Celebrating Volunteer's Week

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We're nearing the end of Volunteer's Week, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities. At HF Holidays, our volunteer walk leaders are at the heart of everything we do, and we can't thank them enough for their knowledge, enthusiasm, passion, and time.

"What could be better than spending the day walking through stunning scenery, sharing knowledge and experiences with like-minded, positive people." 

Images of the Shropshire & Mid Wales HF Holidays Leaders Group and quote kindly supplied by HF Holidays Leader, Sue Manns Hoffmann.

HF Holidays volunteer walk leader and Board Director, Keith Sellens

To mark the occasion, we caught up with HF Holidays volunteer walk leader and Board Director, Keith Sellens, to find out what makes volunteering so rewarding. 

“Volunteering is a very important part of our culture. The motivation for becoming a volunteer differs from one person to the next. For me, in the first instance, it was about being able to continue to do in retirement something which has always given me great pleasure - spend time walking in the Great British countryside, in a way that would hopefully help others to do the same. I have been involved with HF since 1987, firstly, with my wife as guests, continuing year on year as our family came along and grew. We have always had great admiration for the leaders, more so once we realised that they were all volunteers. It was clear that they all wanted to be there, doing something which gave them pleasure whilst creating exceptional experiences for the guests. What could be better! 

I’ve been leading for HF Holidays in the UK for almost eight years. During this time, I have undertaken more than 50 leads and I'm sure that I will have met well in excess of 2,000 wonderful guests - each and every one having their own stories to tell. The breadth of knowledge and experiences of the guests always astounds me but what I think I like most is the development of sociablility, leading to friendships over the course of the week. I enjoy each lead as much now as I did when I was a fresh-faced beginner.  

During my working life, I ran a business with a good number of staff and clients. I was always ensuring that everything was going smoothly, balancing the needs of the clients, the staff and the business itself. I knew that once I had retired it would be very important for me to keep my brain active. Becoming a leader certainly did this but as time has gone on and the leads have mounted up the amount of time that needs to be dedicated to the planning for each lead has dropped significantly. I do enjoy the challenge of new walks in new areas; however, these are now few and far between. I realised that I could do more. Falling back on my business skills, I decided to stand for the Board of HF Holidays and was delighted to be voted on (by the members) for a four-year term. Once again, I saw it as an opportunity to put something back into the company which has provided myself and my family with so much pleasure for over 35 years.  

The directors are all volunteers, giving up our time willingly to provide strategic oversight to our Members Cooperative. It is a pleasure being part of a group of like-minded people whose knowledge of the travel and hospitality sector is far superior to my own. The oversight and discussions leading to decisions being made are of the highest quality and I feel that I am, in a small way, making a positive contribution to the future of HF Holidays”. 

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