A day in the life of our Volunteer Coordinator – Ben Parker

 

Would you likHousing Options Scotland Pictured  Margaret Follon ,Edinburgh  Photograph by Martin Shields  Tel 07572 457000 www.martinshields.com © Martin Shieldse to find out more about what our team do at Housing Options Scotland? Well here’s your chance! In part 6 of this series, we asked our very own Ben Parker what ‘a day in the life’ was like for our Volunteer Coordinator. Lets see what he had to say:

1.What does the Volunteer Coordinator for HOS do?

My role is to work with our current crop of volunteers to expand and develop the volunteer programme at HOS, as well as to find opportunities to recruit new volunteers and increase the reach of what we do. It’s a new role within the organisation so there’s an element of freedom in terms of what projects I’m able to work on.

2. What is your commute like in the morning?

I work part time and have a second job, so my commute depends on my schedule and where I’m coming from or going to next. Sometimes I work from a co-working space in Edinburgh so days based there involve a short walk into the city centre.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to your desk? Tell us about your workspace, is it tidy or messy?

Without fail, the first thing I do on a morning is open my tracking spreadsheet where I record all the different tasks and projects I’m working on. Usually, I scribble some things down onto paper to tick off and litter my desk with Post-It notes too. Despite this, I do like to keep my workspace organized and once I’ve signed off for the day, I always have a tidy-up ready for the next time I’m in. I often use my desk on an evening for different projects too, so I like to have a good system for finishing up on a night.

4. What does agile working mean to you?

Because I have a second job and other responsibilities too, agile working means being able to easily fit my hours around different commitments. Knowing that I can work from pretty much anywhere helps me to plan my time much more effectively.

5. How do you communicate with your colleagues?

As a team, we use WhatsApp and message each other updates through the day. I usually speak to my line manager, Fraser, once a day on the phone but if we are planning on having a more in-depth chat about something, we like to meet in person or use Zoom – a video conferencing program.

6. What do you listen to at your desk? Or do you like silence and why?

I always have music playing – silence is very distracting! Usually, what I listen to is very eclectic and dictated by my mood.

7. What does a normal day look like for you?

That’s a tricky question to answer! Most days start with a chat with Fraser, a review of my emails and making a quick plan for the day (or evaluation of where I’m at in terms of my week). Beyond that, things are very varied.

8. What is your favourite thing to do for lunch when you are working?

I usually eat something light and healthy, and make sure that I go for a quick walk round the block too. At this point I get jealous thinking of my colleagues who have dogs in their lives to walk!

9. What do you find most interesting about your job?
Because my role is new to the organisation, the most interesting thing for me is having the opportunity to mould/shape things in whatever direction I see fit. It’s exciting to know that I have lots of freedom in my role.

 10. Tell us one thing that most people wouldn’t know about you?

I’m scared of mice!

 11. Tell us something about your job that most people wouldn’t know?

When I speak to people about my job, they often forget that we are a nationwide charity and that our volunteers are therefore based all around the country. That’s something which people often struggle to get their heads around.

12. What is the best thing about working for Housing Options Scotland?

At this stage of my career, the best thing about working for HOS is the development opportunities I’ve been offered. Everyone is so friendly and keen to support me – I’m learning so much from the wealth of experience of my colleagues!

 

If you would like to find out more about Volunteering for Housing Options Scotland, you can contact Ben at Ben@housingoptionsscotland.org.uk