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Volunteer of The Year

Our Volunteer of the Year Jodie Bennet

This year's Volunteer of the Year Jodie Bennett joins us from Mayo Wynne Baxter, who not only racked up an impressive number of volunteer hours but was also nominated by one of her colleagues. In recognition, we are donating a share of £250 to two of her chosen charities - Prostate Cancer UK and Grass Roots - plus £250 to her as a token of our appreciation for her volunteering and community efforts.

Jodie is part of MWB's Switchboard team while also working part time as a tree surgeon and has recently gotten into wildlife photography.

Volunteer of the Year

Camp 110

Here's Jodie at Camp 110 - a major Scouts event where she runs the Media team, consisting of 11 people, covering a district wide camp to celebrate 110 years of scouting in the area.

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Representing East Essex

Jodie representing East Sussex at the Lord Lieutenants annual aatherina. where the commissioners of local groups, emergency services and various mayors come together for an afternoon of networking.

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Sempahore Skills

Here she's assisting the Beavers with their Semaphore skills at the annual Beaver competition.

We caught up with Jodie to learn a little more about her and her volunteering...

Where do you volunteer and when did you start?

I'm an Explorer Scout leader which involves organising events and activities for teenagers aged 14-18. I'm also a Beaver leader, where I take part in designing a whole new set of activities for children aged six to eight. On top of that, I'm also Assistant County Commissioner for Communications, where I deal with the press and manage publicity through our social media channels and website as well as organising events for our area.

I started off as a young leader, supporting a beaver troop when I was about 14. When I turned 2, I was asked to take on a County role - pretty rare for someone so young to be offered the role! I'm now a strong advocate for bringing other young people into the organisation as it can often be full of much older people.

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm currently working with troops across the county to better attract minority groups into Scouts - the organisation, particularly in the South East, can be pretty un-diverse and I am helping troops to find different communities who might not feel that Scouts is for them and find ways which can help them to feel included.

Have you been involved with any international trips?

Yes! In 2019 I was fortunate enough to travel to West Virginia for three weeks as part of the World Scouts Jamboree. I'm also part of the team co-ordinating some of the UK's communications with the next Jamboree in South Korea. We're currently in the planning stages of how to get updates from our people on the ground and develop a media plan in the lead up to the event.

Do you think your volunteering helps you with your job?

Absolutely. I have met many different people through Scouts from all walks of life and this helps me to be empathetic with prospective clients and people who I speak to on the phone at work. Scouts is a very traditional organisation that has similarities to a law firm so it's helpful to help understand their thinking. I think I'm able to bring fresh perspectives to Scouts - something I also try to do in my current role.

Who have you chosen for your selected charities?

I've selected Prostate Cancer UK - myself and my family support this charity as my grandfather passed away with prostate cancer. I'm also sharing the donation with Grass Roots, a local suicide prevention charity who supported a friend of mine when they trained as a mental health trainer through their organisation.

Our 2023 Impact Report

Ampa has published its first impact report, recording the wider group’s achievements and progress to date, since the relaunch of its responsible business programme last year. Making more than 30 pledges to its people, planet and local communities, the group has seen significant improvements in its commitment to increasing diversity at a senior level, reducing its carbon footprint and offering career development opportunities to under-represented groups.

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