From number crunching to blistered hands...

Why has our assistant accountant been getting his hands dirty in the South of France?

When an opportunity to spend time volunteering arose this summer, Tom*, BICs assistant accountant jumped at the chance to take on the challenge, with the aim to make a difference, develop new skills and meet different types of people. Tom shares his journey and the benefits he has gained through his volunteering experience…


A visit to Provence, with free food and free accommodation? Sign me up!

The car was quickly packed and me and my girlfriend Bekka were on route to Dover to catch the ferry. Despite a flat battery in Germany, we braved the mountain roads of Switzerland and Austria before completing a couple of laps around the Monaco Grand Prix track and arriving at our destination.


Surely there’s a catch?

In return for the free food and accommodation we would be volunteering our time to those who needed it. Volunteering you say? You don’t get paid? What’s the point in that? – just some of the questions people asked us before we left, but we ignored the negativity and went straight for it, knowing that our time would be invaluable to those who needed it.


So, what did we put our hands to?

From grocery shopping for French pensioners, dog walking, cleaning, weeding, wall building, to tree planting – all a million miles away from an accountancy office job (yes we did get blisters)! But working alongside different nationalities inc French, Spanish, Americans & Scots made it really fun.


The returns really are priceless.

As an accountant we are wired to think of the financial benefits of any scenario but the returns in volunteering are priceless. You help people in need, put yourself out of your comfort zone, develop new skills, meet different types of people and learn to appreciate the most important things in life. The families were so appreciative of the work we did, and we quickly developed strong relationships (there were tears as we said our goodbyes).

There really is a huge benefit to volunteering and despite our busy modern lives we could all sacrifice a little of our time to help those in need.


*Having graduated from Bangor University with a MSc in Accounting & Finance, Tom spent the next two and a half years in practice developing his experience in the preparation of statutory accounts, management accounts, VAT returns and general bookkeeping. Tom is now BIC’s assistant accountant and also provides administrative support to numerous programmes, whilst continuing to study towards achieving his professional qualifications under the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Read more...