Ed Vanson - Chairman's Volunteer Award Nominee
Can you tell us a bit about the volunteering you do?
Varied bits really – I currently volunteer as a DJ on both Surrey Hills Community Radio and Epsom Hospital Radio; I have volunteered on several different events of varying sizes and spent a morning as a marshal on the Epsom and Ewell Borough Bike Ride recently for example, I was a Surrey Ambassador for London 2012, a London Ambassador for the 2016 Summer and have just been selected for the same role for this year's World Track and Field Championships and the Para Games.
I also plan to start a career volunteering with the Scout movement at some stage soon. I used my SCC volunteering days last summer to work in the grounds at Brooklands race track and by the River Mole as well. I volunteered to help out on the fans based Statue Committee at Fulham FC, where we worked with the club to erect a statue of Fulham and England legend George Cohen at the home ground of Craven Cottage.
Can you tell us a bit about the organisation you support and why volunteers are important for the organisation?
I don't just support one organisation, I like to vary it a bit. Sometimes I have a personal motivation, such as when I volunteer for the British Heart Foundation, but other times I volunteer because I believe in what they are doing and what they stand for. Volunteers are vital in so many ways – from a fundraising perspective perhaps, to helping events happen. I have met some really great people who have helped and continue to help make a difference to the cause they support and their communities.
What difference does your volunteering make to the organisation?
Volunteering allows the organisation to put on events, raise money to achieve their goals and to broaden their reach into local communities. It enables their message to spread and for the volunteer to get involved and to help make a difference. Ultimately volunteering allows the organisation to really make a difference.
What do you get out of volunteering?
I get a great satisfaction and a feeling that I am making a difference. That can be a really powerful motivating force. I also get to meet some really great people and to learn new skills, whilst having a whole new experience.
Would you have any advice for others thinking about volunteering?
Certainly - I say have a think about what you want to get involved in and dive straight in. Once you feel a connection to what you are doing you will not regret it.