Mark Raybould - Past President, PFS Representative and Careers Officer

Having been a member of the Personal Finance Society since its formation and more recently as a member of the organising committee for the Surrey Region in the role of Education Officer, I joined Guildford Local Institute to ensure the case for PFS members and appropriate CPD events was heard.

Although I was one of only two members of the PFS, I found the council members of Guildford LI to be incredibly supportive and willing to help in the organisation of events that appealed and were of use to PFS members.

It has been fantastic working with a wonderful group of people who are as eager as I am to give back to the wider Financial Services and Insurance sectors in which we work. The incredible work that is done to provide a wide range of events to support both PFS and CII members covering appropriate CPD, Exam Revision workshops, networking events, annual dinner dances and much more, is only to be applauded. Additionally the work that is done to raise money and awareness for charities local to Guildford is heart-warming!!

A highlight of mine was serving a year as President of Guildford LI.........and what a year, Covid struck and the team and I responded amazingly to provide members with valuable benefits, shifting everything within a short time space from face to face to online. Events were expanded and we even provided online fitness, pilates and yoga sessions to keep people fit and energised, plus a range of mental health workshops which proved incredibly popular.

Continuing on from the mental health workshops we have worked on this initiative and now have members of the team who are qualified Mental Health First Aiders. The aim is to provide support to PFS and CII members where if they have problems that cause them concern they can turn to someone to discuss their issues with someone unconnected to their employments and hopefully find solutions.

I would urge people who are keen to help others and give back to peers to come and join the council - I think you will like it....I know I have!!!

If you want to have a chat about opportunities, let me know!

Fiona Salmon - Past President, Insurance Charities Officer

Having spent years in the insurance industry, I rather stumbled into a role on the Guildford CII council team and it fitted well as I liked the idea of "giving back" to the Industry. Initially I was asked to promote events in my office, and this quickly led to me helping organise them at various local venues. We were a small team back then and sometimes it was a challenge to get things moving with such limited resources. However, we were creative and loved to try new things, something the Central CII supported and encouraged.

I really loved the opportunity to network with people from other organisations and found this really beneficial for my role at the time as business development manager. After a few years on council, I was flattered to be asked to lead the team as president. This was something I threw myself into and learnt so much about leading a team of volunteers, building relationships with senior people across the financial services sector and building a larger team for the future. Recruiting new people to the team is a passion of mine as I truly believe you can develop and enhance many skills along the way while supporting a worthy cause and building your network.

After my year as president, I launched our annual charity golf day which has grown in success over the years and raised much needed funds for the charities we support. This is something we still offer, so if you are a keen golfer, or a twice a year bandit, we welcome you along.

More recently I've taken on a role of charity representative helping promote the benefits of CII charity scheme for those that fall on financial hardship.

Overall, I've been involved with the council now for over 18 years, and despite leaving the insurance industry, I still love being involved with the events and working with such a diverse and supportive team.

I'm always so inspired by the time and commitment that everyone puts in. They are a great bunch of people to work with and I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you would like to know more, I'd be happy to speak to you.

Feel free to contact me.