Gok Wan Brings A World Of Difference
By Stephen Noble on October 14, 2010 in Society
The World Of Difference campaign is structured to help 500 short-term workers be part of a charity for two months, paid up with £2,750 for each volunteer.
At his arrival on the Gateshead side of the Millennium Bridge, Gok Wan said: “I’ve been very, very lucky over the years to work with a number of charities, and when the Vodafone guys came to me in 2009 I just couldn’t believe that they’d touched so many people.
“From my point of view, I love my job, I love what I do and it does come with a profile and it feels good that I can add my profile to something and urge people to help out, so it is a win-win situation for everyone.”
Gok added: “It’s also about lifting the myth that charity work is helping out second hand shops or serving tea in a community hall somewhere, it’s not about that any longer, we’re an incredibly powerful country and I know we’re all affected by the recession but we’ve got a lot of money here and we need to start investing that money wisely.
“We need to invest it back in people and communities, and this project really does back that.”
Applications for The World Of Difference Campaign involve a prospective volunteer talking to a charity about the help they might need, and once the charity has agreed, a paid for volunteer can apply to gain a short-term, full-time position.
One of last year’s competition winners, Judith Lloyd, who worked for the National Trust’s Gibside Hall in Burnopfield to engage the community with a variety of events, said: “The two months were very enjoyable, to some extent a limited amount can be done, but still something that is meaningful and something that the charity can build on.
“I’d never done any volunteering at the National Trust before, I’d visited lots of their properties and I’ve always been interested in cultural history and the arts in particular, so it was a good starting point and it was just lovely to try and contribute some of that knowledge into a project that the National Trust wanted to carry forward.”
Anne-Marie Ashman, a member of the Visitor Services Team at Gibside, said: “We’re very much drawing on Judy’s help still, and she was great in establishing ideas and it was great to have her expertise and focus for two months full-time, so it’s really been a great benefit to Gibside.
“It was an enormous help, not only for the events that Judy organised at the time, but as we’re organising a programme for next year at the moment that includes a lot of Judy’s ideas it has helped over a much longer period.”
Applications for The World Of Difference close on 23 November.
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