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FEATURE


CHARITABLE CAUSES, PROMOTION & PARTNERSHIP


The benefits of volunteering


Volunteering is gaining traction in the business world, even among time- poor professionals. Chris MacDonald, a volunteer at Chamber charity CHICKS, explains why giving a charity your time can be both rewarding and, in turn, aid self-development.


Chris MacDonald, CHICKS volunteer


Most charities couldn’t do what they do if it wasn’t for their army of supportive volunteers, who freely give up their time, skills and experience to help their chosen cause. This is an area of CSR among business that is being increasingly identified – with many organisations offering staff paid leave to take part in voluntary activies. But why do people take it upon themselves to volunteer?


The answer, is for all sorts of reasons. These include the desire to give something back; thank a charity that’s close to their heart; learn new skills and potentially boost their CV; make a tangible difference; make new friends, connections and networks; gain new perspectives and get inspired and, also, simply to have fun. CHICKS, a national children's charity which provides free


respite breaks to disadvantaged children from all over the UK, benefits from such people. A CHICKS break has the ability to inspire new confidence


and gives children the chance to have fun, enjoy new experiences and relax. More than anything, it gives them the chance to just be children and volunteers play a big role in enabling this to happen. The charity began in 1992 and since then has provided


over 15,600 children with a much-needed break. This year alone, the organisation needs to raise £1.5m to continue providing its vital breaks. Business Network spoke with Chris, a new CHICKS


volunteer - who will shortly take on an ambitious fundraising adventure which will see him paddleboard 200km from Vik to Reykjavik in Iceland - to find out what he has to say about his first-time experience of volunteering at a CHICKS respite break.


WHY DID YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER? Ever since I found out through a friend about the work CHICKS does supporting disadvantaged children and young carers I have wanted to volunteer. Spending a lot of time doing outdoor activities myself, I know how


50 business network June 2018


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