Becca Pettitt who has been working as a marketing volunteer for Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation was shocked to be nominated and even more surprised to have won the DSU Volunteering Gold Award for Outstanding Achievement at DeMontfort Su Volunteering Awards.
Laura Grant, Business Engagement Executive explains how we engage with volunteers:
‘Leicestershire & Rutland Community foundation is a small local charity with four employed people. The Community Foundation enables individuals and businesses to direct their charitable giving locally. We help direct funds to hundreds of community groups, voluntary organisations and charities across Leicestershire and Rutland.
The work we do is tremendously important across our communities, but not enough people know about us. We therefore decided that to raise our profile we needed to focus on our marketing strategy. However, with no staff time and even less money it would be hard to do this. We’d had success with volunteers in the past so decided we should look at gaining some help in this way for this project. I used several areas to advertise the position of marketing assistant.
One of the areas that is important when engaging with volunteers is that it helps the individual gain some valuable experience that can help them with their career or life plan. Therefore whilst I had a great number of applications from people of all backgrounds, I made the decision to focus on marketing students so we could give them valuable experience linked in with their studies.
I was very lucky that we engaged with two volunteers who were both from De Montfort University: Becca Pettitt to help write marketing stories and make links with the media and Richard Olusanya to grow our profile through social media.
Since November we have met monthly and communicated weekly to make the Leicestershire Community more aware of the work that The Community Foundation is doing. Becca and Richard are continuing to work really hard to achieve this.
Both Becca and Richard bring skills to the team that we don’t have: they bring fresh perspectives and new ways of doing things and I think they’ve learnt a huge amount in the last five months too. I’ve tried to ensure that throughout their time with us they’ve gained some valuable skills and experience that will benefit them in the work place. The work has involved set deadlines and responsibilities for tasks and introducing them to marketing professionals that have been able to pass on knowledge and training.
Becca and Richard have been extremely committed to their roles and have given up time when they had assignments to hand in and even when moving house. I am very proud of the work they have achieved and delighted Becca has been recognised for her hard work and dedication.’
DeMontfortSU volunteering scheme had hundreds of students offering their services last year to local organisations and this would equate to £108,000 in paid employment. The awards recognised all of these students along with six special recognition awards.
To find out more about how to volunteer go to www.demontfortstudents.com.