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Stand up to support your community

CIMA branches have always been part of CIMA’s history and serve as one of the benefits of being a CIMA member. Branches have continuously played an important role in supporting members with opportunities for networking and further learning, across the whole of the country on a face to face basis.

Over the years, volunteer members have organised events with a wide range of speakers including; the director-general of the BBC, Members of Parliament, Olympic medalists and even a contestant from The Apprentice! These events have provided fascinating insight into the world of business and leadership, as well as the chance to make new contacts.

CIMA members come from a wide range of sectors and role, and we believe that our members know better than anyone else what our members want and need, so events organised by the members in our branches ensure that the content is the most relevant.

There are a whole host of benefits of getting involved with the branches:

  • Raise your profile within the local business community
  • Gain Non-executive level experience
  • Enhance your CV
  • Give something back
  • Learn new skills
  • Ensure CPD that’s relevant for you
  • Improve your network
  • Make new friends!

Check out some of the case studies below from some of our current branch committee members.

Sarah Ghosh

Why did you first volunteer?
My journey started by attending a local West Surrey branch event, and meeting the members of the West Surrey committee.  Everyone was very welcoming, and when the opportunity came to put myself forward for a position to work with the area I took it as I was interested to find out more about how I could help.

What skills have you developed by volunteering?
It has definitely helped with confidence and leadership skills.  You have to go outside your comfort zone and speak with new people at events and on the committees.  You are given opportunity to chair meetings in an environment that is supportive, and introduce events and give presentations, which builds on your public speaking skills.

What other benefits do you get from volunteering?
I am proud to be a part of the volunteer network that gives its members and students the opportunity to shape our professional organisation. I have met a lot of people through volunteering, which has expanded my support network in the professional roles I have undertaken.

What’s your favourite thing about being part of the committee?
Being able to have a say in some the initiatives CIMA is undertaking, and knowing that your insights and experience is valued in making decisions which have a direct positive impact on our members and students.

What's the best thing about the UK Areas?
It has to be the link to our members and students, speaking with them at events and understanding what they are experiencing in their work environments, and looking at ways the UK Areas can support.

What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
This is such an opportunity to grow as an individual and expand your knowledge and understanding of how CIMA is leading the way.  Be brave and put yourself forward, it is a rewarding experience.

Matt Hansard


Why did you first volunteer?
I value my CIMA membership and strongly believe the best way to guide the direction of the organisation and ensure relevance to members such as myself, is from within.  By way of an analogy, if I visualise membership as being the heart beat of CIMA then volunteering is the blood that runs through it. So I asked myself “why wouldn’t I get involved?”

Initially I thought local committee membership was an elite group not accessible to all, but after an in innocuous conversation at a local area event, I understood this not to be the case.  The rest, as they say, is history…

What skills have you developed by volunteering?
I have been a volunteer for a number of years on local and national events. Despite appearances, no two events are the same. Putting on these events has its challenges at times and as such agile leadership is a key skill I’ve developed. Project planning, networking and collaboration are additional skills developed.

What other benefits do you get from volunteering?
I believe there are two main benefits.              

It sounds a cliché, but a sense of giving something back. I’m probably only half way through my working career and very much welcomed the support over the years from CIMA and more senior members. I feel now is the time to share some of that with the next generation of CIMA members and volunteering on local committees is a satisfying way to do this.

The other benefit is around navigating rapidly changing technologies and the increasing breadth of our roles as finance professionals. When thinking about event-content and identifying relevant speakers, as a committee we have to think broadly. This broad-radar approach indirectly helps me ensure I stay relevant in the workplace and ahead of developments to the profession.

What’s your favourite thing about being part of the committee?
There are a few things:

Knowing that as a committee member, without volunteers like us the local area network events won’t successfully happen. The sense of achievement from organising/hosting a well-attended event where members’ feedback the event was of relevance to them is a rewarding aspect.

The committee is a team reliant upon supporting each other to achieve a common goal.  As a committee volunteer there is the flexibility to self-decide upfront to what extent I get involved.

As the voice of the members in the local area, being able to influence and shape the direction of the organisation is highly satisfying. Head office wants to understand what is happening in the local areas and being a volunteer is a great way to get involved in shaping an organisation that continues to be relevant in years to come.

