To celebrate International Volunteer Day, we asked alumnus Grayden Reece-Smith U07 to reflect on why he volunteers for the Churchill Association Committee.

Grayden Reece-Smith

Why do I volunteer?

As a member of the Churchill Association Committee, I have organised pub nights for recent graduates, as well as planning CV coaching between alumni and undergraduates. The main reason I volunteer for the Churchill Association is that I have benefitted so much from the Churchill community over the years and now is my chance to give something back. Alumni are active in supporting the College in a variety of ways, ranging from careers events (e.g. CV workshops, engineering visits) to hobbies/sports (e.g. writing groups, coaching at the Boat Club). The Churchill Association Committee, the group of alumni organisers, meets twice a year and it’s always exciting to hear about the different things people are doing to benefit the Churchill network. Very often this is helping current students, and alumni have much to offer that money simply can’t buy.  When I was a student, alumni were a very useful source of honest career advice to me.

When I graduated there was nothing for recent alumni, so rather than criticise I got involved and organised a series of pub nights in London. Suddenly there was an regular event attended by around 50 recent alumni each time. A small effort on my part meant that a lot of people could reconnect and meet new people with something in common. It’s surprising how much you can achieve with just a little bit of effort. I also realised that everyone has something to add. You don’t need to be a notable alumna/us. I would encourage anybody to help out. You can make a huge difference.

The final reason I volunteer is that it’s fun! I’ve enjoyed organising fun events with other Churchill alumni and hearing numerous Churchill tales. I’ve met a variety of very different alumni and had many interesting conversations with people of all ages. And the more you put in, the more you get out. The alumni community is lively and engaging. It is a network of people who have done a variety of things with their live, but are all united by the same common bond and Churchillian spirit. It’s only this way because of all the volunteers who chip in a little bit of effort to make the world a better place.

— Grayden Reece-Smith

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