MediaCom’s Deborah Widdick on volunteering at Media Trust’s Women’s Voices 2020 Event

Deborah Widdick, Media Manager at MediaCom shares her experience of volunteering with the charity Just A Drop at Media Trust’s annual Women’s Voices event. The event, which marks International Women’s Day, saw over 100 volunteers from across the media and creative industry come together to take on the communications briefs of 30 charities that support, campaign and advocate for women and girls.

Those who work in Media often know we are thought to work in a ‘bubble’, so when presented with the opportunity to break out of my daily cycle and give back to women in need, it seemed a no-brainer.

I’m pleased to say my experience of Media Trust’s Women’s Voices event did not disappoint, far from it. It opened my mind to a multitude of brilliant work being done by charities to improve the lives of other women.

As well as the opportunity to collaborate with a group of volunteers from cross disciplines and learn about how they would approach a client brief from their perspective, I was incredibly excited to see how we could help our assigned charity, Just A Drop.

The Challenge

Just a Drop brings sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities, transforming lives. I was shocked to learn that 200 million hours are spent by women and girls worldwide collecting water, every single day, and that the average water usage of a person in the UK is 141 litres.

Alice, our representative from the charity, explained the challenges that they faced in garnering support for their mission. From there, we worked through how media could help them achieve their objectives – we discussed ideas of how they could expand their presence, and grow their reach and support using media tactics.

Alice seemed truly appreciative of our insights – it was brilliant to feel the contributions given were valued and will be implemented to help the charity’s work. It made me realise how valuable the skills are that we develop in our media careers.

If you’re thinking of volunteering, but not sure you can fit it in, I’d urge you to reconsider.

We can make a difference

As well as the charity challenge session, and the wrap-up of some of the (genius!) ideas developed, we were also treated to an especially inspiring talk from Kajal Odedra, UK Director of Kajal’s speech took place just before we met our assigned charities and it really demonstrated that the smallest stone can make a ripple in the sea, and that we did have the power to make a difference. To prove this further, one of the examples of work that supports that Kajal discussed, the campaign to end tampon tax, was just announced as a policy as part of the UK March 2020 budget.

Overall, I can’t recommend this experience enough. If you’re thinking of volunteering, but not sure you can fit it in, I’d urge you to reconsider. Volunteering is time well spent – the experience is not only worthwhile for the causes that you give to, but for your own development. Too often it’s easy to claim that we don’t have time – to go to the gym, to home cook – but there are some things we should actively make time for, and this is one of them – I doubt you’d regret it!

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