Volunteering with HSS is a great opportunity to support local families, to give back to community, to do something good and change someone’s life for better. But it is also a chance to meet like-minded people, boost wellbeing and self-esteem that comes from helping others and being part of a friendly, caring organisation and to develop skills and gain valuable experience that can support their career and personal and professional development. And we love seeing our volunteers blooming! And we love celebrating our volunteers’ achievements!
On 19th January 2023, Home-Start UK held their Volunteer Awards 2023 to recognise and celebrate the amazing contributions of volunteers across the network. After receiving some truly inspiring nominations, a panel of judges came together to select the winners across seven different categories. And we were incredibly proud to learn that one of Home-Start Southwark’s volunteers was the winner in the Digital Volunteer category!
We nominated Abdoul for his selflessness to help others, determination to give to his local community, and dedication to support Home-Start Southwark’s mission. We witnessed Abdoul joining HSS Prep course with his heart open to learn what more he can do! And he’s done so much already! Abdoul is still waiting to be matched to support a family, but the thing is, he prefers to wait while staying active, doing something for the cause! So, since June 2022, he’s been helping our Business Support Coordinator with website and social media updates, online promotion, and some admin.
We are certain that the Digital Volunteer role means different things for each of Home-Start schemes. But for Home-Start Southwark it is a person who comes into our office every Monday 10am sharp, to dedicate few hours of his time to help us with boosting our social media presence and updating website, to give us perspective of what HS volunteers actually want and need to see across our platforms. Our digital volunteer supports us through marketing challenges, promotion rollercoasters, displaying interest and hidden (not so hidden anymore) talent in designing and creating leaflets and posters. He engages in small admin tasks (cause no work is too little) and bigger event organisation (cause no work is too much for him), constantly seeking more and more…and more opportunities to support our team.
It all happens behind the scenes, in our 4 desks small, corner office, where not so many people see and may not even realise how valuable to our cause, yet humble, how hard-working but still looking for other ways to help HSS, and how out of spotlight but so admirable our volunteer Abdoul is.
“Local Home-Starts were invited to submit their nominations and the winners were carefully selected from a shortlist by a judging panel which consisted of:
Annie McCarthy, Trusts Manager, Marsh Charitable Trust
Sarah McMullen, Associate Director Research & Policy, The Royal Foundation for Early Childhood
Vanessa Theed, Volunteer and Apprenticeships Strategy Manager, Natural History Museum
Louise Sansom, Trusts Fundraising Officer, Home-Start UK
The event also recognised the impact made by volunteers who may not have won in their category but who were given ‘extra applause’ with a special mention to others who gave their time to Home-Start to support families across the UK in 2022.”