Thank you all for your kind wishes on my wedding! Tom and I feel very lucky to have been able to get married despite the pandemic. Whilst not as we had originally planned, it was a very special day with our 30 nearest and dearest. One of the things I have in common with my new husband is a passion for volunteering. Whilst he is not a chartered accountant, he is a qualified lawyer. He is very supportive of Alex and I with our endeavours for Charterpath and I have persuaded him to share his experiences of volunteering with me!
How did you get involved in volunteering?
As a trainee solicitor at Linklaters, there were many pro bono opportunities offered to employees. My first experience was as a 24 year old, running Citizenship classes at an all-girls state school in Hackney, discussing human rights issues and debating current affairs. It was an instructive experience and I learnt as much (if not more) from the students than they did from me. It gave me an insight into other communities, taught me how to manage a classroom and served as a reminder of the importance of education in helping shape people’s futures. After leaving the law and post an MBA at INSEAD I went on to be a school governor, first at Bute House and more recently at the Royal Ballet School.
What do you most enjoy about volunteering?
I find it rewarding to be involved in an organisation that is educating young people and inspiring to see them learn, develop and achieve great things both at school and beyond. I enjoy working with great teaching staff and management teams and learn a huge amount from them as well as from fellow governors. So much of what is learned is transferable to the corporate world whether financial planning, strategic decision-making, recruiting the right people or COVID risk planning.
What is your top tip for others looking to volunteer?
Be open minded about how much you can learn and how much value you can add. My first experience as a school governor was as an unmarried 30 year old at an all girls prep school! Any non-profit organisation, like any business, needs sound governance, financial stewardship and strategic thinking. Even after a couple of years of training, you can bring those skill-sets and add value at no cost to the organisation. The key for a non-profit is to attract thoughtful volunteers with a passion for making a difference and an enthusiasm to get stuck in. I would also recommend those interested not to worry about being too busy to volunteer. A governance role can involve a relatively small time commitment and every hour you give can go a long way. It can be a lonely place running a non-profit and even if it is a second opinion or a fresh perspective, it all helps.
If the idea of volunteering your skills with a non-profit has caught your imagination - follow these 3 simple steps:
Follow Charterpath on LinkedIn for all the latest news, inspiration, and roles
Have a look around our website at www.charterpath.org.uk for case studies, helpful resources, and live volunteer opportunities
Sign the Charterpath pledge to show your support for our mission and volunteer your skills for at least 2 days each year
Alice Clementi and Alex Marsh co-founded Charterpath as a community interest company in 2020, with a mission to increase the proportion of accountants volunteering from 10% to 50% - inspiring more accountants to volunteer their time and expertise, connecting them with non-profit opportunities, and engaging with a wide range of organisations so volunteering is a core part of an accountant’s career. For more information, visit www.charterpath.org.uk.