At the Ellis Recruitment Group, we pride ourselves on living our values. Our people benefit from two volunteering days per year to reflect our value of community, allowing them to get involved with causes close to their hearts or support local initiatives.

Our Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Lucy Davies, is just one of our team who has utilised our scheme. We had a chat with Lucy to understand more about the charity she supports and how volunteering has shaped her career.

Why did you initially get involved with volunteering?

I started volunteering through my Mum, who became involved when I was at school at our local branch of Save the Children. We’ve both been involved for so long now that I’m not sure the exact number of years, but I started volunteering in my teens, so it must have been about 15 years in all, possibly more!

In campaigner mode – chatting to Cllr Jamie Matthews at the Big Sale about Save the Children’s Make Child Care Work campaign in 2018.

Why is Save the Children important to you?

Previous to my current career, I trained to be a teacher as well – so that interest even stretched into career considerations at one time. As you can imagine, this made my choice to support Save the Children a natural one. The charity does so much to help children in the UK – some of the UK’s most significant policy breakthroughs for children, like free school meals and nursery schools, have happened because of Save the Children. The Petersfield branch has been active for over 100 years. Many of its activities are well-recognised fixtures in the local events calendar; it’s great to be involved in something well-known and supported locally.

Tell us about what volunteers do at some of the key events?

The Big Sale is Save the Children Petersfield Branch’s primary fundraiser, which always requires a tremendous amount of lifting and shifting for setting up, as do the regular Pop-up Sales.

In addition, there is a lot of administration from filing and cataloguing. Then there are always meet and greet duties, tending the tills and providing refreshments – and that’s just the ‘front of house’ jobs which directly interact with the public. I’ve also been a model at the annual Fashion Show launch at the Big Sale for the last five years (either side of the Pandemic.)

The details of this year’s Big Sale

How has volunteering impacted your career?

It has been hugely significant; volunteering is how I found and built my understanding of primary social media and marketing practices.

The Petersfield branch of Save the Children is the most successful fundraising branch in the UK., has made a significant push to build a presence on social media in recent years to grow awareness and increase footfall at events. As a long term volunteer, I was already known to the committee. As I was confident with the basics, they asked me to take on the role.

Social media management was not an immediate thought when considering volunteering, but it’s been an excellent project for me. The experience has been invaluable in helping me make recent career changes.

What out of the ordinary activities have you been involved with when volunteering?

There are too many to mention, from being an elf at the branch’s ‘Festive Fun’ event in 2020 to organising a Teddy Bear Parachute Jump, supervised by the local Fire Service and attended by local celebrity Hugh Bonneville!

Another significant event is our Golf Day; despite being decidedly disinterested in golf myself, it is a great event to be involved with. I had the opportunity to jump into a multi-faceted campaign, balancing everything from relations with sponsors and encouraging players to sign up!

Myself and committee members at the branch’s Centenary Golf Day in 2019


Why do you believe it is important for people to volunteer?

Without wanting to exercise a cliché, it is a brilliant way to give something back to your community and a fantastic way to meet like-minded and passionate people. Volunteering can also be a tremendous opportunity to develop new skills – it is how I first started learning about social media and marketing. In addition, I have also learnt about event management and sponsorship liaisons, publicity/PR, and communications management; the list is never-ending.

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