What do you consider the greatest attribute of the UK Areas?
In my view, membership diversity and growth across both industry and Members in Practice is a huge attribute of the UK Areas.  This creates a huge potential for networking and learning from others. As a volunteer, I want to ensure this continues and develops further.

What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
Don’t delay; get in touch with your local area committee to discuss ways you volunteering can help. You’ve worked hard for your membership and it comes down to each member to help ensure CIMA qualification remains relevant for future years.

David Lynch


Why did you first volunteer?
I had been along to a couple of local events, liked the wit of the people, so I agreed to attend a committee meeting or two.  The meetings then were quite formal – but gradually, it has become a lot better: now, we are quite informal, and we meet and agree what’s next over a beer or glass of wine!

What skills have you developed by volunteering?
Not so much skills, as recognising how I can have an effect on the whole organisation. The CIMA organisation is so different to a commercial business, it was a shock to my system.Considering the needs of other members who have less broad experience, and helping to decide who would speak, and on what subject, has been an interesting perspective. Early on, I decided to do some speaking to help my business development – which took a long time to show any reward. But that is the way of networking.  Now, I don’t seek to monetise my involvement, I seek to help other members gain business using the network. For me, that’s what a professional network is all about.

What other benefits do you get from volunteering?
The people around the table at the Branch, Area - and now I have met individuals on Council – are all interesting and some are entertaining, with insights and knowledge that is useful. 

What’s your favourite thing about being part of the committee?
It is important to be able to rely on colleagues to deliver things I can’t.

What do you consider the greatest attribute of the UK Areas?
There is a wealth of talent of members who get into volunteering for CIMA – many really put effort in; some just get involved when they can, and that is quite OK. The Areas are largely self-governing and self-directing. This gives a great deal of autonomy to local networks. 

What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
Do get involved to the level of involvement you are happy with and avoid thinking you can change the world in a month. Time is the constraint, and there are many views to incorporate.

Mervin Nkole


Why did you first volunteer?
I had been along to a couple of local events, liked the wit of the people, so I agreed to attend a committee meeting or two.  The meetings then were quite formal – but gradually, it has become a lot better: now, we are quite informal, and we meet and agree what’s next over a beer or glass of wine!

What skills have you developed by volunteering?
I feel like I've developed is my interpersonal skills and mild leadership skills with being the events area chair.  

What other benefits do you get from volunteering?
The interactions with CIMA members and getting an overview of what happens with CIMA and other areas across the country. Meeting other volunteers and knowing what motivated them as well has been a surprisingly beneficial discovery.

What’s your favourite thing about being part of the committee?
Keeping up to date with personal development plans, and this is one way of ensuring I am keeping abreast of my own development.

What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
You learn  lot about other people’s skills and you are able to gain these skills as well. This is also an additional skillset that most employers find positive, based on the feedback I have been given personally.

Pat Shroff

Why did you first volunteer?
Back in 2010, CIMA Local Event topics were mostly on traditional accounting matters eg. investment appraisal, risk analysis. I wanted to widen the range Local Event talk topics, to include new business developments like bitcoin, barriers faced by female entrepreneurs, the power of data/websites, peer-to-peer lending. etc

What skills have you developed by volunteering?
I’ve become an accomplished Master of Ceremonies (compere), and good at hosting events, and networking at them

What benefits do you get from volunteering? (non-skills)
The pleasure of engaging directly with CIMA grassroots members & students, shaping CIMA’s work agenda and business offering to attract future accountants, making a worthwhile contribution to making CIMA a responsive and helpful professional body. 

What’s your favourite thing about being part of the committee?
Working with like-minded colleagues to deliver an excellent programme of events for our members and students

What do you consider the greatest attribute of the UK Areas?
Direct engagement with grassroots members & students, and an effective conduit to convey their views to CIMA employees, who are working to serve the members 

What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
Don’t hesitate – go for it!   It’s amazing how much can be achieved when like-minded individuals work together

If you would like to find out more about the opportunities in your Area and to apply to get involved, please use the relevant button below. It would be useful for us to have details of your postcode and contact ID so we can make sure we can put you in contact with the relevant contact in the Area. 

Central London and North ThamesCentral Southern EnglandEast Midlands and East Anglia

North East EnglandNorth West England and North WalesScotland

South East EnglandSouth West England and South WalesWest Midlands