HASSRA Fylde's Simon Jowitt, former Volunteer of the Year, tells us what he does and why.

How long have you been a HASSRA member?

I became a HASSRA member when I joined DWP back in 2000.

How long have you been a HASSRA volunteer?

Initially I was a board member of my site club for a couple of years in the early 2000s, then after a bit of a break I joined the Fylde Board of Management (BoM) in 2010.

What led you to becoming a HASSRA volunteer?

I was friends with the Chair of my local HASSRA club and she needed more people involved, so I agreed to help out. It wasn’t long before another friend asked me to help organise a charity football tournament which was a great success. Following this, I was asked to join the Fylde BoM and it was then that my HASSRA journey really began.

In which part of the organisation do you volunteer?

I sit on the Fylde BoM, as well as being Chair of the Competitions & Events sub-committee and the Communications Lead for the region.

What sort of things do you do for HASSRA?

How long have you got?

I organise a number of regional events throughout the year, whether that be a Festival qualifier or a “taster” event.

I oversee two regional email boxes and run the social media side of things, both in and out of work, so I am answering queries on a daily basis from members wherever I may be.

I am the Fylde Team Manager for the HASSRA Festivals putting the Fylde competitors and teams together for all the different events.

I oversee all the regional kit and merchandise, and any purchases that are needed.

I run stalls at Wellbeing Events and give presentations to staff when needed,

I organise the Annual Awards Dinner for around 150 members and also arrange the Regional AGM.

So just a few things!!

How much of your time do you spend doing HASSRA related volunteering?

Too be honest a lot of the time, whether it be planning an event, running an event, answering a query or posting something on social media there is always something that needs doing. However, as strange as it seems, I love it.

If you are a volunteer outside of HASSRA, what other volunteering do you do?

Being Dad to a 9-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, all their activities don’t leave too much spare time. However, I am very much into politics and intend to stand for council in the May local elections.

How have you benefitted from being a HASSRA volunteer?

More than I could ever have imagined. It has become such a big part of my life and allowed me to participate in a range of events I never thought possible, meet many people from across the country and make some very good friends.

And I even met my wife at a HASSRA Cheese and Wine Evening!

What skills have you gained/­developed from being a volunteer?

It has certainly helped improve my Excel skills with the number of spreadsheets I have for all the different things!!!

I like to think that what I do in HASSRA has helped me unlock skills I never thought I had, such as speaking in front of a room full of people. It has also given me confidence in dealing with people in my day job.

Why would you recommend volunteering with HASSRA?

I would recommend volunteering because without volunteers a lot of what members benefit from just would not happen. Plus, you will be surprised how much personal satisfaction you get from it.

What is the best thing about being a HASSRA volunteer?

It is difficult to pick out just one thing, but I would probably say the immense satisfaction I get from seeing people enjoying themselves at an event, function or trip that I have organised or helped out at.