THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS. We say it a lot - but we can never say it enough!

THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS. We say it a lot - but we can never say it enough!

December 4, 2017


International Volunteer Day

December 5th is International Volunteer Day, and UpRising Birmingham is taking this time to celebrate our incredible volunteers. UpRising programmes are made possible by dedicated volunteers who believe in developing the leaders of tomorrow. Expert speakers, professional mentors and UpRising alumni all donate their time to make our programmes a success. Without them, UpRising simply would not exist. They are our backbone. And we can’t thank them enough!


This month, we are especially honouring the commitment of one of our UpRising Birmingham 2016/17 Environmental Leadership Programme Alumni: Elena. Elena is part of our local Alumni Board and is always willing to give back to UpRising, most recently donating two full days of her time to help induct a new cohort of UpRisers at their Leadership Training Weekend. We are very thankful for volunteers like Elena; please read through her inspiring story below:


When I found out about Uprising’s Environmental Leadership Programme I [practically] begged to be considered. At the time, I had just moved to Birmingham from Spain and worked as a project manager for a translation company. I didn’t know anything about the public or third sectors, but I had a keen interest in environmental and social issues. My two main motivations for getting involved with the programme were: 1. Finding volunteering opportunities & campaigns I could get involved with to turn my interests into a full time job and 2. To meet like-minded individuals and make some friends.


Whilst on the programme I got a job working for Ambition School Leadership – a charity working to fight educational disadvantage by delivering leadership training to middle and senior leaders in schools in challenging contexts. At the same time (as applications take a full year!), I was also applying for the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) for Local Government. My experiences in Uprising, and especially the social action campaign, really helped in the application process. Thanks to Uprising I was able to prove my passion for community engagement as well as being able to demonstrate a range of skills. I was ultimately successful and left my post at Ambition to work for East Staffordshire Borough Council as their National Management Trainee. I am currently doing my first placement with the Housing Options team where I am helping to tackle homelessness in the Borough, as well as working in partnership with different non-profit organisations to write the Council’s review of homelessness 2013-2018. This review will inform the strategy for tackling homelessness in the Borough for the next 5 years. In the future, I will be moving through the Council’s different departments, but the one I am most excited about is Environmental Health where I’ll be tackling a range of environmental issues.


I can safely say that Uprising has helped me a lot in my quest to fulfil my passions, I would even go as far as saying it has changed my life! This is why I jump at the chance of giving back through volunteering at events and being part of the Alumni Board. I love being able to support new and past Uprisers and hear about all the amazing and exciting projects that they are involved with. Uprisers truly never fail to amaze and inspire me in their dedication to having a positive impact in the world!


Thanks again for all of our wonderful volunteers!


If you’d like to know more about how to get involved with UpRising Birmingham, please email


If you want to apply for one of our programmes, register your interest at