Jeremy Hidderley - AECOM & AGI Events AWG
In our 25th year, the AGI has really pushed the boat out with the Geo Big 5 series of seminars. The special interest groups continue to support the association with the provision of seminars with activities focused on specific subjects.
All of these events would not be possible without the support of a growing band of volunteers putting these events together with the support of the fabulous AGI staff. This is a great method of working. The volunteers (also members of the AGI) are able to set the vision for these events, and the AGI staff facilitate many of the volunteer requirements. The volunteers benefit from a knowledgeable and hardworking support network. The AGI, as an organisation benefit from the volunteers as they all bring something to the table.
The benefits to the AGI typically fall into two camps:
- Ensuring that the AGI follow the correct strategic direction
- Making that strategic vision a reality
Whichever camp you think that you may fall into, the ultimate reality is that all volunteers are contributing to the community in which they are involved. They are helping to share knowledge which should help everyone in their day to day jobs.
The benefits of volunteering are not just one way, the individual can benefit greatly. Some of the common benefits gained from any type of volunteering include:
- Gain confidence and self esteem
- Giving something back to a group that has supported you
- Sharing your own knowledge/skills
- Gain new or develop existing skills
- Help to gain/maintain accreditation (CPD)
Particular attention should be paid to the benefit of gaining accreditation. As a prospective and qualified Chartered Geographer, individuals should be demonstrating an ongoing commitment to promoting geography.
In the run up to the conference in November 2014, we are starting to look to fill our volunteer roles. So if you are attending the conference, please do take a look at the AGI’s Big 5 Volunteering website (http://geobig5.com/volunteer-job-descriptions). As a conference volunteer you will benefit from building a strong network of industry peers, some of whom may sit outside of your normal group of contacts as well as helping to influence how the conference looks and feels.
Whilst some of our roles do require a minimum time commitment, these are normally short term or one off roles. If you would like to volunteer on a more flexible basis, please do get in touch, as we are starting to look for Working Group members for 2015 and beyond.
We look forward to hearing from you.