By Peter Batt, Division Managing Director for the South
I’ve worked for Co-op for seven years and I’d like to share my story on why I became a volunteer and how you can volunteer in your local community through Co-operate.
My volunteering journey started at the age of 40 when I sadly lost my best friend to cancer. I wanted to do something to commemorate his legacy, so I applied to a local hospice.
During my time at the hospice, I developed and learnt a lot of new skills that have helped me throughout my life and career. I provided coaching, supported fundraising events and helped hospice colleagues to develop – all transferable skills that I could apply to my role at Co-op. That’s why volunteering is so great, you can really push your skill set further whilst making a difference in your local community.
After volunteering at the hospice, I became more confident and realised the value I could bring to others. So much so, in 2021, I extended my volunteering to help younger people.
I now volunteer at West Lea School, helping students who have challenges which may prevent them ordinarily reaching their full potential. Supporting young people through tough times is something I feel really passionate about and what’s great about Co-operate is there are many opportunities to volunteer and support young people. You can narrow your search to your area and simply select the area you’d like to help support in your local community.
At West Lea, we’ve secured many work placements and even have a careers fair at Tottenham Hotspur later in the year! To give something back to local communities and to see the impact of your work is such a fantastic and rewarding feeling and has played a significant and positive part in my well-being.
Volunteering has added so much to my life and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s the best thing I’ve ever decided to do and I’ve no doubts that I’ll continue to volunteer for many years to come.
Volunteer through Co-operate
If you’d like to volunteer in your local community, have a look at Co-operate. Co-op’s online community centre is a way of easily realising and supporting the issues your community is facing.
By volunteering you can help deliver our vision of Co-operating for a Fairer World by supporting your communities when they need it most, while enriching your own wellbeing too.
There are thousands of opportunities available and your time doesn’t need to be a big commitment. You can see what type of volunteers a local cause needs and then have a chat to find out what works for you.
Colleague guide to volunteering and community activity
This guide provides you with everything you need to know about volunteering in your local community.