Has Coronavirus shifted our gaze outwards – and what does this mean for volunteering?

When coronavirus became the focus of our lives back in March, everything changed on an almost daily basis. Schools in particular, along with other frontline services, were stretched to the limit.

As a charity that places volunteers on school governing boards, we had no idea how the next few months would play out. Schools were busy with a plethora of new challenges – from managing staff sickness, ensuring schools were safe places for children of key workers and staff, to arranging home school support for pupils.

It soon became clear that the pandemic and lockdown had made many of us look outwards. People were considering their role in society and getting involved in their communities in ways they hadn’t done before. In May and June, as people became more accustomed to life in lockdown, we had applications from almost 30% more volunteers than in the same period last year.

We’re hopeful that this outlook is here to stay. We’ve seen the power of community recently, and we want to show the difference you can make as a school governor all year round, and the benefits it brings.

Support your community in a tangible way

Healthcare staff, teachers, and other frontline workers have played a crucial role throughout the pandemic, but as schools prepare to welcome all children back in September, we can all make a difference. Schools need people of all professional backgrounds on their governing boards to help them set the strategy and provide the challenge needed to make robust decisions.

Meet people you wouldn’t otherwise

Joining a governing board gives you the chance to meet and work with people outside of your professional and social circles.

It’s all too easy to get stuck in an echo chamber of thoughts and opinions. Volunteering as a governor gives you the chance to hear other points of view, challenging your own perspectives.

All schools face a big challenge ahead. Getting children and young people back into a structured routine of learning while looking after their mental health and wellbeing will be paramount. Apply to become a school governor and see how your skills can benefit a school and your wider community.