Barclays Employee Takes Banking Skills Into Volunteer Mountain Rescue

Jul 24, 2018 9:45 AM ET

Originally published on Barclays

Lee Faulkner works in risk management for Barclays and volunteers with the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, a voluntary organisation in South Wales. Lee talks us through his typical week – from searching for a missing person on the Brecon Beacons to helping rescue injured walkers – and how it feels for the team to have been recognised by Prince William.

As someone who loves the great outdoors I’ve always been aware of the Central Beacon Mountain Rescue Team and admired the fantastic service they provide. For that reason, in 2013 I decided to get in touch to see if I could be of any help.

I work as an Operations Control Executive in Cardiff, south Wales, where I am responsible for ensuring that Barclays’ risk management processes are adhered to. I’ve been in this role for seven months, but I’ve been with the company for 12 years.

When I joined the team, I realised there were a lot of skills I could bring from my role at Barclays. The team is made up of volunteers, so some of the main challenges are dealing with time constraints and available resource. As someone who has worked with corporate frameworks throughout my career, I was able to come in and improve processes that helped to ensure the team was running as efficiently as possible.

I am currently working as a Water Rescue Technician, providing support to areas that could be affected by severe flooding. I’ve also had the opportunity to work in different areas of the organisation which has been brilliant. I am also a trained mountain rescue medic and I am the Deputy Fundraising Officer – I probably spend around 20 hours a week volunteering – but it affords me some amazing experiences. Being part of the mountain rescue team, where we deal with everything from rescuing mountaineers to finding lost dogs, I’ve also made some great friendships – you’re putting your life in your colleagues’ hands so you form strong bonds.

Prince William visited our team a few years ago to thank us for all the hard work we’ve done. I wasn’t there myself but it’s a real honour to have the service you provide recognised by a member of the royal family.

I feel my volunteer work has helped me develop my skillset at Barclays. Working in such an intense environment, where I am often treating people with serious injuries, has helped with my decision making. It’s taught me the importance of taking a step back, keeping a cool head and analysing the situation before stepping in.

As an organisation, the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team receives a very small amount of government funding and relies heavily on donations. What people often don’t realise is that we are the recognised police resource for a number of services. What that means is that the public will ring 999 and the police will draft us in to provide rescue support. We’re also one of the busiest rescue teams in the country – last year we had approximately 140 different call outs. So if we are to continue to provide these important services, funding is absolutely vital.

We are lucky enough to have been appointed as the Barclays Cardiff office’s charity of the year. This means colleagues are actively encouraged to take a day off and fundraise for us, which Barclays will match the donation.

Barclays has also nominated me for its global Citizenship Award. I certainly don’t do the work for the plaudits, but it’s great to work for an employer that takes a genuine interest and recognises their employees’ hard work.