Reflecting on receiving an OBE in King’s Birthday Honours.
Reflecting on receiving an OBE in King’s Birthday Honours.

Reflecting on receiving an OBE in King’s Birthday Honours.

It’s a great honour: But we achieve little alone.

It’s a huge honour to have been awarded an OBE in His Majesty’s Birthday Honours in recognition of the impact of my voluntary work, locally and nationally.  Even more so as every day I find myself surrounded by those who selflessly give so much to others. Alongside a busy professional career, like many others I’ve sought to ‘give back’ through volunteering and have largely focused on supporting young people to access opportunities which help us to get the best start in life.

In my experience we achieve little alone. Successes enjoyed and challenges overcome on our journeys are, more often than not, because we’re part of incredible teams or collaborations; and I’ve always considered the journey to be as important as the destination. Significant thanks must go to family, friends and colleagues who support and encourage at every step, those who enable us to try new things or do things differently, and those who have patience when we’re learning. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with outstanding individuals from all walks of life – it’s a privilege, and they’re the source of much inspiration.

The Journey: In brief, and so far.

Locally, in Merseyside, my volunteering began in 1997 and has involved supporting young people and volunteer teams across many communities, through a range of roles. For 14 years between 2008 and 2022, I was a Deputy County Commissioner and the County Commissioner of Merseyside Scouts, during which time our teams delivered a range of projects that resulted in being able to deliver more skills for life to more young people, and operate in a greater number of communities, with larger and stronger teams of volunteers. Our collaborative approach led to impactful engagements with a range of organisations, including Girl Guiding, Merseyside Police, the ADHD Foundation and St. Vincent’s School for the Visually Impaired. Also for 14 years between 2006 and 2020, I was a Governor of St. Margaret’s Church of England Academy, with 5 years as Chair of the Board, and worked as part of the team to navigate the ever-changing landscape in education.

Nationally, my volunteering began in 2004 when I was appointed as a National Commissioner within The Scouts. Through this role, I got involved in supporting the development and implementation of national strategy and support to members across the UK. An additional project I took on during this time was supporting the progress of international events, when during 2007 c.40,000 attendees gathered in the UK and celebrated one of the largest outdoor events for youth in the world. I’ve continued to support The Scouts as a Trustee on the UK Board between 2008 and 2011 and most recently again in 2020. During 2021, I also took on the role of Chair of The Scouts Strategy and Delivery Committee, which provides governance to UK–wide operations and the implementation of the organisation’s Skills for Life strategy.

My professional career, which began supporting the digitisation of health and care services in 2001, has spanned multiple sectors and countries. Today my work as a Strategic Advisor to Boards, Executive Teams, and Delivery Teams supports me to bring a well-rounded view as I continue to prioritise time for volunteering.

Get Involved: It’s good for you too.

I’d urge anyone, at whatever age, to give volunteering a go if you don’t already. You can support our communities and enable a wider range of people to access a wider range of opportunities and support – and, in my experience, it’s good for you too. Whilst supporting others you can also learn new skills, meet new people, and develop a real sense of pride in, and purpose through, what you achieve.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the journey has in store next, and what we can continue to make happen, together.

Peter Oliver OBE Investiture at Buckingham Palace