Helen Watts – Store Manager
Helen was involved in the early days of Shared Space and returned to the charity after completing a first degree. She is now working towards a Masters degree in Child Psychology.
Location: Shared Space, Southchurch
Degrees: Currently studying for a Masters degree alongside working with Shared Space
Hobby: Motorbike riding, upcycling furniture, reading and reading and reading and reading.....!
Working Days: You will find Helen at the store on most days
I started working for Shared Space back in 2011 and after a fulfilling time, I left to focus on a degree in Sociology and Psychology alongside bringing up my boys. A few years later and I heard plans were developing to open another Shared Space in Southchurch and the timing was right as I was finishing the degree, so I returned to lead this new store as it got started. Now I can’t keep away!
Why did you get involved?
Because I love seeing volunteers working towards their full potential and realising their dreams.
What do you do as a Store Manager?
I facilitate the running of the shop and organise the team of volunteers. A number of our volunteers come through placements arranged with Southend on Sea Borough Council, local colleges, probation, Catch 22 and other agencies, so you will often find me liaising with them and arranging placements with Shared Space. Other volunteers walk in off the street or are referred by a friend and they all need a warm welcome to help them become part of the Shared Space family.
What is a highlight of leading a Shared Space store?
One of my favourite parts of my job is helping the volunteers decide where each month’s Boost Fund Grant will be given.
I also enjoyed organising a fund-raising dinner for supporters and volunteers at the Roslin Beach Hotel in Southend. It was good to celebrate and laugh together.
Any hopes for the future?
I hope to play my part in opening more Shared Space charity shops. It is a generous and effective way to bring about good in a local community and there are lots more places which could benefit from this new approach.
Helen says, “I love seeing volunteers working towards their potential”
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