Our wonderful volunteers help us provide essential services to ICAEW members and their families. Could you help too?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, volunteering can promote positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness. In other words, helping others can make you feel good too. Volunteering brings a sense of belonging and can make you feel less isolated. Helping others in need can help you keep things in perspective.
There are also physical benefits, including less stress, lower blood pressure and a longer life. According to the University of Exeter Medical School, people who volunteer may be 20% less likely to die prematurely than those who never volunteer.
If you are looking to boost your employability, volunteering may be the ideal option. Doing voluntary work can:
- Show you're motivated and have initiative
- Boost your confidence and self-esteem
- Improve your ability to work and communicate with other
- Enable you to develop skills such as creative thinking and problem solving
If, like most people, you find yourself volunteering among a diverse mix of people, you'll also be fine tuning your interpersonal skills and learning to be more flexible and adaptable. There's every chance you could meet someone while volunteering who may become a valuable business contact in the future.
Here at CABA there are two volunteering roles that we recruit for throughout the year:
Our Champions help us to raise awareness of our work throughout the UK. These volunteers work on behalf of our relationship development team, and represent us at local ICAEW events where they help promote our services, usually through networking and/or giving a presentation. This work is invaluable to us, as it helps make sure past and present ICAEW members and their families understand the support we provide as well as how they can access it.
One of our CABA Champions, Iain Crossley, agrees it's an opportunity to make members and their families aware of our services and how they can help. “I've found that while most members know CABA, many aren't fully aware of the extensive package of services they offer," he adds.
To become a CABA Champion, all you have to do is commit to attending 3 or 4 local events a year. We provide a day of training once a year, and give you plenty of notice of the events you'll attend. And while the role is voluntary - which means it's unpaid - we can reimburse the cost of any travel expenses you pay for while acting on our behalf.
CABA support volunteers
If you prefer to help people directly, why not consider becoming a CABA support volunteer? This involves working with our support team to support ICAEW members and their families who need a helping hand.
You simply tell us what sort of support you can provide, and we'll match you with those who could benefit. You may find yourself offering:
- A friendly ear to those who feel lonely or isolated
- Emotional support in times of change
- Practical support - which could be anything from shopping to domestic paperwork
- Help and encouragement in finding work
- Details about your experience as a chartered accountant
- Details about how the profession is developing
- Encouragement for using the full range of CABA services
As a volunteer you don't receive payment. But we can pay expenses such as travel and meal costs where appropriate.
Volunteering outside CABA
If you'd like to use your professional skills, many charities and organisations need volunteers with financial expertise. To find a suitable volunteering opportunity visit icaewvolunteers.com, the UK's most widely used website for financial-based volunteer roles in the UK.
There are volunteering opportunities in many different sectors - from the arts to social welfare - in a number of locations around the country. So there's every chance you'll find a role to suit you.