Oxbow Partners gives each employee two volunteering days a year, separate from holiday. You can do what you like, but it has to be for the good of the world.
Lucy Alphonse, one of our Consultants, used her volunteering days with Sound Minds, which she volunteers at regularly, in December. She has written about her time there below.
Sound Minds uses the arts, particularly music, to help those with mental ill-health. We offer a variety of services to members, including one-to-one music tuition on instruments like the guitar, piano and drums, a community choir, art sessions, and a peer support service which visits local mental health wards.
I initially got involved with Sound Minds back in May 2019 and have been working on the fundraising committee ever since. I’m a big music fan and am also passionate about mental health work, where local charities play an increasingly important role given the context of NHS cuts.
My volunteering days were spent helping out at the Thursday ‘Jam Sessions’ where members can turn up and take part in a group music session for free. The format of the sessions is pretty relaxed – people turn up and opt to play their instrument of choice (e.g. drums, guitar, keyboard, vocals) and we improvise songs to chord progressions or lyrics if someone has written them. I play the bass guitar so was delighted to be able to join in and play for the sessions. My usual work on the fundraising committee happens after work hours or at the weekends so it was also great to go into the charity during ‘office hours’ and meet several members and other volunteers.
You can find out more about Sound Minds here.