4 MIN READ

I can’t think of a better way to start as new Chair of the Stuart Low Trust than to thank our amazing volunteers. So…THANK YOU! I might be new to this role, but I have been involved with SLT since 2016 and I am confident in saying we have some of the best volunteers in the world. 

As many of you know, nearly all of the activities and services that Stuart Low Trust provides are delivered at least in part by volunteers. And there are so many ways to volunteer with the Stuart Low Trust. From our arts, nature and wellbeing activities to fundraising and back office support, volunteers are our lifeblood and we couldn’t do what we do without them. 

Enormous contribution 

Last year, 55 volunteers gave 5500 hours across all of our projects! And what’s even more impressive is that more than 75% of our volunteers are current or former participants who feel so strongly about the programme that they want to give back and help others. 

 And our volunteers are shaping the future of the Stuart Low Trust.   

  • They are participating on steering committees for our projects. 
  • They are ambassadors for the Stuart Low Trust at conferences and at the Islington Time to Change Hub alongside senior managers from other charities. 
  • They are promoting the Stuart Low Trust in the community, like one long-standing volunteer who recently had artwork selected for a show and worked with the curator to secure a tour of the exhibition for our participants. 
  • They are providing back office support on everything from data entry to communications. One back office volunteer has given 300 hours of his time to provide website and design services to the group. 

Supporting our volunteers 

With volunteers that give so much, we want to make sure that we support them as much as we can. 

Our volunteer training and support programme aims to help volunteers develop their soft skills and work together more effectively as a team.  As a result of feedback, we have also established several partnerships in Islington to support unemployed volunteers back into work through coaching and CV consultancy.  Four of our volunteer/participants have found employment through these partnerships so far. 

Getting back to normal 

During this uncertain time, we have found new ways to keep our community together, at a distance.  We are offering online versions of many of our events, plus virtual art and wellness activities. Sadly, many of these activities don’t require the same level of volunteer support, and we are definitely missing seeing our lovely volunteers! 

I want to reassure everyone involved with the Stuart Low Trust that we’ll bring back face-to-face events as soon as we are able to do so.  And that’s when we will need our volunteers most. We will need an army of dedicated folks to help us run these events under new guidelines to ensure our participants, volunteers, entertainers and speakers are safe. And we can’t wait to have them back! 

Come and join us! 

Now it’s time for the pitch! If you are looking for opportunities to do some volunteering in Islington, we would love to have you join this great group of people.  From back office support to helping us get events back up and running when gathering restrictions are lifted, we can really use your help.  Get in touch and we will work with you to find the right opportunities.  

There are so many benefits of volunteering for the Stuart Low Trust– a sense of contributing, being part of a community and building friendships, and the tangible results you can see on participants’ faces at our events! 

A personal note 

As I mentioned above, while I am new in this chair role, I am not new to the group. I myself was a volunteer on a website project before joining the board in 2017.  I have had the opportunity to attend several the Stuart Low Trust events and meet many of you, and I can’t wait to do more of that as soon as we are able. 

Until then, I hope all of you stay safe, stay healthy and stay connected. 

Written by 

Kate Giblin- Chair of Trustees, Stuart Low Trust