I was delighted to receive this card from Marie Curie as a thank you during Volunteers Week. I love the work that I do to help them communicate their local fundraising activities through social media, particularly our local Facebook page. Along with the Balsall Common and Berkswell Marie Curie group I also help Balsall Common Lions Club, Berkswell Cricket Club, Balsall Hornets, and also our local community website balsallcom.com and the linked social media channels.
So why do I do it? It definitely isn’t because I’ve got oodles of free time! I help Marie Curie because they looked after my mum when she was very ill. I help the Lions Club because my Dad’s been a member for over 30 years and they’ve been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
It is incredibly rewarding and using social media at local and community level can have fantastic results. I love sharing my knowledge, helping local clubs and groups to develop their own skills and see the results. We publicise Marie Curie events largely through social media but also use a local magazine, posters and other methods. It generates bookings for fundraising fairs, volunteers to help out with collections, and participants for our annual Weekend Wind Down walk.
Balsall Common Lions Club have noticed an increase in visitors to their annual bonfire since promoting it on Facebook and I’m particularly pleased that some Lions I’ve trained up have really made the Facebook account their own, particularly at Christmas when they send messages from Santa letting people know about his local sleigh route around the village – great for raising awareness and helping their fundraising efforts.
I also helped our local cricket club create a keen cohort of young players in their successful All Stars programme.
From a professional point of view, I recommend volunteering to anyone who wants to hone their skills and try out new things. I first got involved with balsallcom.com when I was on maternity leave and keen to maintain my web updating and social media skills while I was off work.
For anyone working in large organisation your skills will be really valued by local community groups and it’s also an opportunity to test out some of the things that aren’t always possible in a big organisation.
So why not look at starting a volunteering opportunity? I’m sure there’s a local group in your area that could benefit from your time and skills.
For anyone living in the Balsall Common area please get in touch and I can match you up to a fantastic local organisation that would benefit from your support. Equally, if you’re a local charity or group looking for a bit of help with your social media I run one-off sessions, usually in Balsall Common, to offer training and upskilling. Get in touch for more details.
Wow! Signal Communications is sponsoring the Gin Bar at the Balsall Beerfest, organised by two local groups I help – Balsall Common Lions and Balsall Hornets. It’s on Saturday 29th June so you can catch me there.