This page is all about my journey as a volunteer, the decisions I’ve made along the way and how I’m about to put my body on the line to raise funds for charities who’ve impacted my journey.


Who “am I” to charities? 


“Oh hey! You’re that guy who runs that blog! The volunteering one, right?!”

This is now happening more than ever with charities recognising who I am without even a mention of John’s Road to Volunteering.

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Volunteering inspired ‘The Good Sex’ *GUEST BLOG*


For months after I finished University I didn’t have a plan, every time someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life- the most open ended question ever by the way- I’d just say “work for a charity.” The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is work with purpose, and the only thing I’ve ever really done in my life is support people. Both in my personal and professional life I’ve been the rock, the carer, the support system. So when, seven months after graduating, a volunteer position in my local Rape Crisis centre became available I applied. After seven months I was desperate for something meaningful as I’d only found routine retail work since graduating and for me it wasn’t enough, I wanted out.

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Learning with Leonard Cheshire Disability


Growing up noticing ‘the stare’ and the exclusion surrounding someone’s unique characteristics, I looked for a disability charity to support. After my sister’s stroke, I questioned humanity.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know I’m all for equality. I stand up for various things in blogging, I speak out about my volunteering experiences and beliefs, and joining forces with Leonard Cheshire Disability, I understood what diversity truly means.

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Volunteering isn’t easy *GUEST BLOG*


Something we’ve seen with lots of bloggers and are guilty of ourselves is only sharing the good parts of volunteering … Those unforgettable moments or cute selfies with the kids.

The truth is volunteering isn’t easy and can be really tough. Of course the good bits are incredible and it’s natural to share these moments with family and friends but you tend to keep the bad bits to yourself, it’s easier that way. It’s hard to explain but you feel if you share your negative experiences that you are letting yourself down.

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Rosie’s volunteering story *GUEST BLOG*


There are three key parts of volunteering that are often overlooked. These are accessibility, small-scale actions and volunteering as a way of life. Accessibility is often blurred in volunteering by expensive parachute jumps, rich gap year trips to help save orphans and the idea of a painfully pretentious ‘active citizen’. It is easy to view volunteering as the plight of the middle classes to make a difference in their local community through flamboyant gestures that appear to have lost the core aims of volunteering.

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YOU are the barrier!


Learning about the ways charities work and how influential approaches are when it comes to volunteer recruitment, I’ve come to realise the true barrier in volunteering is…


When you think about volunteer recruitment and the way charities try to engage prospective volunteers to their opportunities, when it’s not successful, we point the finger at the charity, but actually the volunteer has control of their journey.

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5 Steps to Overcoming Volunteer Fear *GUEST BLOG*


If you’re an anxiety-ridden introvert like myself, the thought of traveling outside your comfort zone to spend time in a new location with new people even for the best of reasons can be a bit frightening.  Sure you can sit behind your computer and donate to various charities via the internet but nothing is more fulfilling than putting in real work, interacting with others and seeing smiles on the faces of the people you’re helping.

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Introducing Chair, John Sennett


Set in the beautiful area of Camden, the 2nd ‘Managing Volunteers in Charities’ conference took place, with my charming self as Chair.

Forum Training invited me back for the 2nd year running to oversee the event and it’s an exceptional example of giving a volunteer a platform to have a voice.

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My time with the Ronald McDonald House Charities


When you hear ‘Ronald McDonald’, you instantly think about McDonalds. Well that’s what I did when I first heard about the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Connecting with a staff member from the Southampton House on Twitter, I was invited in for a house tour.

I instantly felt like a celebrity being invited to the house, and yet upon arrival, the reason for the house tour became apparent. The Ronald McDonald House Charities are very unique.

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Where can volunteering take you?


When I look back at the 4 ½ years of giving my time to the community, I’m amazed that I thought I was only going to volunteer for a month. I didn’t know what I was going to experience as a volunteer, and my mindset certainly wasn’t expressing positivity.

