OK – at this precise moment I may not be quite the authority I would like to be on this so let’s pass momentarily on to the much wiser words of Winston Churchill – whom it seems has a spot on quote about most things:
_ “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”._
A philosophy which chimes well with us at BTP though maybe we would put it slightly differently & say that we make a living by what we make & sell but we make things better by what we give.
With that in mind, and on a very personal level, I thought it was about time to start walking the walk when it comes to our mission mantra of Making Things Better. While as a company BTP has a solid history and long track record in community giving, personally, my continued muttering to myself that ‘I’ll do it when I have enough time’ seemed less and less like a reason and much more like an excuse.
As is so often the case – just at the time when we need a signpost or maybe a bit of a push – something walks into your world that does just that & for me it was those fine folk at Good For Nothing, who we partner with across BTP & the giving networks that they facilitate & foster. Specifically, it was GFN Bath Chapter’s decision to choose Mentoring Plus as their partner initiative that was the reason that I finally pulled the proverbial finger out.
Mentoring Plus train & support adult volunteers to mentor vulnerable children & young adults in need of a little extra support. I know from personal experience the powerful effect that a mentor can have – a sounding board, a safe space, a sage advisor with no personal agenda or vested interest – just life experience & hopefully helpful advice. As they say – it is simple & powerful & it changes lives.
I start my training in October and I’m thrilled to be finally scratching that itch/quieten that nagging voice and just to be getting on with something that I know I will get so much out of. I may not be able to tell you much about the joy of volunteering yet but I can tell you about the joy of just getting on with it.
While the reasons people choose to volunteer may range from the entirely altruistic to the purely professional – it seems that the benefits are fairly universal.
Over 1 billion pounds of volunteering hours were lost between 2012 & 2015 (ONS March 2017), so now more than ever we need folk to make time in their lives and do what they can.
In light of this and my own personal journey, we have recently decided to give everyone at BTP HQ an extra two days holiday, so long as the days are spent helping out those that need it.
I’m already feeling pretty good about it, and can’t wait to get started.