Clare Brown (c) Clare Brown
Dylan Warner (c) Dylan Warner
Gemma Stubbs (c) Gemma Stubbs
This week is Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people across the UK make through volunteering each year.
To mark the occasion, we caught up with three volunteers who help the Society advance geographical knowledge and reach new audiences through the events they organise across the UK. We asked them about their involvement with the Society, why they give up their time to organise events, and how they are adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Clare Brown (Chair, East of England Committee)
When I lived nearer London, I regularly enjoyed the Monday night lectures, so when I moved to East Anglia, I attended their local lectures to meet like-minded people. The friendly, sociable atmosphere was welcoming but more importantly the depth of knowledge of Fellows and members and their enthusiasm for geography, travel and adventure made me feel at home, and challenged me in my thoughts and awareness.
I get a buzz from working as a team to produce the programme of events each term, but also planning for the future of our region; how to grow, to adapt and showcase the East of England. Along with this I get to hear some fantastic speakers enthusing about their work, and benefit from the intimacy of the smaller audience, and the opportunity to quiz the speakers.
Although I’m missing our regional meetings at the moment, I’ve realised what an amazing opportunity this has been. Despite not having monthly lectures the committee is now ‘virtually meeting’ more frequently. We’ve started to brainstorm how we can keep our members entertained through lockdown and how to get geography into people’s living rooms and remind them of the geography on their doorstep.
Dylan Warner (South Committee)
Joining the South regional committee for me was all about getting more involved in the geographical community. Being in the early stages of my career, it has been an amazing opportunity to work with fellow committee members who are already well established in theirs. I enjoy seeing the preparation that goes into each event, but perhaps the best thing about being on the committee is attending all of the events and getting to engage with the speakers.
I first got involved with the Society through the Geography Ambassador scheme at university, which was an incredible opportunity and provided me with the skills and experiences to help launch me into my career. Taking geography at university and getting involved with the Society has enabled me to understand the world around me whilst hearing the stories of people who have travelled it. Geography covers a broad range of topics which covers every aspect of our planet, this makes for an incredibly interesting subject to engage with.
Gemma Stubbs, (Cheshire and North Wales Committee)
I decided I wanted to volunteer with my regional committee because I wanted to help the Society increase their engagement with more professional geographers like myself who sit in private companies and consultancies, specifically within the region.
The regional committee is built up of geographers from different backgrounds, which has been really exciting as it’s given me a renewed passion for the subject.
During our current situation, although many of our events have had to be cancelled, it’s given us an opportunity to seek new and more innovative ways to host events digitally. I think this is going to be key for the Society to connect with a larger audience in the future.
Find out more about volunteering with your local committee.
See the upcoming online events organised by the regional committees.
Congratulations to the newest members of our Council, who were elected at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday.
Graduates in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) are as employable as graduates of STEM subjects, according to a new report from the British Academy.
New data released by the Department for Education show that over 81% of master’s level geography graduates were in sustained employment, further study, or both, five years after graduation.
We caught up with two of the co-editors, Professor Hilary Geoghegan and Dr Julian Leyland, for our journal Area.
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