I originally thought by giving a month to the community, my career would open up, opportunities would appear and I’d look back at volunteering as a good deed.

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The bloggers dreams come true


When you hear about the London Marathon, you think BIG! BIG crowds, LARGE number of runners, and HUGE support from bystanders. It’s always been on my bucket list to see the London Marathon in person, and when I heard Dreams Come True were looking for cheerers at the event, I couldn’t turn my back on living a dream.

Dreams Come True gave me the opportunity to make one of my dreams come true!

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Jessica’s story *GUEST BLOG*

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Volunteering saved my life. I could tell you all the ways that it has done that but this post would end up being like a novel. My story starts off in 2009, Secondary School and yep…they were the worst 5 years of my life. Bullying and struggling so much academically, I just watched my confidence and self-esteem crumble before my eyes.

Started College as a media student and with only 1 GCSE and 2 BTEC’S under my belt I felt ashamed. College was going so well, making friends and was enjoying my work, filming videos, creating websites and learning more about the media industry. Then BOOM. My life came tumbling down around me with the sudden news of my friend’s suicide.

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Part one of four fundraising 2017 complete

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My first event the Lincoln 10k and I feel totally ready for it I’ve trained well , even stuck to it on holiday in Tenerife, going for jogs up and down the beach front from los cristianos to las Americas early morning before the sun was fully up, all the red wine and big meals slowed me down but not too much.

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Sleeping under the stars with Trinity Winchester

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Ever walked passed someone on the street and wondered how you can help?

I’ve had these thoughts for a while now, and when I found out about Trinity Winchester’s ‘Big Sleep Out’, I instantly wanted to get involved.

The ‘Big Sleep Out’ is an event happening in Winchester on May 5th and speaking to Trinity Winchester, they shared this about ‘The Big Sleep Out’…

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Run with the digital times


More and more digital reports are being released in the charity sector, highlighting the lack of digital progressions, how many charities don’t believe digital should be a priority and the number of charities who have no internal training for staff and volunteers.

I’ve been in the sector now for just over 4 years, have volunteered with charities of all sizes and I haven’t seen any chances across the board. I haven’t seen any movement forward, understanding we need to do this together as a sector. We need to collaborate across the sector; staff and volunteers, learn from one another and learn from our supporters, when it comes to strategising for the present and future.

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Part of the Prevention, Part of the Cure *GUEST BLOG*


After crossing the finish line of the Leeds Half Marathon in 2014 I swore to god that I would never, ever put myself through the experience ever again. The last 3 miles were the longest of my life, I hurt, I had more blisters than I could count and even the prospect of a BBQ feast at the end couldn’t rekindle my motivation.

This year I’ve decided to give it another go, and not only because I want to challenge myself to run faster either.

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Raising funds for our country’s heroes


Volunteering is my love. A love that’s grown and grown, supporting a variety of charities in a number of ways.

I had never volunteered with Help for Heroes before last weekend, but it was time to say thanks. Just like in their name, those serving our country are heroes. Heroes that deserve every little bit of thanks and recognition, as who knows what’d happen without their selfless act.

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Something To Look Forward To *GUEST BLOG*


Last year, at the age of 30, I found myself having a ‘career crisis’ (or at least that’s what I called it). Having trained to become a child protection social worker in 2012, a field that I had been exceptionally passionate about, the reality of the statutory profession post qualification for me was one of bureaucracy, government funding cuts, heartache, and impossibility. After a great deal of soul searching, I made the difficult decision to leave. I began working part time for a social work charity and volunteered the rest of my time to the cancer charity ‘Something To Look Forward To’.

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Dear Nan



I miss you. Your presence has been greatly missed since the day you departed, and this love letter is to thank you for bringing two of the most amazing supporters of my journey into the world.

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Championing Volunteers


A volunteer’s development is the journey, the memory, the actions put in place by their leaders, and championing volunteers is the whole sha-bang. The whole sha-bang, that’ll play a part in a volunteer’s motivation and the future strategies put in place internally.

