Pro Bono Work and Volunteering
I have a parallel work history as a professional fundraiser, but these are some of the causes and organisations I support privately.
Enterprise and Parliamentary Dialogue International (EPDI)
I’m a director of this not-for-profit, which works to support countries in transition to democracy. One day we might find a way to make it pay, but for the moment it’s pro bono. The organisation grew out of the work of the Industry and Parliament Trust in the UK, where I was first involved in 1992. My particular interest is working where there’s the political will to get more women into parliament. It’s not my job to persuade anyone that’s a good idea, I get involved when countries have decided, within their own context, that this is the direction they want to move, and they seek support.
Volunteer ambassador for Tz Rising
Tz Rising gives education scholarships to girls living in poverty in Tanzania.
The co-founders are two men, one Tanzanian and one Irish. Innocent Temu and Michael Fox met in 2009 as participants on a VSO and British Council volunteer programme between Aberdeen in Scotland, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They co-founded Tz Rising to support girls in Innocent’s community in Moshi.
Research shows that girls who stay in school earn 25% more, develop networks of friends and mentors who reduce the chances of abuse and crime, and are more likely to participate in democracy.
In 2019, I’m working as a supporter when 90 volunteers walk 100km in two days from London to Brighton, as a fundraiser to set the charity up more sustainably.
Volunteer host: Surrey Family Service
I volunteer locally to help prevent young people becoming homeless.
This means offering emergency accommodation on a short term basis for 16 to 21 year olds when they've temporarily had to leave their family home. The service relies on volunteers to offer a spare room and safe and secure environment for these young people to stay, while efforts are made to try and resolve their accommodation difficulties.
I’ve been doing this since 2017, there is great training and support, and I can choose the times that I make myself available. I recommend it as a way of making a difference at a crisis point. These are vulnerable youngsters, and they tend to be sad and withdrawn rather than disruptive. They are in this position because they have been let down by other adults in their life. It has a lot of meaning for me because I know we don’t always choose our own difficult circumstances, and I also know how much support my own children have needed in tough times.