This week is National Volunteers’ Week (June 3rd – 9th 2024). It’s a chance for us to recognise, celebrate and thank volunteers across the country for all they contribute to their local communities and wider society, and an opportunity to inspire others to give volunteering a go. Many charities, community groups and local services across Birmingham involve or are led by volunteers who give their time, skills and energy to support local people and good causes. Birmingham wouldn’t be the city it is without our amazing volunteers! In this blog, we’re putting the spotlight on Cem who volunteers with BrumEnergy, helping to deliver free energy saving advice and tips to residents.

What is BrumEnergy?

BrumEnergy is project that delivers free home energy advice to anyone living in Birmingham. It is driven by a group of seven local community organisations from around the city. Much of the work at BrumEnergy is supported by brilliant volunteers who support events, create useful resources and deliver energy advice. One of these organisations is ecobirmingham, a city-wide organisation whose goal is to create a sustainable city.

Meet Cem

Meet Cem (pronounced Gem). He has been volunteering his time at ecobirmingham and supporting our BrumEnergy project by using his creative skills to develop a range of social media posts, posters and informative resources to let the people of Birmingham know how they can be more energy efficient, save money and be kinder to the planet. We are certainly very lucky to have him, true to his name, he is a gem! You can read about his experience with us below.

What does a typical day volunteering for BrumEnergy look like?

“There is no typical day volunteering for BrumEnergy at ecobirmingham, Northfield. ecobirmingham work with the people of Birmingham to make positive environmental action to help make the city greener. There are a variety of different projects to be getting on with. There are opportunities to go in person and do workshops with local communities or work at the office creating different online resources that offer light touch advice to different communities within Birmingham. I am hoping to get out more and offer in person advice to communities as being out in the community you can really see the impact BrumEnergy is making.”

How do you engage with local communities to support them with energy advice?

“Mostly, I have been engaging with local communities via social media. I have created several informative posts on saving energy at home designed to give light touch advice to the residents of Birmingham. This offers them some basic advice and also the opportunity to reach out and get more in-depth advice from an energy advisor if they feel the post is relevant to them. I am also creating a blog at the moment to also reach audiences online, looking at my perspective of saving energy and offering ways others can also do the same and enjoy the personal aspect of the community work.”

How did you get into volunteering?

“I enjoy volunteering as it is the opportunity to use my free time to be productive and work on something I care about. I got into it at 15, volunteering at an Oxfam bookshop for a

summer, and really enjoyed spending my time at the back of the shop researching the price of different rare books we were donated. This inspired me to continue to volunteer as it is an opportunity to do meaningful work and explore different avenues of life while putting yourself outside of your comfort zone and developing yourself further. Since starting volunteering, I have volunteered with young unaccompanied migrants at Displaced Collective, community organisers at Citizens UK and am currently volunteering with ecobirmingham.”

What is the best thing about being a volunteer?

“The best thing about being a volunteer is seeing your work make an impact. Knowing that you are spending your time helping others is extremely gratifying and is the reason why I do it. Furthermore, there are many different roles a volunteer has, and this means my skillset is constantly developing as I undertake these roles, often putting myself outside my comfort zone. At the time it may seem daunting but, overall, the benefits of pushing myself make it worthwhile and fulfilling.”

Interested in volunteering?

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, gain new skills, try something new and make a difference in your local community. If you would like to give volunteering a go, there’s lots of opportunities to get involved across Birmingham. Whether you want to support environmental projects, help disadvantaged young people, volunteer at a one-off community event or lead fun activities for people with disabilities, there’s something for you. Take a look at the opportunities on our: Community Noticeboard 

Support from BrumEnergy

If you are interested in getting some home energy advice or know someone who could benefit from it, visit: and contact us at: [email protected]