The UN organises International Volunteer Day on 5 December every year to recognise and promote the tireless work of volunteers across the globe. The theme this year is ‘Volunteer now for our common future’.
I am delighted that we are taking this opportunity to recognise the work of our volunteers here at STEP. Quite simply, STEP would not exist but for the efforts of our volunteers across the 30 years we have been around. The precious gift of time that volunteers give makes volunteering a superpower that energises the organisation.
From those first meetings back in 1991 through to an organisation today of around 22,000 members worldwide, our volunteers have generously given their time and expertise to help advance and grow STEP. It is truly something remarkable when you reflect on the growth and reach of STEP, with members in over 100 countries and branches or chapters in more than 50 of those.
The community that has been created through collaboration over the years, united by a shared focus on promoting integrity and continuous learning, is what makes STEP unique.
At any given time we have somewhere over 1,000 active volunteers contributing at local branch committee level through to Council, Board and its committees. While there is an organisational hierarchy of governance and reporting, the value and contribution of every volunteer is noteworthy – we simply wouldn’t have the impact that we do without everyone that is actively involved.
So I want to say a huge THANK YOU to every volunteer at STEP – both present and past. You have made us the organisation we are and bring huge diversity of thinking to what we do.
This year’s International Volunteers Day theme of ‘Volunteer now for our common future’ also feels particularly pertinent to STEP as we progress our strategic priorities. We are keen that everyone in our diverse membership feels welcome and able to contribute as we want to be a truly inclusive organisation.
We know from our member survey that membership and volunteering bring benefits, with 75 per cent believing that being part of this global network has helped progress their career. We also know that this means many of you would actively recommend STEP to others (leading to an enviable net promoter score of +54).
If you are not currently involved as a volunteer then now is the perfect time to attend a branch meeting (whether virtual or in person) and find out more.
Thank you again to all our volunteers – I salute you.