Featured press: first published in The Drum
Did you know that you’re more likely to reassess your life choices or do something big and crazy when your age ends in a nine? From questioning your career, to getting a tattoo… as you head into a new decade, you’re more likely to yearn for change.
As someone firmly in their mid-to-late twenties (29 and a half), this hasn’t escaped my notice. For many, this manifests as asking if their job helps anyone. I look at the Arctic Monkeys tattoo that permanently marked my 19th birthday, and question everything.
Helpfully, everyone at Media Bounty gets five days a year to volunteer for whatever cause they fancy. After last year’s If You Think Something’s up, Bring it Up campaign, I put my time to use with Men’s Minds Matter. I now sit on the board, with my role focussing on marketing and campaigns.
75% of all UK suicides are by men. And so many of society’s problems – like the rise in toxic masculinity and violence against women – can be linked back to men’s mental health issues. Men’s Minds Matter exists to help change this. It was started by two mates, Clinical Psychologist Luke and lived experience expert Nigel. They do truly live saving work.
Now, this is a blog about marketing. So I’m duty-bound to distil my discoveries on the volunteering journey into three learnings. Let’s have it.
Everything in perspective
Whilst we’re busy making decks and staring at ourselves on Zoom, some people are out there saving lives. Rather than making my nine-to-five feel frivolous – I find it energising. It reminds me I’m lucky to have a job where I’m having fun (almost) every day. But also makes me feel grateful to be part of a company where I can use my skills for good. Which leads me to…
You got the skills
Don’t forget about ‘skilled volunteering’. It doesn’t have to be just about donating your time. There are loads of organisations big and small that are desperate for your skills, too. Whatever you do in your 9-5:30, it can be transferred to a charity. From finance, to design, to community management.
I apologise for being the billionth guy in big glasses to tell you to get out of your bubble. But it’s true. You learn so much – and see a whole new side to things you never knew existed. Both about the nitty and gritty elements of how charities exist from day to day, but also about the subject matter itself. Needless to say, I learnt a lot spending an hour a week with a therapist. Even if we’re just talking about fundraising.
All in all – the tattoo was probably a mistake. But volunteering with Men’s Minds Matter wasn’t. It’s made my work life more enjoyable, more rewarding and more purposeful than ever. If you’re thinking about doing it – do it.
To get involved with small charities and organisations, just email or send them a message on socials. Alternatively, there are places like Patagonia Action Works that can connect you with a range of environmental causes that need skilled volunteers.