Every month, we celebrate a colleague for their amazing volunteering work. August’s Volunteer of the Month is Sally Glancy, who organised two teams to volunteer at BeyondAutism’s annual school sports days. Sally, an Executive Assistant at Octopus Real Estate, gets £500 to donate to a charity of her choosing. We spoke to Sally to find out more about her volunteering work.
Why did you decide to start volunteering?
Volunteering is part of the culture at Octopus. I hadn’t done a lot of it until I joined, but here, everyone is encouraged to get involved. It’s so refreshing.
Last year, my team spent a great day volunteering for MyBnk, a charity that helps young people with financial education. I wanted to do something similar this year. When my colleague Michele Howard told me about BeyondAutism’s school sports days, I knew it would be a great fit.
Why were you awarded Volunteer of the Month for August?
BeyondAutism is a charity that helps people with autism live life to the fullest. I cleared the diaries of twenty of my colleagues so they were able to help out at BeyondAutism’s school sports days in July – no mean feat! I organised our volunteers into two teams of ten, with each team helping for one day.
We volunteered at Park House and Tram House schools, which are run by BeyondAutism. Our teams helped set up and manage the sports events, and looked after the kids too. We set up six activities, which included an obstacle course, pirate dress ups, hook a crab and ‘hit the target’ (the kids loved throwing water balloons!). We also judged the competitions and scored the kids on their team spirit.
Were you surprised to win Volunteer of the Month?
It was a shock! I had no idea it was coming. I thought that previous Volunteer of the Month winners were superhumans who’d put in hundreds of hours. It just goes to show that anyone can make a difference, no matter who they are or what role they work in.
Was there a memorable moment from your volunteering?
Being able to help out over two days was rewarding in itself. The teachers and support workers really appreciated our help, because it allowed them to focus their energy on the kids.
This experience has made me want to do more. It’s all too easy to live in a bubble, without seeing how life is for other people. I’m already thinking about where I can volunteer next.
Have you decided where your £500 donation will go?
I’ve donated it to Beyond Autism. I’m in awe of their teachers and support staff. Their patience and understanding struck a chord with all of us in the team, so I’m delighted to be able to donate this money to them.
And finally… what’s your message for anyone who hasn’t volunteered before?
Please do it! Charities depend on people’s time as well as their money. Working at Octopus, there are so many opportunities to help out. All you have to do is choose a charity to support and go for it.
So many of us will need help from charities at some point in our lives. I think it’s on all of us to give back whenever we can.