Twice a week at 1.30pm, associate investment manager Victoria Ash takes a meeting that is different to most of those in her professional calendar. Rather than consulting with high-net-worth individuals on how to make the most of their money, she spends 30 minutes helping a child to read.
Victoria works at Close Brothers Asset Management but, since early 2021, she has also been a volunteer for a charity called Bookmark. And she says these two apparently disparate aspects of her life are now utterly connected – each complementing the other.
Anything that’s going on at work, any problems, you have to put those aside during a reading session. But the session is uplifting. When you do come back to your desk you feel positive. It gives you energy
“Working with the children, you’re building different relationships,” explains Victoria, who found out about Bookmark through her employer, where managers support volunteering. “Anything that’s going on at work, any problems, you have to put those aside during a reading session.
“But the session is uplifting. When you do come back to your desk you feel positive. It gives you energy.”
Victoria’s experience of volunteering is far from unique. Research suggests that it is associated with better self-esteem and increased life satisfaction. And, increasingly, there’s evidence that the positives go far beyond the individual.
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