Recently, we interviewed one of our key volunteers, Gwen. Gwen looks after our wonderful mentors by onboarding them and matching them with our beneficiaries, and supporting them and their beneficiary mentees. We wanted to know how her volunteer experience has been so far.
Hi Gwen. Thank you so much for being here today. I would love to begin with a bit about yourself.
“I am a leadership and resilience coach, coach supervisor and organisational development consultant. I have been coaching for 20+ years, and I’ve been working for myself for about 18 years. My background is in local government, and I’m passionate about working with change and transition and helping people achieve the best they can in life.”
That’s really powerful Gwen. I know that you work for your own organisation, Eventum Coaching and Change. It sounds fascinating. Would you like to share anything that’s involved in terms of the work that you do?
“My consultancy work is across local government and the voluntary sector. Working on the people aspect of change programmes, people can get forgotten about in the system and process where organisations might be changing, restructuring, or reorganising systems. In terms of who they are and where they are, individuals sometimes get a bit resistant to wanting to change. It is about helping them to see different perspectives and move forward, which sits alongside some of the coaching work I do. It is about working with leaders, individuals, and businesses, helping them achieve the best they can achieve with what they’ve got. Helping to improve performance by working on all the interferences getting in the way of their successes. For example, it might be the way they think, the little voices in their head. It might be about developing their emotional intelligence, communication skills, building their resilience, managing the stresses, or helping them build stronger relationships.”
I’m happy that you wanted to share that, Gwen. That sounds amazing. You have been volunteering with the ILT for a while now. What drew you into the ILT?
“I had been searching for a charity to get involved long-term with, someone likely to utilise my time in coaching and to work in developing skills. In January 2020 (just before covid), the company I am accredited through put out an email with an invitation from Leigh to get involved. I am pleased to say I was interested and spoke to her. After she found I was a coach supervisor and a coach, I got involved in the matching of mentors and beneficiaries and the service engagement role,.”
What’s your favourite part of what you do for the ILT? What makes you smile about it?
“It’s the essence about helping and making a difference. It sounds like a cliché, but that is what it’s about. It is about driving forward and assisting individuals in seeing what they could achieve and making it possible. Seeing different perspectives and opening their eyes and knowing that you can move forward in small steps to reach a much more significant outcome or goal. It’s the old metaphor of how to eat an elephant? In small bites.
The Inspiring Leadership Trust is very infectious in terms of what it’s aiming to achieve for women and girls. It’s very powerful. Leigh has an amazing network, and in terms of what she’s achieving through the masterclasses and for business leaders, it’s great. It’s about making a difference where you can with whatever you can and using the skills in the best way possible.”
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about volunteering to be a mentor for the Inspiring Leadership Trust?
“I’d say it’s not a huge time commitment. It is about an opportunity to use your own skills and experience to help others. To share some of those life experiences, no matter what age you are, to help other people. It’s a learning journey, and I’ve learnt no end in terms of the process, the assumptions that we make and the biases that we have seeing a different perspective and having an opportunity to contribute is well worthwhile. It’s good to give back. It’s the corporate social responsibility that you hear about a lot but also about what we can do as individuals.”
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please visit our website to find out more now