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How volunteering for charity work can boost your business fortunes


FSB members are known for their strong contributions to charity, and charity work is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and make useful business contacts. 

York Branch Chairman Martyn Weller is a particularly good role model, volunteering for three charities. He’s completed a 12-year stint as Trustee of Disability Action Yorkshire, eight as Chairman; is a Trustee for Disabled Motorists UK; and is a Trustee and Treasurer of the N&W Yorkshire Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. 

“I have been disabled since I was born with spina bifida,” he says. “My mum was on numerous local committees, so we were brought up with a culture of volunteering.”

His work has had a big impact in the Yorkshire area. “Our target group for Disability Action Yorkshire is ages 16-plus,” he says. “We provide training, accommodation in our residential home, holidays in our holiday property, and work experience as a social enterprise. 

“We try to get people with all disabilities into full-time employment. We’ll help them achieve their goals in life, maybe something simple such as going to a nightclub or something more ambitious such as going handgliding. I once did 140 miles on a mobility scooter, raising money and highlighting the problems disabled people face using public transport.”

Martyn recently picked up the Trustee of the Year award from the Harrogate and District Volunteering Oscars, to add to an already impressive collection of gongs. “It’s really my hobby,” he says. “I don’t play sport or anything like that.” 

It’s amazing he finds the time at all. In addition to running a successful pet services company, he’s also an active FSB organiser and a magistrate, having picked up yet another award in November as Magistrate Association Branch Officer of the Year.