Joy – shift leader
Joy felt God nudge her to get involved in Shared Space Southchurch when it opened. This was the right place for her to be involved and it was partnering with her church, Belle Vue Baptist Church. Now she is a shift leader, mother figure and support to some of the other volunteers.
Location: Shared Space, Southchurch
Experience: Previously worked in another charity shop for 2 years
Hobby: Member of Belle Vue Baptist Church, walking her dogs on East Beach and cross stitch
Working Days: Two shifts a week
I trained as a nurse in Rochford Hospital in the 1960’s and went on to foster in Southend before moving to Hertfordshire where I was involved in bereavement counselling. After some difficult times I moved back to Southend I was looking for something to make me feel useful again as I’d been feeling isolated – it’s hard moving to a new area as you have to start again. But then I found Shared Space charity shop in Southchurch.
First impressions of volunteering?
This is the place I am supposed to be.
Why did you volunteer?
I was on my own having moved back to Southend after losing my Mum, Dad and Daughter. As a Christian I found a church to be involved with. The church had a meeting to discuss partnering with the Shared Space charity shop opening across the Southchurch Road and I thought, “That’s where I’m supposed to be involved. I’ve always done things with other people, I’ve always run groups for people, helped them and loved it.”
What do you do on an average shift?
I unlock and check the shop is all in order, welcome the other volunteers as they arrive and set them up with work to do and give them help and support as needed – lots of the volunteers are people who need reassurance and support. You’ll often find me working on the till as well.
What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
I love chatting to the people who come in – there are a lot of elderly and lonely people in Southchurch and they visit to talk – some have also started coming across the road to the church tea I run as well.
A special memory was when a lady came over to the prayer wall in the shop and I saw she was crying. I touched her on the shoulder, we talked and said a quiet prayer together for a difficult situation.
What do you hope for Shared Space?
I wanted to work with a mix of people and it’s good to have young people involved in Shared Space. I hope more of them volunteer in the future and get the benefits of knowing they are worthwhile and can make a difference.
What difference has volunteering made to you?
It’s helped me to be part of a community where it’s all about people volunteering together. And the money we raise goes to help the local community.
Joy says, “Volunteering in the shop has made me feel worthwhile again and I would recommend it to anyone.”
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