of the firm’s Responsible Business team since 2016, managing marketing and communications for One Million Futures and the recently launched 5 Million Futures programme in the UK.