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Published on 29 May 2024

'It’s amazing to see where only a few hours a week can take you'

As part of Volunteers’ Week 2024, running from June 3-9, Christian Aid is celebrating 40 years of the volunteer movement.

Meet twenty-three-year-old Ian Bell, who recently graduated with a Master's degree in International Relations. He has a clear vision of making a significant impact on the world.

His passion for global development and world politics led him to volunteer with Christian Aid, and over the past year, Ian has taken on the role of Climate Justice Constituency Campaigner.

He's been engaging with faith groups, discussing the pressing issues of climate change, and motivating them to reach out to their local MPs to demand greater action.

Ian Bell, a passionate Christian Aid volunteer, giving a talk.
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Ian's journey with Christian Aid

'Growing up in the Catholic community, I’ve always been aware of Christian Aid. When I considered volunteering, I immediately looked for opportunities within the charity,' Ian explained. 'My interest in politics and philosophy, combined with my fascination with making a difference since my mid-teens, naturally led me to this path. My mission in life is to be part of the change for good, and Christian Aid has provided me with the platform to do just that.'

Ian’s role has brought him invaluable experiences, from forming deep connections with diverse individuals to lobbying Members of Parliament on crucial issues like climate justice. One of his notable efforts includes collaborating with St Peter’s and All Saints’ Church in Nottingham. Together, they have been actively raising awareness and funds for overseas initiatives and campaigning for the UK Government to support those most affected by the climate crisis.

'We sent a letter to Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood, who agreed to meet us. What started with a sermon and a small gathering is now expanding, and I’m excited about what else we can achieve,' Ian shared. He is also in touch with NTU’s Christian Union, exploring further opportunities to involve its members in climate action.

The rewards of volunteering

Ian spends around two to six hours a week in his volunteering role. 'It’s amazing to see where only a few hours a week can take you,' he said. 'I highly recommend volunteering. It allows you to contribute positively to a cause larger than yourself, meet new people, challenge your worldviews, and test yourself both professionally and personally.'

Ian’s positive experience has inspired him to volunteer at the annual Greenbelt Festival, where Christian Aid is a partner. The festival takes place near Kettering every August and offers a variety of volunteering roles.

Get involved

Ian Hind, Senior Volunteering Officer at Christian Aid, emphasizes the crucial role of volunteers. 'Supporters are the backbone of our mission to end poverty. Without their unwavering dedication and commitment, we couldn’t make the impact we do. We invite everyone to join us in this fight against poverty and stand with us as we make a difference.'

Christian Aid offers various volunteer roles, from fundraising to helping at festivals. If you’re interested in being part of the movement, visit our volunteer page or email with any queries.

Join Ian and many others in making a difference. Your few hours a week can lead to incredible change.

Feeling up for a festival?

Take a look at our Festival volunteering opportunities for summer 2024.

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Volunteer with us

Become a Christian Aid volunteer and make a huge difference to people living in poverty worldwide.

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Volunteer at a festival

Volunteer with us at Greenbelt or Eisteddfod, and find out how you can get involved at a festival near you.