International Volunteer Day 2023

Today is December 5th, the United Nations International Volunteer Day. The yearly celebration aims to highlight the importance of voluntary work and the impact it has on our local communities, the economy, and the world around us. Did you know, the monthly number of volunteers aged 15 years and over amounts to 862.4 million worldwide!

This year, the theme is “The Power of Collective Action: If Everyone Did”. The power of collective action is immeasurable and would bring greater growth and development to the world. Imagine a world where everyone volunteered some of their time each week, the opportunities would be endless. 

The UN website claims that volunteering helps deliver better opportunities for sustainable development, food, education for all, a clean environment and better health, and inclusive and peaceful societies across the world – and that’s just to name a few benefits.

Volunteering is a huge renewable resource for social, economic, and environmental problem-solving across the globe. Here at Magenta, the team are encouraged and supported with volunteering opportunities both inside and outside of working hours. Here are some case studies from our team, Anna Kiff (executive), Greg Bortkiewicz (senior consultant) and Shahlia Nelson-Rogers (director).


Headshot image of Anna Kiff

I am an Age UK Telephone Friendship volunteer in my spare time. Age UK is a charity that helps support elderly people across the UK who experience loneliness and isolation. As part of my volunteering, I have been paired with a recipient named Sylvia and we speak once a week on the phone about anything and everything! Despite the volunteer partnership being predominantly for her benefit, I enjoy speaking with Sylvia every week and I have had the privilege of learning a lot from her. 

I also volunteer as part of the PRCA Schools Outreach Programme. Just recently, I participated in a pupil networking session at a local school. The day was designed to help students gain more knowledge about different career paths as they prepare to select their GCSE subjects. The session was really fun, and the students asked great questions. Engaging with the community this way allows us to help create better and greater impact with our work at Magenta.


Headshot image of Greg Bortkiewicz

I’ve been an Independent Visitor (IV) for about 18 months. It’s a statutory programme that gives children in the care system the chance to be matched with an adult for a minimum of two years, and often much longer. I’m matched with a young boy who lives in a residential care home. We meet up every few weeks and do something fun, such as bowling, playing football, swimming, or playing arcade games on the pier. The programme gives the children a stable adult relationship, and they are made aware that the IVs are not being paid but are there because they want to be. I imagine that every district in the UK is always looking for more IVs, so if of interest I’d check with your local council as they often run the programme.

I’m also a trustee at the Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove. The charity supports caregivers, young and old, by providing resources, emotional support and activities that give people a break from their caregiving roles. In my time as a trustee, I’ve helped with the development of a fundraising role at the charity, and a move from its old offices into a much more modern, flexible space in central Brighton.


Headshot image of Shahlia Nelson-Rogers

This year I started volunteering with The Girl’s Network, an organisation that partners with schools to inspire girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a network of professional female role models. I was matched with a lovely 15-year-old girl and have spent the last nine months working with her on everything from vision-boarding her future to handling interviews. I have been surprised at how quickly we were able to build a genuine connection (I literally cried when she texted me to tell me she’d been appointed as Head Girl at school!) and as is often the case with these things, I think I’ve learned as much from my mentee as I’ve had to offer.

All the work done by Magenta reflects our good business initiative and our ESG goals. By doing good in the communities and the PR space, we can continue to use what we learn at these voluntary opportunities to shape our business work and how we can continue to use PR and comms to create a better world. To find out more about our Good Business campaign, read our latest blog from Sally Leigh at Elior UK. 

Anna Kiff