February 20

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Brace Yourself London!

I’ve just got back from a pub lunch to say goodbye to my work colleagues on my last day at GSK for 6 months; I have a life-changing adventure ahead of me. The PULSE Volunteer Partnership is GSK’s skills-based volunteering initiative. Through PULSE, motivated employees are matched to a non-profit organisation for 3 or 6 months full-time, contributing their skills to solve healthcare challenges at home and abroad. When PULSE Volunteers return to GSK, they act as catalysts to change the company for the better.

Tomorrow, I’ll be moving in to a tiny flat, but in a central London location, just 5 minutes walk from the office – just look at that view towards St Paul’s and The Shard. I’ve got my London Underground Oyster card, and a key to rent the “Boris bikes”, so I’m almost a true Londoner now. With such a short commute, there’s even a chance I might get to the gym before work…admittedly a very small chance!

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As a GSK PULSE Volunteer, I’ll be working with a non-profit organization, Save the Children, to develop a Monitoring & Evaluation framework to measure progress of the Save the Children/GSK partnership towards our joint aim of saving 1 million child lives. What a privilege to make a contribution to this cause.

Of the 100 GSK employees heading out on PULSE this year, mine is an unusual assignment because I’m not heading to a remote African village, and I’ll be visiting the GSK side of the partnership occasionally, with my Save hat on, at GSK House in Brentford. One volunteer commented that she’ll be 57Km from the nearest road in Africa, and I’ll be 57 meters from the nearest coffee house!

I’ll aim to blog monthly, please feel free to comment. And who knows, I might just be reaching out to you for help and advice!