The perks of being an Area Link

Samantha Riley, NCT Area Link
Samantha Riley, NCT Area Link

I first became a volunteer for NCT through a chance conversation with the local branch coordinator. I was saying how I wished there was a Bumps and Babies in my town as I had no connections in the area having moved from London. Her response was “Why don’t you set one up yourself?” Sound familiar? I’m guessing most volunteer journeys start like that. So Baldock Bumps and Babies started and four years on it continues. Once the group was established the branch invited me to meetings. My next volunteering role was as a breast pump agent.

I thought that would be it, but in all honesty it was nice to do something outside of wiping bottoms and scraping food off the floor. So I went to our Regional Training Day where there was a big call for Area Links. The room went quiet. I looked around to see no one from my local branch was there. I tentatively put my hand up and said I might be interested, what did it entail?

At home I looked at the role description and started to reconsider. The role looked huge and with no committee role experience what could I possibly have to offer? Then again, there was no one else, it was me or nothing. So, I went for it, I mean why not, someone having a go was better than no one?

I realised that the strengths I had in the role were enthusiasm to engage with the different branches, an inherent nosiness, a desire to understand the various challenges branches faced and see the strengths each branch had. I saw I was able to make a difference. The role was more about strengthening the links between the branches and giving the branches a feeling of connection to the wider regional team. Some branches need more support than others and this is where I focus my attention when required. Other branches are well-established and continue to be successful. They know where I am if they need help.

One of the perks of being part of the regional team is our Regional Weekender which is a great opportunity to network, socialise and learn more about the projects going on in the NCT. We also gain further skills to take home in your role. Some might also say the other perks are eating good food in adult company! This is a great break from my normal stay-at-home-mum world and to connect with the regional team and office staff in person. After these events there is a renewed drive, energy and inspiration to make a difference to the branches and in turn the families in the area.

So what are you waiting for? Give it a go and join the team!

If you want to speak to Samantha directly with any questions about this volunteer role, you are welcome to get in touch. . For more information about the regional teams please contact Melissa Gough-Rundle.

One Reply to “The perks of being an Area Link”

  1. Thanks Samantha, it is great to read your story and to have your support. I hope others follow in your fine footsteps – someone having a go was better than no one – too right and this quote reminds me of the NCT founder, Prunella.

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