MARILYN Kempshall’s involvement with the NSPCC began almost by chance.

“My husband was part of a motorcyclists’ group that raised funds for the NSPCC. I went along with him when they did a cheque presentation, and the chair of the branch then, Sue Hooper, asked for somebody to be a volunteer treasurer.

“I just stepped into it, basically, just put my hand up and said I’d do it.

“I think everybody’s got a skill – there’s nobody that hasn’t got a skill in some way. They can all be used.”

Marilyn served for two years as vice-chair before taking her current role earlier this year.

Originally from Surrey, Marilyn came to Wiltshire when her firm relocated to Calne and has lived in Swindon for many years.

Initially working in banking, she spent the rest of her career as an executive PA in marketing and communications.

She has always been interested in voluntary work of one form or another, but has a special interest in helping children.

“I was very involved with the playgroups and schools when the children were small, and then when I worked for the last company I was with, I was part of the charity fundraising group there.

“Children are our future. We need to care and look after them and give them opportunities. I think everybody’s got something they can offer.”

Marilyn has always been impressed by the support the charity offers to its volunteers, and to the diversity of opportunities available to them.

Those opportunities range from straightforward public fundraising - which accounts 90 per cent of the charity’s income - to working on helplines and delivering talks to children and young people.

“I think the NSPCC is very good at evolving to reflect what is happening at the present time. I think that’s one of the key things they’ve got.

“You have things like ChildLine which is so well-known; you have things like the adult helpline, where adults can ring and report anything they think is happening to a child; you have the school service, which is really vital because they’re going into primary schools and talking to young people about how to look after themselves, about what is right and what is wrong.

“That’s obviously done in an age-appropriate way, so by the time they get to senior school they have that knowledge behind them.

“ChildLine used to be by phone, but now a lot of it is by texting and online. The NSPCC will build up on those skills.”

According to Marilyn, there are volunteer opportunities to suit all preferences.

“If they apply for anything like ChildLine or the schools service, the NSPCC will give them full training. The charity involves its volunteers, asks their advice and takes their advice; I’m part of a group that goes to London three times a year on a treasurers’ working party.

“If you need training to go and give talks anywhere, they’ll give that to you as well. Any support that they can give, they will.

“If you want tickets or a flyer done for an event, they’ll print those for you – you won’t be out of pocket. Everything is done to help you as much as they possibly can.

“Some people don’t want to be involved with committee meetings or some bigger network, and just do something on their own. It’s really up to the individual, whatever they would like to do – get together with a group of friends, set up their own little group if need be, but they will always have the branch behind them, giving them the support and help they need.

“There’s always somebody there, just as there is for the children the charity helps.

“I just think that to be able to give something to help a child is amazing. I just feel we’ve given that child a chance in life. There is one speaker in the NSPCC who was actually helped by ChildLine and goes out and gives talks.

“She said that if it hadn’t been for the NSPCC she wouldn’t be here today, so she’s now working with the NSPCC, giving back the help that she got.

“One of our main criteria for fundraising is that we have fun, we have laughter, we do what we like to do – which is exactly what we would like children to be able to do.”

Potential volunteers are welcome to contact Marilyn on 07914 396283.