In our fast-paced lives, it's easy to get caught up in our own responsibilities and overlook the immense value of giving back to our communities. However, for two remarkable individuals in our organisation, volunteering has become a life-changing experience. Meet Piotr Zieliński, our Chief Technical Officer, and Leanne, our Communications and Communities Manager. They embody the true spirit of selflessness and dedication, and their volunteer work during National Volunteer Week serves as an inspiration for us all.
Piotr's Impactful Contributions:
While Leanne's journey demonstrates the transformative power of volunteering on a personal level, Piotr Zieliński, our Chief Technical Officer, showcases the impact one individual can have on charitable organisations through their expertise and dedication.
Piotr goes beyond his professional responsibilities, actively engaging with charitable organisations to support their digital transformation efforts. One such organisation is Wellspring Scotland, where he plays a vital role in enhancing mental health initiatives through digital means. Piotr's commitment and technical skills have contributed significantly to advancing the organisation's mission and making a lasting impact on mental health support.
Moreover, Piotr serves as a digital trustee and treasurer for Learning Link Scotland, where his expertise in budgeting and digital transformation has proven invaluable. His innovative approaches to procurement ensure the efficient allocation of resources, allowing the organisation to provide laptops to those in need while minimising costs.
Piotr's contributions extend beyond the administrative realm. He actively identifies and implements essential digital tools that empower the charity to fulfil its mission effectively. By leveraging his expertise in digital transformation, Piotr serves as a beacon of inspiration, showcasing the power of combining passion, skill, and a selfless spirit to drive meaningful change.
National Volunteer Week serves as a reminder of the immeasurable value volunteers bring to our communities. Leanne and Piotr exemplify the positive impact individuals can have through their selfless acts of service.
Leanne's Journey of Self-Discovery:
Leanne writes “In my twenties I never imagined volunteering would become such a huge part of my life. I’m sorry to admit but I was little selfish when I was younger so probably the main reason, I didn’t see myself volunteering as much as I do today.
As a 40 something single mum, I've discovered some incredible benefits of volunteering that have truly made a positive impact on my life. Let me share my experience with you and hopefully inspire you to get involved too.
First and foremost, volunteering has provided me with a sense of purpose and fulfilment. As a single mum, I often found myself focused solely on my responsibilities at home and work. Volunteering allowed me to step outside my daily routine and contribute to something greater than myself. It gave me a renewed sense of purpose, knowing that I was making a difference in the lives of others.
I first got into volunteering when I joined my daughter’s primary school Parent Council. I was a first-time mum in a busy city that I didn’t grow up in. Naturally, I was a little anxious about my daughter joining school and I felt by joining the Parent Council it would help me to increase my knowledge about schooling in Glasgow, but it would also be a good way to meet fellow parents at the school. I should also add that my mum volunteered at my primary school when I attended so I suppose I’m following in her footsteps.
One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering is the opportunity to connect with diverse and interesting people. Scotland is a melting pot of cultures, and through volunteering, I've had the chance to meet individuals from various backgrounds, ages, and walks of life. These connections have enriched my worldview, broadened my perspectives, and helped me develop a more inclusive and compassionate mindset.
Through volunteering on school Parent Councils, this has led to me establishing and leading Glasgow City Parents Group for just over five years. The experiences I have had through being chairperson of this group has built lasting friendships, taught me empathy and sensitivity, as well as a sense of pride, particularly when I can be influential in positive change in education for families.
Volunteering has also been a fantastic way to expand my skill set and gain new experiences. Whether it's organising events, fundraising, or mentoring others, there's always something to learn and grow from. These new skills have not only boosted my self-confidence but also opened up new doors for personal and professional development. When you hear from people you work with that you ‘are an inspiration’ or ‘show great leadership’, it makes all those late nights and long weekends or volunteering so worth it.
Being a single mum, it's important for me to be a role model for my teenage daughter. Through volunteering, I can demonstrate the values of empathy, kindness, and social responsibility. My child sees first-hand the positive impact we can have on others' lives, which instils in them a sense of compassion and a desire to give back. It's a beautiful thing to share this journey with my daughter and of course my colleagues at This is Milk. I’m fortunate to have an employer who sees the benefits of my volunteering.
I have now supported three young people as a mentor across Glasgow secondary schools, through MCR Pathways and I am in the process of being matched for a fourth time. I am passionate in supporting young people to see their potential in life, and I have had the wonderful opportunity to provide support to three talented Glasgow pupils thanks to the mentoring charity.
Through volunteering with Children’s Hearings Scotland as a panel, I have been able to use the skills of compassion and empathy that I have gained in other aspects of volunteering, to make decisions that ensure some of the most vulnerable children and young people are given the best opportunity to thrive.
Then during Covid, I signed up to volunteer with the British Red Cross as a Community Reserve Volunteer that saw me delivering Covid tests door to door during outbreaks and serving refreshments to tired ambulance crew outside a busy hospital. Being able to show a small gesture of kindness to people during a difficult time was extremely rewarding.
Volunteering has also been a lifeline for me in terms of building a support network. Being a single mum can sometimes feel isolating, but through volunteering, I've met incredible people who have become friends. These friendships have offered me emotional support, a listening ear, and an extended family that I can always count on.
Lastly, volunteering has allowed me to explore and discover my passions. It's given me the freedom to try new things, explore different areas of interest, and find joy in activities outside of my daily routine. This personal growth has been invaluable, reminding me that I am more than just a single mum; I am an individual with unique talents and passions.
Volunteering has brought immense benefits into my life. It has given me purpose, connected me with amazing people, expanded my skills, set a positive example for my child, provided a support network, and allowed me to explore my passions. If you're considering volunteering, I highly encourage you to take that leap. The rewards are immeasurable, and you'll be making a difference in your own life and in the lives of others. So, go out there, give back, and watch the magic unfold!