For our 25th anniverary celebrations Tom Freeland at Canal and River Trust has written about his relationship with CJS

I’ve had a close relationship with the Countryside Jobs Service ever since we were first introduced at college, way back in 1996.  I’ve been a subscriber on and off ever since then, whenever I’ve needed a job really, and it’s been a great help: CJS introduced me to my first full-time volunteering role and first lasting paid job (both with the Conservation Volunteers), helped me move into (and stay in) the Midlands, and alerted me to the fact that the newly-established Canal & River Trust were looking for volunteering specialists.
So what have I got personally from CJS?  Well, I’ve always found it quick, convenient (in both postal and on-line formats) and comprehensive – the fact that it pulls together everything advertised that week across the sector is a real boon.  Perhaps my strongest endorsement is that it’s helped me discover new organisations and parts of the country, in a way that local press and word of mouth never could.
As a volunteering professional, I’ve made regular use of CJS, particularly since taking on dedicated volunteer development roles at the Canal & River Trust.  I’ve regularly used the volunteering section and Focus specials to promote our Towpath Taskforce work parties, and found it ideal for specialist roles in volunteer leadership, environmental education and customer service.  The Focus on Volunteering has been a great opportunity to get articles published, and paved the way to our becoming CJS Charity of the Year 2019.
How does this help us?  Well it’s important as a new player in the charity world to raise our profile and standing in the sector, and regular exposure in the pages of CJS helps this; we hope that being chosen as their Charity of the Year will take this to another level. We’ve recruited some effective and lasting people through CJS; the data’s sketchy for our volunteers, but I’m aware of several other paid colleagues who’ve come to us through their pages, including some I’ve interviewed.  Finally, the articles we’ve contributed have been a great opportunity for both my volunteers and I to get published, and it’s inspired me to write more articles for the wider media… and of course CJS.

Thank you for being around for the last 25 years Countryside Jobs Service, and here’s to celebrating with you again when you hit 50!

Tom Freeland, National Volunteering Development Co-ordinator at the Canal & River Trust