Why we love volunteering #VolunteersWeek

From a trusteeship at an early parenting charity to fostering rescue dogs, find out how we volunteer our time at DSC and why we love doing it.

We’re joining in with Volunteers’ Week 2021 (1-7 June) to showcase the time given by our staff at DSC to voluntary organisations around the UK. Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thanks for the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. Here’s why we love volunteering:

Bronwen Edwards, Executive Office Manager at DSC

Baby Umbrella is a small charity that was formed to provide breastfeeding and early parenting support services across West Kent. Our charity’s vision is for every family in West Kent to have access to skilled and compassionate support during their parenting journey. Baby Umbrella listens, supports and empowers parents and babies.’

I am on the Board of Trustees at Baby Umbrella which means that share, with the other trustees, the responsibility for governing the charity and directing how it is managed and run. My role is ‘Board Secretary’ which means I have additional responsibilities including organising meetings, agendas, minutes and highlighting anything that we need to know technically and legally. I have to keep up to date with charity commission changes and changes to the Charity Governance Code.

The Board currently meets (virtually at the moment) every 2 months and I have to do some prep in advance of this. As we are so small the trustees all ‘muck in’ and do things like funding applications, manage the social media and so on.

Trustees are volunteers and I am incredibly proud to support an organisation that is helping people on their parenting journey. I wanted to get involved with Baby Umbrella as, as the start of my parenting journey I could have used a charity like this one to help me with all the questions and breastfeeding support I needed.

I love being a trustee and would recommend everyone apply to a local charity to volunteer in this way!

Abigail Hanley, Content Marketer at DSC

Rommie Rescue is a charity which gives new lives to stray dogs found on the streets in Romania. I began volunteering as a fosterer earlier this year as I had been looking into doing it for a year or so. I really missed having a dog in the house and wanted to give a rescue dog a bit of TLC before they headed to their forever home.

The process to apply was straightforward, I  first had a Zoom call with the rescue centre to discuss why I wanted to foster and whether my house was suitable. This would usually be in person but due to Covid restrictions, it had to be done online. Any equipment needed to take care of the dog/dogs can be provided by the rescue centre but as this is a voluntary position, many fosterers pay for their own food and equipment. There is even a community group online so you can discuss and compare how your foster dog is getting along.

Looking after the dogs is a lovely experience as you know you are helping them get used to living in a home for the first time. Fostering is also a great way to volunteer from your own home and can be done on either a short term (1-2 weeks) or long term basis. Watching them build their confidence and discover new things is amazing and something I would recommend to anyone who has the time to commit to taking care of a rescue pup.

Looking for more Volunteers’ Week content?

Discover how Dean Renshaw, Senior Researcher at DSC began volunteering with the Open Door Charity during the pandemic here.