In my day job, I’m CEO of Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, but at evenings and weekends I am a volunteer director of Share Bristol Community Interest Company. But why? Read on to find out, and discover if a director role might be good for you too.
When I heard about the the plans for the first Library of Things in Bristol, I was intrigued. I had vaguely heard about such things before, but it wasn’t something I had ever really thought about. However, I am always keen to reduce my impact on the environment, and often thought I might end up working for an environmental charity. That hasn’t been how my career panned out, so taking on a volunteer role with Share Bristol seemed like a great way to do my bit.
I’m lucky to have the funds to buy the things I need, and have a shed and a loft to store things in. But so many other people aren’t as lucky, and have just as much need for tools, camping gear and stuff for parties as I do. The Library of Things allows people to have access to about 500 different Things, for an annual membership fee that is affordable for the vast majority of people. It’s such a no-brainer!
Our small team of directors meets every two to three months, so the commitment isn’t big – although you can get much more involved if you like! We might prepare a short paper each on what we’ve been up to, as we each have our own areas of responsibility, and we have to read information in advance on the finances, approve policies and discuss Share Bristol’s strategy and performance.
Share Bristol has one part-time employee, working 15 hours a week. This isn’t much, so the director role can be hands on at times – I generally volunteer in the library two Saturdays a month, totalling 8 hours. Other directors do more or less, spread across our three opening days or on tasks at home or out and about. Volunteering in the Library of Things is fun and really helps with a deep understanding of how we run and who we serve – you get to spend time with great volunteers, have chats with members as they come in, explain what we do and who we are to people who drop in, and most importantly pick up and drop off the things you have borrowed yourself!
However, we believe that many hands make light work, so we are looking to expand the team of directors, and are ideally looking for three people – someone who can focus on opening a second premises in the Bedminster/Southville area, someone with great marketing and engagement skills, and a finance expert who can take the lead in this area. This would bring the board of directors up to full strength.
If you have experience in one or more of these areas, have a few hours to spare each month, and want to do your bit for the environment and community inclusion, our question is ‘Why wouldn’t you get in touch to find out more?’