When you’ve worked for many years developing skills and experience 

in a particular field, it’s very satisfying to use those skills to benefit a cause you want to support. 

That’s why I became volunteer press and media officer for SAFE.

I’ve worked as a journalist for many years – mainly in local radio but also some press and TV reporting.

I’ve covered a lot of news stories about domestic abuse, including the closure of the women’s refuge formerly run by SAFE in 2014, and the regular awareness-raising campaigns by police and support groups, in which journalists are able to talk to survivors about how they’ve been helped to rebuild their lives.

That gave me some insight into the amazing work being done to tackle what is still a very hidden problem. 

I had also interviewed SAFE’s Chief  Executive Jacinta Wainwright a couple of times.

When I stopped working full-time for local radio, I discovered that SAFE didn’t have anyone acting as a press and media officer, and offered to help - putting my skills to work from the other side of the counter, so to speak.

In the first few weeks I had the great satisfaction of seeing the press releases I’d written and sent out to the local media being picked up and used.

I also wrote to all Devon’s MPs on behalf of SAFE, asking them to support important new laws on domestic violence.

I helped organise and publicise the One Billion Rising flashmob dance in Princesshay in February – which included joining the dance – and I was really pleased to see a picture of the flashmob on the front page of the local paper two days later.

So many people have professional or vocational skills which they – and possibly their employers – take for granted. It’s really rewarding to put those skills to work for an organisation like SAFE – and it can also help with your own personal and career development.

I'm very glad to have become part of this charity, raising awareness of the great work it does which is transforming many people's lives. I'd strongly encourage anyone else to think about whether they've got skills which could perhaps be used in a way they'd never considered before.