Using your skills to help others

Many of Cheshire West Voluntary Action’s (CWVA) SkillShare partners are making a big difference during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis by volunteering their time to support local charities and community groups.

CWVA’s SkillShare project matches business people with charities and community groups so their skills can help those who could really benefit from them.

Dani Novick is Managing Director of Mercury Search and Selection, which works closely with organisations in the print, packaging and recycling industries on their recruitment.

While COVID-19 has posed challenges for many organisations, Dani has volunteered her time to help some smaller ones plan for the future.

She said: “I’ve been speaking to organisations about how they restructure their path and understand where they’re going.

“Making any major changes now is a great opportunity to align strategy and move forward towards recovery.

“When the COVID-19 outbreak started, organisations needed to look at all those immediate issues, such as cashflow, but it’s now given them a really good opportunity to think about the direction of their business.

“It’s been very interesting to see how organisations have adapted to this scale of economic change and I’ve been helping them put in place the next steps to fix anything that needs to be fixed.

“I think the pandemic has shown that we can be a lot more effective in the way we work and, with more people working from home, it has saved organisations a lot of time and money.

“As a business, we have gained valuable insight into the running of many large and small organisations and this has enabled us to help people and businesses implement change, whether that be a change of direction for a business or identifying core transferable skills for people.

“Hopefully, we’ve been able to help them along the way in these challenging times.”

Alongside volunteering through her own business and the knowledge and expertise she has, Dani is a Trustee of a national charity.

She added: “As terrible as this pandemic has been, it has been a really good opportunity for people to use their time differently and come out of it stronger.

“I think people have thought more about the world they live in and want to make an impact and help other people wherever they can.

“When I volunteer, in addition to the warm fuzzy feeling of helping others, I also learn new skills that benefit me in all areas of my life.

“As grateful as the charities I work for are for my time, I too am grateful for the opportunity to learn.

“In the charities I work in, we’ve seen a spike in the number of people wanting to volunteer and I’m hoping that’ll stick post pandemic.

“People have made a real difference in their communities and it’s great to see.”

Volunteers Week (1-7 June) is an opportunity to celebrate and thank volunteers for the important role they play in their communities.

How you can get involved

Inspire Cheshire West gives you the opportunity to share your stories about how you’ve supported your community.

You can also share your volunteering stories on your own social media accounts. Make sure you use #VolunteersWeek and download the Volunteers Week artwork the Council and CWVA have developed.

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