Siobhan Foley – Trustee
Involved from the very beginning of Shared Space, Siobhan is now one of the trustees.
Location: Volunteering at Westcliff store and across the sites as a trustee.
Experience: I trained as an interpreter for English/British Sign Language, but soon moved from that into teaching. I was a teacher for eight years, achieving QTS status as well as studying for a Master’s in Education. I am now retraining as a Play Therapist. I volunteer at a local Girls’ Brigade group, where I lead a section every week. I also use my sign language skills at church to interpret for a deaf member of the group.
Hobby: I love to bake and decorate cakes, although I can only do it every now and then!
Working Days: Various
I go to Church from Scratch, which was the church which first established Shared Space, and so heard all about the new project they were setting up. They needed volunteers to help clean and decorate the new shop, and as it was then the summer holidays I was able to help out. From there it was a short hop to offering to volunteer on Saturday afternoons – and I’ve been here ever since.
What do you do as a trustee?
I started off as a volunteer for one afternoon a week and became a shift leader not long after. A few years ago, I became the Store Finance Administrator for Westcliff, which means I prepare the takings for banking and check the petty cash. In 2015 when Shared Space constituted as a charity in its own right, I was one of the initial trustees, and now I am the secretary for the trustees.
What were your first impressions of Shared Space?
I was around when the shop was first being set up, so I helped get the shop ready for opening. I was impressed by the team work and helpfulness of the people who first set the shop up, as well as the size and design of the shop. Both the team and the shop has changed over the years, but the volunteers still work together well, and we still get positive comments on the layout of the shop!
What is your favourite thing about Shared Space?
I enjoy counting the money at the end of the week, and seeing how much we have taken; it’s good to see how much money we have to help our community.
What difference has Shared Space made to you?
I’ve often found it difficult to talk to people and working in Shared Space has given me a great deal of practice in this area and given me some experiences I have never had before. I have also been given more responsibility when I became a trustee.
Siobhan says, “I love seeing how Shared Space has changed over the years, and how it continues to have a positive impact on people and the community.”
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