Why I volunteer - by VAL's new chairperson
It’s Giving Tuesday today and our new chair, Alyson McGarrigle, shares her thoughts on volunteering below.
Alyson, fourth from the left, with VAL's other trustees.
“My first venture into volunteering was becoming an LEA Governor at my children’s primary school in January 1996, a role I held for almost 20 years. I decided to do it partly because I thought I should be involved in my children’s school but also because I wanted to know how it all worked behind the scenes.
“Since then I have been an elected member of Lewisham council…possibly an extreme form of volunteering but again it gave me the opportunity to learn a huge amount about how local government works and the influence, hopefully positive, that good local governance can have.
“I spent seven years as an advisor for the Citizens Advice Bureau, I chair the board of GLYPT (Greenwich and Lewisham Young People's Theatre), volunteer at Crownsavers Credit Union and have been involved in two oral history projects in Bellingham. I am now delighted to be joining the board of VAL.
“Volunteering has given me the chance to learn about all sorts of unexpected things, to meet an extraordinary range of people and to be a part of the vibrant community that is my home.
“Come and join us, I highly recommend it!”