For the first time in 7 years I spent the second week of July somewhere other than the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod field. The Eisteddfod was my first real taste of being a volunteer in a major organisation, and for the most part it was a brilliant experience. I learnt an incredible amount about sound engineering and stage management from the other volunteers, and came across some very interesting instruments most of which made awful noises.
The dedication of all the volunteers was really impressive, people would take a weeks holiday from their jobs to help out. The three outdoor stages were run by a team of about five technicians with a handful of other volunteers. Speaking to performers from across the world and sheltering from the traditional Welsh July rain was always a high point of my year. It was brilliant fun but sometimes I felt our commitment was overlooked.
This experience is where my interest in volunteer development came from. Giving something back to the people who give up their time is vital, because it ensures a win-win situation. Organising training, awards, and other benefits for the volunteers makes them more motivated and better at their job. Ensuring the event or organisation runs even more smoothly. I know this is in place in a lot of charities but I believe there is always more that could be done. While I was with the Cardiff Redhawks IHC, seeing the player’s development was so rewarding, not only because it gave us a better chance of winning, but because they loved improving and being the best they could be.
So I think developing and rewarding volunteers is super important.
Until next time, why not let me have a go at it, hire me?