Gary's Volunteering Story
Guiding volunteer Gary tells us about his experience on the Marketing and Communications Committee of Girlguding Edinburgh.
Why did you get involved in Guiding?
I got involved about nine months ago when my work colleague Jennifer asked me to help out with some design work for the Girlguiding Edinburgh website. Knowing I was keen to explore some form of voluntary work, she then invited me to join the MarComs Team and lend a hand where suitable.
What is your role?
I'm a member of the Marketing and Communications Team, but mostly have been involved in strategy chats and lending the odd hand here and there with design work. Being completely useless at social media, I am a bit limited in the day-to-day stuff, but hopefully my experience with website development and design has been handy to the team!
What has been the highlight of your time volunteering with Guiding Edinburgh?
Just being in a completely new environment with new people has been pretty cool I think. I've learned an awful lot about a hidden (to me) part of the world which has been very enlightening!
How do people react when you tell them you are involved in Guiding?
They laugh?! Being the rare male involved in the Girlguiding is obviously a pretty weird thing for most people to process. I think after the initial humour there is generally a lot of interest as to why a guy with no obvious links to the Girlguiding would end up being a volunteer there.
What skills and opportunities have you developed by volunteering with Girlguiding Edinburgh?
I've had a chance to sit in on the marketing meetings and discuss topics that are outside my general interests, so it has been good for me to develop a bit of confidence in coming into an unknown forum and speaking on the same level with people with far more experience than me.
Has your volunteer role helped you in other areas of your life?
Not yet! If I choose to leave my current work, then I might well mention my volunteer work on my CV, but I'm firmly rooted in my job at the moment.
What is the weirdest thing you have found yourself doing in the name of Guiding?
I think just being a guy in a predominantly female world has been pretty weird! Otherwise it's all been pretty tame so far.