Blog by Skilled Volunteer Anca Stef | June 2022
"Volunteers can offer the gift of time and talent "
And interview with Mic Lord, Five ASide Theatre CIC
“Link UP has hit upon an outstanding idea” Mic told me during our chat about the value of Volunteering for local organisations and the communities they serve. Having been through a Link UP London project and matched with Skilled Volunteers to help his growing theatre company, Mic understands the value professionals can bring to a charitiable organisation. It’s why he has come back for more.
Mic Lord is Head Coach/Executive Director at Five ASide Theatre CIC and he is involved in projects in the African-Caribbean community in London. “The community is my job”, he said, as he is also volunteering as a school governor and as a trustee in a non-profit.
For Mic, three things are important in volunteering - time, team and training.
“The volunteers are part of your team. If someone has the training and the expertise, they can address a specific need. And skilled volunteers - they are already good and they know they are good that is why they give their skills. And time - one can commit as little or as much as he or she wants to.
Mic promotes the concept of skills swap - when people help each other with a skill the other one needs. “And that is worth more than money because there is a personal investment there. That is the goal of self-ness, not self-ish”, said Mic.
Teach the concept of gift
With experience in teaching, Mic Lord says that volunteers have the gift of time and talent and it would be useful to teach the concept of gift and the fulfilment of offering to others. “I have a gift and the value of that gift is in the giving. So if you teach a child that they have gifts, in football, in acting, in dance, in leading groups, - it is a gift, it is unique. They are filled with that gift, it overflows, and they have to share it with other people.”
Time is also a useful example to explain why is it important to do little steps of helping other people or a big issue like climate change. As no cause is too big to be tackled. “I would encourage anyone to start volunteering by having a look at the concept of time. Time consists of seconds, which becomes minutes, which becomes hours which become days, weeks, months, and years. Your contribution is not a month, your contribution is whatever time that you have”, Mic explained.
Link UP has hit upon an outstanding idea
His direct experience with Link UP as a recipient of volunteer skilled work was very good. After he clearly described the tasks he needed help with, the response he received from the two volunteers made him feel they were already part of his team.
“I have a company and we need to have governance sorted and a board of directors, and I also needed feedback on my strategy. The quality that Harriet and Edward gave in the feedback was outstanding. The relationship started with coaching and I told them I need examples and they gave me great examples and detailed analysis of my paperwork. They were amazing”, Mic recalls.
“If they are symbolic or representative of the quality of volunteers at Link UP, Link UP has hit upon an outstanding idea”, he added. “Connecting people with skills to specific tasks has been its main role and it is highly appreciated. That is why I will keep coming back to Link UP”, he added.
Could a Skilled Volunteer help your Organisation? Learn more and register your interest here and Will or Akash in our Skilled Volunteering team will be in touch.
About our Guest Blogger Anca Stef
Anca is a Communication Specialist with experience in mass media, PR and digital marketing.