Like any charity Pennies could never succeed without the incredible work of volunteers. The charity was started by volunteers, some of whom still volunteer today, but why do so many people make the decision to work for free, and continue to do so for years on end?
To celebrate volunteers week, we asked this question of one of our longest serving and most generous volunteers, Caroline Osborne:
“Sitting here in Pennies office, it’s almost impossible to believe that I have been with the charity for over three years. If you told me on that first cold, wet January day, that I’d still be making the journey in every week, I would have said ‘no way’. But the charity has well and truly got under my skin. I have caught the Pennies bug.
If Pennies could have given me glamour, prestige, status (not to mention a big fat pay packet) the draw would be more obvious. But no, I’m a volunteer. My job consists of sitting in the corner of the office, with the usual email, word documents and meetings to fill my day. There’s the odd meeting out of the office and events to help manage. But that’s about it.
So why do I brave the packed rush hour train each week? It’s simple. Pennies offers enormous potential and in the time I have been here has shown some real hope that it can succeed where many new charities have failed. If we get it right, we can make a massive difference to hundreds of thousands of people’s lives. If the digital charity box expands into hundreds of retailers this little team will be responsible for collecting millions of pounds for charity each and every year. Without a sponsor form, raffle ticket, fun run or shaved head in sight. Amazing.
Most of the week I am a Mum, doing the school run, washing never ending sports kits and trying not to scream out loud when I step, yet again, on the thin layer of Lego left on the floor. But in the past I had another life, years of heading up a large marketing team. And at Pennies I can recharge those brain cells and use them for good. Helping with the website, branding, literature, events and on occasions, I have even been known to put on my strategic marketing hat.
Pennies keeps my marketing brain exercised. It gives me a working environment in which I can use my professional experience and I am doing something worthwhile. The best thing is the marketing team I work with. We deliver time and again for the Pennies cause and we have fun doing it.
Volunteering doesn’t have to mean you have to do things that you have never done before. Pick your volunteer job carefully and giving your time for free can offer so much to both yourself and those whom you work for. And you never know, pick really well and you just might change the world.”