Towards the end of Summer I switched on my out of office and spent a week away from my day job as Apprentice Programme Manager to volunteer as a Team Mate at Over The Wall. Capgemini has supported this for the second year in a row, and it’s something I hope to continue.

Over The Wall provides free residential fun activity camps for children, teenagers and families affected by serious and life limiting illnesses. Campers are encouraged to reach beyond the perceived limitations of their illness and rediscover a whole world of possibilities within the safe walls of the Camp Bubble.

In a week filled with morning sing-songs, face paint and games, campers and volunteers alike create experiences that are memorable, fun and empowering; building the confidence, self-esteem and communication skills of campers.

At Capgemini, we are actively encouraged to give something back to the communities in which we live and work. For our apprentices this is very much part of programme, I’m privileged enough to work in this space every day so it was only right I started to practice what I preach. Capgemini recognises the value of volunteering and supports this by awarding up to 2 days of matched paid special leave per year.

In my role, I’m responsible for developing our young professionals. When considering your own personal development we strongly believe in the 70:20:10 approach. There’s a vast amount of training available in Capgemini – classroom based but also virtually, YouTube now being the world’s biggest training resource, but this makes up only 10% of how to effectively develop yourself. 20% is through social means, whether that’s through networking or help from colleagues or a mentor. 70% is built through experience.

Over The Wall is a world apart from my day job, though there are some transferable skills such as team work, communication and dealing with challenging situations. Spending a week out of the office, in an environment where emails and social media don’t exist, gives you the opportunity to think outside the box and creatively where you otherwise wouldn’t. It’s not every day I’m tasked with building a jungle den to fit 17 people! Daring to try something new has not only developed a range of transferable skills, but I’ve had fun, made new friends and created unforgettable experiences along the way.

The next time you are thinking about your development consider what can be done differently, whether that is taking on fresh responsibilities or gaining experience and skills by volunteering for new projects or initiatives.

You can find out more about Over The Wall here, and volunteer applications for 2018 are now open.