Tag Archives: Volunteering

NCT Stars Awards 2015

On Tuesday I made my way to London for the NCT Stars Awards 2015 which were held at The House of Lords.  The star awards recognise and celebrate NCT branch volunteers who are the backbone of the charity. There are 324 branches across the UK and without volunteers we wouldn’t be able to offer parents the local support and services that we do.

I wasn’t sure I was going to actually make the ceremony as I’ve not recovered from being poorly after Run or Dye, my family were going to accompany me but Arthur was poorly so they had to stay at home.  I spent the whole train journey to London coughing, taking cough sweets and dosing myself with paracetemol to take down my temperature.  There is nothing worse when you’re feeling poorly than sitting on a stuffy train then taking the tube to your destination. believe me.

NCT_Stars_2015

I was nominated for volunteer behind the scenes of the year which is for an NCT volunteer who has supported and helped other volunteers to ensure the smooth running of NCT in their local area.  I had already won the regional award and although I didn’t win the national award I was awarded Highly Commended which was fantastic.

NCT_Stars_Awards_Regional

Here’s what the people who voted for me said:

“Daniella is relentless in her dedication.  She moved into the area with her new baby and took on the treasurer role, making the accounts more efficient which helped the branch become one of the top ten fundraising branches.  She also took on the newsletter editor role, and digitalised the newsletter, which has extended the reach in an incredible way. Plus she took on other tasks such as manning the NCT stands at two summer festivals, and organised an amazing raffle.  She is supportive and helpful.  She completes everything with a smile and brings enthusiasm and happiness to the branch team.”

NCT_Stars_Awards_Chris_White_MP

I had the most amazing day at the House of Lords, I got to meet my local MP Chris White who came to support me during the awards, we were served a delicious afternoon tea and of course I got to visit the House of Lords which is not something many people can say.

I’ve been a volunteer with NCT since 2013 and I’m so proud of my branch and the work that we do.  I took over as Branch Coordinator earlier this year and it’s one of the best things I ever did, I have a great team of volunteers and practitioners and we provide some fantastic services and support to our local parents.  To be recognised in a national awards ceremony really pushes you to do more and I would love to see more members of my team nominated at the stars awards next year.

Do you or have you ever volunteered?

 



My Volunteering Story

I’ve always enjoyed giving up my free time to help others and have done many roles from working with old people to sorting clothes in the back office of a charity shop.  Each time I volunteer I get a real sense of achievement and it feels great to give something to others at no cost.

I currently volunteer for the Warwickshire Central branch of the NCT (National Childbirth Trust), it may sound strange to hear that I’ve never actually used the services of the NCT but some of my close friends relied on the prenatal groups, breastfeeding counsellors and friends they have made at postnatal drop ins so I knew that choosing the NCT as the charity to offer my time and services was a good choice for me. After speaking to some local NCT members they have told me that they don’t know what they would have done in the early days with their newborn without the support network they have thanks to the NCT so even though I have no experience of the services just to know how much others have gained from the courses and friendships makes me see how important the NCT is to parents.

I started volunteering as the Branch Treasurer last October which is one of the core roles, I  basically manage the branch finances which is actually a lot harder than it sounds and has had me pulling my hair out at 3am when totals haven’t been adding up!

I most recently took on the role of Newsletter Editor, the New Addition newsletter is published 4 times a year and I’m responsible for planning each edition, sourcing and writing content and laying out the pages for printing.  Our Newsletter currently has 64 pages so it’s a great opportunity for me to put some of my blogging/freelance writing skills to use.  I’ve only ever worked on online newsletters before so this is definitely a challenge for me.

I’d love to stay volunteering within the NCT for the next couple of years at least and if any other suitable roles come up I know I’ll be jumping in to help with both feet, the benefit of working from home is that you get to pick your own working hours which for me is usually before 8am or after 9pm in the evening.

If any of my readers are also NCT volunteers I’d love to hear from you, if any printed Newsletter Editors out there have any advice for me my ears are open.