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Case study: Volunteering with the Salvation Army

Posted 6 months ago By Poppy Bragg

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Joe Ryan has been a chartered accountant with ICAEW since 1974. After a 35 year career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, of which the last 24 years were as a partner, Joe retired and took up a number of non-executive roles. Here he tells us about his new volunteer role.

Where are you volunteering?

I’ve just started a role with the Salvation Army a charity that does great work. Before starting I knew a fair amount about their work helping people in poverty, but I’ve been finding out more about different aspects of what they do including the support they provide for victims of modern slavery.

What is your role?

I’ve just started as a member of the charity’s Audit Committee. I had my interview around four weeks ago and my first committee meeting on Monday so it is still early days. The time commitment isn’t extensive – around 4 or 5 days a year, with additional time reading the papers beforehand.

The committee is looking to ensure that the governance across the organisation is strong and effective. This means that my role will often involve asking difficult questions – and making sure we get the right answers!

How have your existing skills and experiences helped you?

With the skills and experience that I’ve built up throughout my career, I think there’s a lot I can bring and I’m keen to do that. I’ve always enjoyed negotiating, solving problems and being a trouble shooter – skills that were an important part of my job as a senior partner at PwC for a number of years - and am excited to use these skills at the Salvation Army. Here I’m looking forward to getting to know people and helping as much as I can, both in my role on the Audit Committee and more widely where needed.

What motivated you to volunteer?

A couple of reasons. Firstly I wanted to do something to give back. The Salvation Army does a lot of good and looks after people who really need it so I’m happy to be a part of that. Secondly because I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic. I’m retired now but still want to keep busy – in the past I’ve sat on some as a non-executive on some brilliant charities and organisations, among them Commonwealth Games England where I was a NED – I’m sports mad so that was ideal for me!

What would you say to anyone considering signing up to ICAEW Volunteers?

Just go for it! I was surprised on signing up to see the huge variety of roles advertised, so there’s a good chance that you’ll find one that interests you.

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