How Emma Discovered Her Passion During Skilled-Volunteering | Swire Trust Go-Givers of 2021

Together with Time Auction, the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program encourages skilled volunteers for Swire Trust NGOs partners from 2020 to 2022. 10 outstanding volunteers will be selected annually as the “Swire Trust Go-Givers of the Year” with special rewards & recognition. Meet our 10 Go-Givers of 2021!

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Meet Emma!

Emma is currently a Strategic Brand Partnership Manager at a startup in London, helping with developing business and growth by building partnerships with universities across the UK & national brands. 

Prior to learning about Time Auction, Emma had volunteered for nursing facilities and regularly tutored students. “Time Auction completely transformed my mindset towards volunteering”. Emma had always viewed volunteering as something more traditional, but she discovered that your skills, even your favourite hobbies, are often more valuable than you might think - and can lead to huge positive change for others. 

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Open the Door to Opportunities

“When opportunities knock, open the door”, for Emma, she did her own knocking, and made her own opportunities! 

Emma has a background in PR & External Relations, having worked for organisations within both London and Hong Kong, as well as working as a freelance journalist. One of her friends heads up Partnerships at ImpactHK and always felt like her role sounded like something she’d love to try to get into. So, when she came upon the opportunity as Partnerships Lead for Time Auction on Instagram, she immediately signed up for it and was matched!

“The Partnerships Lead position at Time Auction seemed like a fantastic way of experiencing this first-hand and seeing if it's where I’d like to take the direction of my career.”

As the Partnership Lead, Emma was responsible for finding experiences to incentivise volunteering in Hong Kong, sharing Time Auction’s vision with business owners across Hong Kong. With her abundant knowledge about inspiring and fun experiences in HK, she reached out and developed strategic partnership with the donors.

“Not only was it a lot of fun working with the Time Auction team, but I got to meet the founders of some really exciting organisations in HK!” 

Emma’s great work has led to the creation of 15 new experiences, with experiences ranging from Virtual Reality Gaming, to Floating, to Mosaic Lamp Workshops, that volunteers could redeem with volunteer hours, and this equated to over 900 volunteer hours donated to charities! 

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Emma and Time Auction team 🙂

Volunteering to Shape Your Career

“The experience confirmed that I want to pursue a career in Partnerships, full of collaborative opportunities and opportunities to meet interesting people, leading to the role I’m in now.” 

Reflecting on the experience, Emma particularly enjoyed forming partnerships with organisations in Hong Kong, and gained insight into the exciting experiences the city can offer, from companies big and small. It offered her the opportunity to determine if she truly enjoys Partnerships before putting in the effort to change careers. “Without a doubt, my Partnerships Lead role at Time Auction played a huge part in securing my new position!” 

Congratulations on Emma’s Well-Deserved Recognition!

"Emma has proven to be a trustworthy volunteer who is passionate, efficient and thoughtful. We are so happy that how volunteering advances her career too! With the restraint in resources and the lack of experience in soliciting these kinds of incentives before, we cannot stress enough the paramount importance of her work to our organization."

— Ivy Wong, Time Auction

Volunteering can offer you the chance to meet people you probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with if not, to move outside your comfort zone, and challenge your perceptions. You can gain experience within industries you’d perhaps never considered, or realise new skills you didn’t know you had. Working pro bono often allows you to practice and learn, ultimately making you more assured of your abilities.

“I’m so grateful and proud to be selected, and really want to extend my thanks to the inspiring team at Time Auction who I’ve learnt so much from, the other volunteers who’ve helped others, and the organisations that believed in Time Auction’s mission too.” 

“It can definitely sometimes feel like, as just one person, you might not make a huge impact on how an NGO develops, but your actions and ideas might just trigger another idea, which snowballs, and snowballs.” 


Thank you so much to Emma for contributing 150 volunteer hours at Time Auction and more to come!

To see details of the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program and support their NGOs partners, head over to Time Auction website.

Interviewed & written by Leo Chick | Edited by Emma Lascelles

Updated on 10 November, 2021
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