My Week: Gareth Owen finds ignoring his emails works wonders

The chief executive of Volunteer Centre Westminster and executive director of Voluntary Action Westminster recounts his week

Gareth Owen
Gareth Owen

MONDAY - I'm in the Volunteer Centre Westminster office by 8am to face a mountain of emails. I ignore them. The proposed merger between VCW and Voluntary Action Westminster is taking up a lot of my time - today, I'm compiling information for Pilotlight, which has offered pro-bono consultancy. Next, I speak to a funder on the phone, which seems to go well. The coffee intake is alarming.

TUESDAY - My first task is arranging a meeting with solicitors to conduct due diligence on the merger. Next, I call a housing association that needs help with Christmas projects: somehow I come off the phone having arranged a staff volunteering day to support disabled residents.

WEDNESDAY - I spend the first part of the morning reminding contacts that they can still sponsor VCW for a recent charity swim. Then I scoot over to VAW to meet Action for Children - I enjoy meeting partners face to face - much better than emails. I spend the afternoon discussing the VAW website and e-newsletter, editing a charity case study and writing an article. Later, I meet a VAW trustee to discuss a proposed project for older people.

THURSDAY - I spend the first hour looking at the management accounts and budgets for VCW and VAW. I call a partner about a new volunteering project for former substance abusers and meet the fundraising team to review current initiatives. Then there is an uplifting meeting with the local Adult Education Service. At 4.30pm it's time for the first VCW/VAW joint trustee board meeting.

FRIDAY - I spend most of the morning writing a follow-up paper on the merger plans. Then a quick visit to VCW to discuss finance and setting up a web page for nominations for the 2014 Westminster Community Awards, which we deliver in partnership with the local council. I'm back at VAW in the afternoon only to face a full inbox. I might as well end the week as I started.

Volunteer Centre Westminster and Voluntary Action Westminster provide volunteering opportunities and run local community projects

Gareth Owen is chief executive of Volunteer Centre Westminster and executive director of Voluntary Action Westminster

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