There are lots of ways that volunteering makes a difference to charities but the type of volunteering which particularly interests me is when someone volunteers their expert skills. If you've got a professional or high level skill which you think would help the organisation we'd love to hear from you, you can get in contact here.
To insipire any potential volunteers, I'd like to share the story of a company and an individual who have made a difference to my area of work. I work in the Insight Team, our team exists to help the charity make better decisions through evidence and insight. My role often involves reporting & analysing data. One tool I use to do this is a free piece of software called Pentaho and members of the Pentaho community have really made a difference to us as a charity.
Pedro, Pedro, Nuno, Paulo & the rest of team at Webdetails
Last year I downloaded tutorials to help build a dashboard for the London Bikeathon team using Pentaho. A web dashboard is like a car dashboard, it shows you all you need to know to operate something, in this case it might be how many people have entered the Bikeathon or what the current fundraising total is. After downloading the files we got an offer from Webdetails to help us build a dashboard.
The work that the Webdetails helped us produce was so good that it has recently won an award. I let them know about the win and received this back from Nuno, for me it sums up how skilled volunteers and charities can create partnerships "Truly Great news Owen. This feels really, really good! And congratulations to LLR. We will promote this, with pleasure and proudly."
Dan is senior consultant working with Pentaho, his family had recently been affected by lymphoma and he saw a blog written about our work with Webdetails and also volunteered his experitse. Since the new year he's spent time building things for us, trained me and fielded my technical questions. His continued contribution is invaluable for us.
Dan blogged about his involvement recently :
"[Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research working with Webdetails] is just one of the best stories of community and tech coming together I’ve ever heard. And it doesn’t stop there. I was fortunate to meet Owen the analyst at LLR at one of our Pentaho London usergroup meetups – And I offered to help him out with their Pentaho implementation. A few sessions later and both sides are happy – I’ve donated time to a charity which has proven to be far more effective than donating cash and Owen now has [better system]."
So thank you to Dan and Webdetails and also the recent support from Pentaho. You're making a real difference to the lives of blood cancer patients.