Gary Benn, Senior Associate Building Surveyor at our Cambridge office, has not one but three volunteer roles. He is a Governor at the Great Chesterford CE Primary Academy, Director of the Great Oak Multi Academy Trust and acts as the photographer for the U15s Saffron Walden Rugby team.
How long have you volunteered in these roles for? I have volunteered at the schools for the past five years. I decided to take on the job of the rugby team photographer two years ago.
Why did you decide to start these roles? Once my kids started at the school, I became quite interested in helping the school, so it seemed like an obvious role. As for the rugby team photographer, my love of the sport combined with my love of photography drew me in.
What do you enjoy about your role? As Governor and Director of the schools, there are times when difficult decisions must be made, which can make my role stressful. Mostly though, I enjoy being able to help the school and improve many people’s lives. As the rugby team photographer, I enjoy capturing and recording every memory on and off the pitch, from the sheer joy of scoring to the sadness of losing an important match.
Do you have any advice for others wanting to volunteer? I would recommend anyone to volunteer if they can, it is a great opportunity to help others whilst challenging yourself. However, before signing up, be aware of the need to give up some of your time. Enthusiasm will carry you so far, so make sure not to let it wane!