I write again about some instances that have been warming my heart in a week which has been freezing in the shadow of Westminster - but we won't talk about what's been happening there, because I'm highlighting the good stuff from last week!
UK volunteering soars - and people want to continue when life goes back to 'normal'
I'm a huge believer that there will always be people who benefit from negative times, and while this might usually relate to the types of people and companies who make prudent
investments (like in toilet roll or food delivery companies during Covid-19), there are lots of people who are directly benefitting from volunteer work that has been taking place across the country. I talk about not only the people who have been on the recieving end of the volunteers' kind deeds, but also of the volunteers themselves. Ever since I started volunteering for things, I have always spoken of the mental health benefits that come from giving your time to others, so it made me so happy to read in The Guardian that 78% of people who are currently volunteering are planning to continue to volunteer when life goes back to 'normal'. The 'Volunteer Army' now stands at 10 million strong - so we may indeed see a huge cultural shift in the way people view volunteering, because we never know when we might need a volunteer's help. It doesn't have to be anything huge, and you don't have to commit hours and hours of your time, you just need to start with helping your neighbour.
You can read more about it HERE.
Women Guiding Women - Dedicating your life to the development of others
The Lancashire Post reports a lovely story about a woman who has earned the Laurel Award - the Girl Guides' top award - for having dedicated the last 36 years to developing girls and young women in the Girl Guides. Having joined as a Brownie 54 years ago, Julie Bell has
dedicated a lifetime to the organisation and found out by surprise in a virtual meeting that she had won the top prize. I bet she was thinking 'great, another bloody Zoom meeting. I suppose I'd better get my GG top on...'
I love stories like this, having been a beneficiary of great leadership like this when I was in the Sea Cadets. Women like Julie Bell have such an incredible impact on the lives of others and organisations like the Girl Guides wouldn't be able to function without people like her. I salute you!
You can read the full story HERE.
More Women Leading Women - Hospitality leaders give their time to mentoring the next generation of female board members
I've been feeling the effects, as keenly as anyone, of coronavirus on the hospitality industry. In a time where most restaurants and bars would have been teeming with people, the sector has missed out on three bank holidays and millions of pounds in revenue. As a freelance hospitality marketeer, my services were obsolete because marketing was the last thing on most business-owners' minds as they fought to stay afloat.
Plan B Mentoring is an amazing initiative founded just over a year ago by four amazing leaders from the hospitality sector (including my personal hero Kate Nicholls from UKHospitality - we are so lucky to have her on our team). They recognised that, in a nutshell, hospitality board rooms are dominated by men and wanted to find a way to get more balance on boards. They came up with Plan B and started running speed networking events so that women who are on the cusp of reaching board level can be matched with business leaders and board members who can help them get there.
Having benefitted from Plan B myself (I have an incredible mentor called Jackie Cupper who has helped me immensely the past year), I think that the format would translate really well into other sectors. This is specifically aimed at hospitality, but if you wanted to do something similar within a different sector, I would urge you to contact them as I am certain they would be more than happy to help. We need more women and balance on boards everywhere.
Find out more HERE. Plan B are also recruiting mentors and mentees for their programme.
Corporate Volunteering - UK Survey Highlights the Need for Remote Volunteering
I've added this article as a good news piece because now that there are more people able to work from home, commute times have been eradicated for some, which means that workers now have at least an hour or so a day free so they can do something wonderful. There are lots of charities and organisations out there who could do with some help (last week, I wrote about Furlonteer, who help match volunteers with organisations and there is also Neighbourly too).
There is such a huge opportunity for people to use the time that they are getting back from their commute to help good causes
You can read more about it HERE, especially if you want to present a case to your employer for offering your skills to a good cause.