Never underestimate the power of a volunteer

I recently found out that 1 in 3 members of the Council’s staff volunteer their time to a cause or a charity they share a personal connection with.  That’s a considerable force within our city with a strong desire to make a difference.  Volunteering has been important to me since my student days and while my current job takes up so much of my time that it can be tricky to find any spare to volunteer I continue to do what I can.  I fully appreciate that we all have busy lives with both work and family commitments, but I will always encourage and support colleagues to seek out personal and professional volunteer opportunities that stretch them in areas that they would not normally venture into.

Volunteering often offers opportunities to discover new, alternative solutions to some of the daily challenges we face giving a fresh perspective and new means by which to achieve our goals.  Volunteering encourages collaboration and idea-sharing.  I’m very keen to work with staff across the Council to enhance the value we place on volunteering and to embed it as a means of strengthening the core values of the Council.

As a Council, we must always work hard to earn and protect our role as a trusted partner in the community we serve.  The Council’s core values reinforce the values instilled in us at an early age and guide us away from a narrow focus on personal gain, and to a concern with the well-being of the people with whom we work.  This work takes dogged perseverance and a willingness to go the extra mile in order to make a lasting difference to people’s lives.  As with the Council, so with volunteering – find a cause you care about and connect yourself to it.  Go where others won’t go.  Donate to charities and volunteer your time no matter how little you can afford to give of either and get connected to something bigger than yourself.  Volunteering will give you access to the very people who have been waiting for you to show up and do what no one else but you can do.  Your time and support will never be wasted.

Meantime, you’ll remember I wrote in a previous blog about Megan McKinnon at our West Tullos Road Depot who spoke up for those who suffer in silence because they may not know how to talk about what they’re going through, or who they can turn to for help.  She believes that as an organisation, we can help to improve the quality of life for people affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), both patients and their families.  For Megan and others like her, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are often viewed as ‘invisible illnesses’.

Crohn’s and Colitis UK was set up to help find a cure for people who have Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and aims to be an equal partnership of patients, families and health professionals.  Their mission is to give a voice to everyone affected by those conditions and to see a world in which no one is limited by Crohn’s and Colitis.

As 2016 draws to a close, I invite everyone to support a worthy cause by giving a One Team donation to Crohn’s & Colitis UK.  Find the link on the Zone and ensure you make your donation by January 13th, 2017.