20 December 2015

Here we are, not quite switched off (the electronic devices) for the evening, watching SPOTY…. on walks Eddie Izzard (in a rather unusual outfit) to award the Unsung Heroes Award and he asks us to join in the BBC Sports Personality Big Thank You. It’s all about showing appreciation (support) for local sport and saying a #bigthankyou to the volunteers in the local community. What a great idea!

The celebrity sports people interviewed ahead of the voting for SPOTY 2015 are all big names and (some) are very worthy recipients. However, the volunteers give their time freely (that’s the definition of being a volunteer!) and many are (as the award is titled) unsung heroes. The fact is that volunteers, across all sectors, are generally not thanked enough.

Over the last thirteen years, I have volunteered for six genealogical organisations in various countries across the globe. Work for these groups has ranged from marketing to events coordination, secretarial duties to chairing, and I have thoroughly enjoyed (mostly) my involvement with the various societies. I certainly did not enter into any of the commitments with any aims in mind. I simply gave my time, skills and expertise to try to further the objectives of the group. Sometimes my contribution was met with thanks and appreciation, but not always.

In recent months, I have taken on a new role (some would say, against my better judgement as I am already crazily busy) but I looked at the group and knew that I could make a difference. In a short period of time, I have got my head around the history and current state of play, as well as making some minor changes. These appear to have gone down very well. So well, that the things I have done so far (which are all small to me) have met with great acclaim…. I have had more thanks in the last two months than in years with other groups!

Thank you goes a long way. It’s an underused phrase but it appears it might well be coming back into fashion. Let’s stick with this trend. It’s a good one. Thank you for following my blog this year – just under a dozen more posts until a New Year dawns!

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