I’ve seen/heard/spoke to many volunteers who have felt undervalued, resulting in many walking away from their chosen charity and in some situations, turning their back on volunteering full-stop.

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Volunteering for NATIONAL and LOCAL organisation. Is there a difference? *GUEST BLOG*


If you’ve ever do any volunteering then you will know that it can be one of the best experiences or one of the most rewarding thing you will do. I wanted to talk about the great experiences and skills you can get from both National organisations and your local organisations.

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The long road to volunteer recruitment


Let me start with explaining today’s title. Why is it a long road to recruit volunteer? In truth, it’s not, but today’s post talks about what I’ve seen during my 4 years of volunteering, covering recruitment techniques I’ve witnessed and how in 2017, I don’t see much change, and I’m worried.

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The research that inspired my action


It’s charity no.2 of my JRTV100 project, and this one was very close to home.

As a child, I felt helpless when my mum was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was at an age, where things weren’t quite clear and school had its claws already into my thoughts and emotions.

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Your hours live on


An hour, 10 hours, 100 hours, possibly 1000, how many hours as a volunteer has purpose? Has the impact that you want to see, feel, experience been shown?

Impact starts the moment we sign up to volunteer. Charities smile with an email appearing in their inbox showing your interest in volunteering, and then the rest is history.

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Starting volunteering


I like looking at volunteering as a journey. From the moment we think about looking for our first role to the first email response inviting you in for a 1-2-1 meeting, volunteering has shown me that what might be a perception about giving your time to someone, can turn into something magical and change your future like never imagined.

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Does your future involve volunteering?


I get asked this question all the time…”Why did I start volunteering?”. I quite frankly didn’t see my future to be in the voluntary sector before I volunteered and yet my future plans are now appearing with a few COMMUNITY-FOCUSED fundraising challenges.

As I didn’t expect my future to be like it is today, I wanted to share my thoughts on whether volunteering is right for you and if it’s part of your future.

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Standing on your own two feet


We have an option in life…let others lead us, or lead ourselves.

I was a follower when I first started volunteering. Mainly because I had no understanding of my surroundings or the path I was set to take on, but standing on your own two feet has a powerful message…Belief in your own actions!

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Why do I volunteer?


It’s time for a dash of reflection in today’s post! With JRTV100 in full flow, I wanted to open about why I volunteer and to the extent that I do.

10 days into 2017 and it’s already become overwhelming. Messages have poured in to thank me for what I do for others, but I want to thank everyone for being part of my journey.

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Starting JRTV100 with my Cycles4all family


If I could describe Pavilion on the Park and their Cycles4all team it would be my family. 4 years ago, I took my first steps to being a volunteer by walking through their doors and being instantly inspired by their work.

Inclusion has always been a close passion of mine and knowing Cycles4all is there to provide inclusive cycling, I knew I wanted to start JRTV100 with them.

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It’s finally here…JRTV100!


For the past few months, I’ve been boring you about my BIG 2017 project and it’s finally here! JRTV100 is finally here!

Starting tomorrow, I will be on a journey to help 100 charities, giving much more than just my time as a volunteer.

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Looking back at my journey


Last week, I revisited my past.

4 years ago, I had no clue where I was going in life, nor was I happy with who I was as a person. I felt like a failure. A disgrace to my parents and half of the person I knew I was.

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Defining your volunteering journey


I started volunteering with no real outlook and understanding as to what my future would hold. I had never been in a position where I had control of my actions.

Defining a journey is hard to think about at times, with twists and turns waiting and the thought of ‘how long will it last?’ surfacing our mind-set.

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We all volunteer. We just don’t know it! 


I had a thought last week. What if volunteering isn’t what we generally perceive it to be?

You might be wandering what I’m on about and I’m thinking the same thing, but what if we all volunteer, but don’t know it?

