News

News

Feature articles about Oxford University Press around the world

Meet our people: Rhoda Frith

Meet our people: Rhoda Frith

03 December 2020

Rhoda works as a PA and International Events Coordinator at OUP and is also passionate about volunteering in the community. At OUP, all employees are given two additional days leave per year (three in the US) to use for volunteering with organizations that align to our mission. Rhoda shares a little about her experience and how OUP supports this important work.
            

“I began volunteering for Oxford Mutual Aid (OMA) in August 2020. OMA was set up this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, supplying around 200 regular weekly food parcels, plus emergency food parcels and ad-hoc support, to people in need in Oxford. The support ranges from regular phone calls to check in on vulnerable people, helping with deliveries for people who need to quarantine, arranging hospital transport, and even coordinating transport to take animals to the vet.

I wear a few different hats as a volunteer, from admin such as compiling rotas or supporting on fundraising, to practical things like packing donated meals, making phone calls, and collecting prescriptions. Volunteering is permitted under the current lockdown and tier system rules in England, so it’s a valid (and in fact encouraged!) reason to leave home. However, if you’re self-isolating or shielding, there are still a lot of options for getting involved. OMA offers a mixture of remote and in-person volunteering roles—there’s a way for absolutely anyone who wants to get involved to do so and make a real difference.

As a mission-driven organization, I feel there’s a kinship between OUP and community-based organizations like OMA. In both cases, the organizations have a clear and ongoing purpose to do good for wider society. OUP is very supportive of staff volunteering, either for partner organizations we have a formal relationship with such as BookAid, Children Heard and Seen, Crisis Skylight Oxford, and ARCh Oxfordshire, or local grassroots organizations. This year, there has also been a focus on creating virtual volunteering opportunities for those who cannot attend in person.

Volunteering is something that can be easily accommodated with your role at OUP, and I’ve found that some of the skills I’ve gained while volunteering are extremely useful to me in my OUP role. For example, I have learnt to use communications platform Slack, improved my Excel and GSuite skills, and I have learnt a lot about managing a larger team.

I am planning to use some of my OUP volunteering leave before Christmas and I’d really encourage other colleagues to get involved and to look into available volunteering options. I promise you won’t regret a single shift, whether you pack boxes, plan rotas, or provide skills such as social media or fundraising. They’re some of the most rewarding things I have ever done.”

 

Read more about employee volunteering at OUP

Find out more about volunteering with or donating to OMA.