Emma Cooper is mum to five-year-old twins and expecting her third child in May. With a background in HR, she’d been looking for a project to keep her busy while the twins were at school and before her next big ‘project’ put in an appearance!
She says: “I knew a little about Rennie Grove because I studied alongside Rozina, who is now the charity’s Director of HR & Volunteering. I knew there were volunteering opportunities but I had no idea they could be in offices rather than shops or that they could be short-term projects demanding specialist knowledge.
“I was thrilled when I saw a volunteer role advertised on Facebook that sounded like it could suit me. I spoke to the charity’s Volunteer Officer, Susan Lewis, and we talked about the role, what I hoped to gain from volunteering and how it would help Rennie Grove.”
Susan says: “When I heard about Emma’s 10 years of experience in HR, I arranged for her to meet Rozina, who identified a project which suited the situation and the time she had to give. Our in-house team were extremely busy with recruitment, a database project and day-to-day tasks, so to have someone so experienced offering to help with a time-dependent project was fantastic!”
Emma, who hopes to have her own HR consultancy in the future, was delighted with the idea and began volunteering straight away, every Monday from February.
She explains: “My project was to research and report on the Apprenticeship Levy - which came into force this month.
“I haven’t worked for four or five years, since the twins were born, so it was good practice for me to come and work somewhere I didn’t know very much about and step straight into a project. Getting to grips with how a change in the law will affect a specific organisation is exactly the sort of project I might undertake as a consultant.
“It’s been brilliant for me to prove to myself that I can do it – volunteering with Rennie Grove has really helped me build my confidence.”
Susan adds: “Emma’s story is a great example of how volunteering can be mutually beneficial, whatever your circumstances or existing commitments. We pride ourselves on finding roles to suit people’s skills and goals, so even if you can’t see a role in our vacancies that you think would suit you, please get in touch because we can probably find the perfect fit!”