How Sam’s Better Days supports Scottish Girl Guides
Our Better Days allowance enables all of our colleagues to support causes that are important to them within their own communities – by providing an allocated day of paid leave each year. Here, fire engineer Sam Bryant who is based in our Edinburgh office, explains how she has used her Better Days Days’ time to develop her skills and experience within the Girl Guides to help others.
She explained: “I’ve been an assistant leader in Girl Guides for more than nine years, and when I joined OFR in 2020, it was important to me that I had the option of flexible hours to allow me to continue to volunteer on a weekly basis. This is one of the main reasons I chose to work with OFR over other fire consultants, and that was even before I knew about the Better Days leave!”
Last year Sam moved home which meant that she left her old Brownie unit in Edinburgh and joined a new unit in South Queensferry. Because she was a new, fully qualified leader in the town, she was asked if she would take over the running of the Rangers unit, which is for girls aged 14-18 – an opportunity that she leapt at because in Sam’s own words: “Girl Guiding meant a lot to me as a child and a teenager, and it’s important to me to be able to pass that on to the next ‘generation’ as it were.”
By becoming a unit leader, rather than being an assistant leader, this meant that she had to do some additional training, specifically some safeguarding training that was being run online, in the middle of the day. Sam was able to use a half day of her Better Days leave for the online training, and was even able to do it in the OFR office where any CPD can be undertaken.
Talking about how the Better Days allowance has helped her manage her Girl Guiding commitments, along with work and her home life, Sam said: “It’s now come to the year end and I have my unit accounts to do for Girlguiding UK and for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Since this will be the first time I’ve done accounts for a unit, there is a lot of new stuff for me to learn. Additionally, I’ve also just moved house so all of my spare time is being taken up with DIY.
“Being able to use my Better Days leave for Girl Guiding is a massive relief as it means I don’t have to give up a full day of my weekend. I can spend a morning doing normal fire engineering, and then do the unit accounts, any paperwork and admin for my unit in the afternoon without losing too much time. It also means I call the bank on a weekday!”