Sam – volunteer shift leader
Sam saw a poster in the shop window asking for volunteers and decided the time was right to give it a go. She had been away from paid work for 5 years whilst bringing up her daughter. Now her daughter had started at a local school and Sam wanted to get a job in retail. But how could she without a current CV or any experience of that type of work?
Location: Shared Space Southchurch, Southend
Experience: Not previously volunteered in a charity shop
Hobby: cooking, reading and spending time with family
Working Days: Three shifts a week
UPDATE: Congratulations to Sam who got a paid job with a local company.
I was walking past the Southchurch shop and saw a sign asking for volunteers. I thought, I can do that, my little girl has just started at school. I popped in and had a chat which led to them inviting me to come back the very next day for a trial shift.
Well done Sam who now has a job working
in retail with another company.
Sad to see you go, delighted at your progress!
First impressions of volunteering?
I found everyone really friendly and the work easy to get to grips with.
Why did you volunteer?
I wanted to give something back to the local community in Southchurch. I’ve always gone into charity shops to buy things and I wanted to see it from the other side.
What do you do on an average shift?
A few months after starting I became a shift leader and now I open up the shop, set up the till, organise the team of volunteers on the shift, serve customers, sort and price stock, just about everything really!
What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
The best thing is the people I work with on a daily basis, the sense of community – it’s a home from home. I also like the way the store manager fits my volunteering shifts around the time I need to be at the school gate to collect my girl.
What difference has volunteering made to you?
I tried to get a job in retail but I’d been out of work for 5 years and didn’t have any experience of that type of work. I couldn’t even get an interview. Working at Shared Space helped me build my skills and confidence and allowed me to get back in the job market. I’ve now got a job as an Assistant Shop Manager in another shop, but I’m still going to volunteer with Shared Space in Southchurch because Shared Space is my extended family.
Sam says, “Shared Space is my extended family.”
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