Training and Development

How volunteering more than just coding skills can help your career

While it’s perfectly common for companies to offer charities free or reduced cost software and services, or host charity hackathons, you don’t often hear about IT pro donating more than their tech know-how to non-profits.

David Webster is a Governance Services Architect at information management company Alfresco Software, and has been at the company for about 8 years. But when he’s not looking after the design, development and maintenance of the company’s records management and information governance services, he’s out trying to save lives.

In his spare time, he is a Search Technician and Team Leader for the Oxfordshire branch of Lowland Search & Rescue; a voluntary organisation in the UK which assists in searching for missing persons in lowland areas.

“I joined OxSAR almost 10 years ago, just as the team was starting out. It wasn’t long after the 2007 flooding and I wanted to find a flood rescue team to volunteer with. My wife had recently returned to Girl Guiding and was volunteering her time to set up and run a Guides group for local kids. Inspired by that, I wanted to find some way to give back to my local community.”

“I’d never heard about Lowland Rescue before, but obviously knew about Mountain Rescue and the RNLI. It just hadn’t occurred to me that there was a need for search and rescue teams in non-mountainous and non-coastal areas, so while I joined primarily for water rescue, I soon got hooked on the ‘missing person’ side of it too.”

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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