Every month, Octopus Giving recognises a colleague that’s done great things by volunteering for charity. November’s award went to Sue Scriven, Senior Designer at Octopus Group, about her work with MyBnk, a charity teaching young people all about money.
Sue now gets £500 to donate to a charity close to her heart.
Why did you decide to start volunteering?
In my role as Senior Designer, I design a whole range of content, including adverts, brochures and social media posts. When I heard MyBnk were looking for help with their marketing material, I volunteered because I knew my design skills could make a real difference.
Why did you choose to volunteer for MyBnk?
I think understanding how money works is really important for young people. If you can’t manage your money, you’re going to struggle in life.
When I was at school, children didn’t get any kind of financial education, which meant it was down to parents to teach their kids the basics, including how to live on a budget and understanding the real cost of living. Doing these things on your own can be very scary, unless you have the skillset to tackle it.
MyBnk runs workshops for young people around the UK, covering everything from saving money to starting a business. Since 2007, they’ve worked with over 200,000 students in the UK. That’s a generation of children who now understand more about their money.
What event did you volunteer for that earned the VOM award?
Before I got involved, MyBnk had just undergone a visual rebrand. Next, they needed help applying their new, modern look and feel across all of their marketing materials.
Together with my colleagues Deborah Carnevali and Rose Hargreaves, I worked with MyBnk to bring their new brand guidelines to life.
In the end, we helped create more consistent, distinctive marketing material. I’m really looking forward to seeing our work out there in the real world.
What’s been your most memorable volunteering experience so far?
The opportunity to work on an entirely different brand was rather exciting. It’s always enjoyable, once you have an understanding of the client and brief. It was great to have a play with the typography, using a different font and new colours.
It is also lovely to work with on this with my Octopus colleagues.
Have you decided where your £500 donation will go?
Yes, I have. I’ll be donating a quarter of it to Crisis at Christmas, which always does great work for homeless people at this time of year. The money will provide Christmas lunches and one night’s accommodation for four people.
The remainder will be going to rain.org.uk, which is a charity based in Kent that helps rescued animals in need, mainly cats. It’s where we got our two gorgeous cats from.
And finally…what’s your message for anyone who hasn’t volunteered before?
There are always people and causes out there that could benefit from your help. Even if it’s just a day of your time, you can make a difference. If you find a project tailor-made for your skills, even better.
It might sound cheesy, but if everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place. Life can be so frantic, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own little world. By volunteering, you get the chance to do something beyond your day job.