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Not such a bad day *Guest blog* 


Hello there. My name is Ksenia and there is one thing I want for Christmas. That is for you to have Not Such a Bad Day.

And you.

And you.

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Who are KCSO? *Guest blog*


It’s a jungle out there!

Keeping children safe online has never been more important with over 500,000 predators that we know of scanning the internet for vulnerable victims.

However, the internet also provides a wealth of knowledge and resources, engages people worldwide and provides fun and entertainment for people of all ages and it’s important the next generation learn to use it effectively and safe.

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My volunteering first steps were taken when I was 8 years old. I was a member of my local Brownie Guide unit, and knew even then that I wanted to grow up to be like my leaders. I started in Girlguiding as a beneficiary and, as so many volunteers with the charity would agree, that never really stopped.

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First Steps to running a marathon *GUEST BLOG*


My story starts when I was 16. It was then I first discovered I was unhappy in myself and with my life. I was uneducated around mental health – naïve and gullible to the impact and severity mental illnesses have on everyday people. Pair this with the fact I was a hormonal teenager who had a drive to succeed more than anything else, and yeah – I was a bit of a state.

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First Steps: Maddie *GUEST BLOG*


The past few years have been a rollercoaster for me. They saw the end of a serious relationship, debt problems, losing my home and the death of several people close to me. In fact, I would say that the last eighteen months have been some of the most difficult and heart-breaking of my 31 years.

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What’s IVMDay? An international recognition for all those managing/leading volunteers in their field of work.

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My morning with Trinity Retail


If you said to 16y/o me, that I’d be spending a morning modelling, I would have laughed.

I say this, but meeting the Trinity Retail team was something else.

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First Steps: Hannah *GUEST BLOG*

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I first started to volunteer when I was a teenager; I was being given smaller roles and easier tasks back then . At first, I admit that I volunteered mainly because my parents were involved wherever I’d be too

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First Steps: Eilidh


Affecting more than 135,000 people in the UK alone, Alzheimer’s Scotland is a charity that works to provide families with support – ranging from dementia cafes to day centres.

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End the stigma the VM way


If I said to you that as a child I had suicidal thoughts would you believe me?

To some my journey/life has been 1 big perception of ‘WOW’; you’ve achieved so much, but this has come at a price.

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Volunteering adds to your degree

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Speaking to Southampton Solent students earlier this year, I spoke about the value of volunteering to your degree.

Education is a high priority for many with their degrees signalling their future careers, but is education enough?

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First Steps: Michelle’s story *GUEST BLOG*


Being a young volunteer had it’s challenges. Not only because my mum had been volunteering since the age I started but I fainted at the sight of blood. So why did I volunteer for the British Red Cross?

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An evening full of inspiration


In a night full of inspiration, £3000 was raised for 3 inspiring projects giving digital innovators the opportunity to share with us their inspiring stories.

I was invited along by The Youth Funding Network and O2 Think Big to a live crowdfunding event to hear the incredible talks and where I see fit giving something to the innovators.

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First Steps: My story

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It was a time of life I never anticipated to have made such a difference on my life and this is where the ‘First Steps’ series idea came from.

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 Running project’s on a £0 budget


I’ve hosted projects in the past with £0 in the bank and with every many articles talking about the lack of public trust in charities when donations are received, I wanted to talk about the impact running a project on no budget can have.

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Using your story post volunteering


Telling your story at the time it’s happening is powerful. Powerful in a way it has instant impact and creates a presence with others in your area wanting to know more.

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 The big move


The big move…the moment we consider volunteering as a new hobby.

3 days ago, I spoke about standing your ground as a volunteer.

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 Standing your ground

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Our opinions, our lives and our actions make up who we are. I’m a stubborn influencer with a hint of cheekiness and a catalogue of results; that’s me. Well add in the Phil Mitchell resemblance with a splash of BFG qualities.

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Telling a charity’s story via blogging

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Story-telling gives you a chance for your voice to be heard, but if there’s no platform to amplify this voice, the story won’t be heard.

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