Written by Laura Moore
This is one of the values we hold at the heart of the Military Coworking Network, and at the very heart of our community are a powerful team of volunteers.
Over the last year we estimate that the team of over 50 volunteers around the country (and in Cyprus and the USA!) have donated over 800 hours of their time, collectively working together to grow the network to the stage it is at now.
Our whole network is founded by our members. It has been created for military spouses, by military spouses.
For some members this has been donating time to help paint walls and re-arrange furniture, for others it has been establishing relationships with base commanders to find locations and support locally, and for others it has been time working online getting to know the people in their area and seeing how they can help. Everyone’s role is different, but each one is vital to the success of the network.
The power of our members is easy to see. In just over a year, the project has grown from one hub in Leuchars, to an international network, with 7 hubs successfully up and running, and over 15 more in the pipeline, with local teams behind them pushing them forward at every stage.
But the power of community really comes into its own on the ground, in the hubs. The team on the ground have created safe spaces for spouses to flourish independently of who their partner is or what they do. The impact the communities can have is easy to see; from spouses developing business ideas together to supporting people in their careers.
“I have received so much support from the Coworking Hub and I am so grateful to them all for helping me achieve my dream business. I had always wanted to set up my own business as a make up artist but when I finally decided to do it I didn’t know how to get started. I visited the Coworking Hub and was blown away at how much help I was given. They were all so friendly and inviting.”
“Having a space to work from for me, isn’t just a space. It changes the whole dynamics for our family and our home. We would have a living room, that can be used as a living room should be used. I can leave work behind and spend time with my family as I should be doing. I can ‘go to work’ and feel empowered that I have a professional workspace to work from.”
It has been shown that volunteering is good for your mental health (it’s even recommended by the NHS as a way of combating anxiety and depression — read more here), and the connection between volunteering your time and being part of a positive community is obvious.
Many of our members not only give up their time to help build their local MCN community, but have also been putting in extra hours other voluntary roles, from driving spouses to appointments as a local SSAFA volunteer, to offering free counselling services to young people who are struggling in these uncertain times
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill
If you would like to get involved and be part of this community please get in touch.