Lyn – volunteer shift leader

Lyn – volunteer shift leader

Lyn heard about Shared Space through our partner, Belle Vue Baptist Church. She had needed to give up volunteering with Boys' Brigade and was on the look out for a new challenge.

Location: Shared Space, Southchurch
Experience: Worked in a charity shop in Southend High Street 14 years ago.
Hobby: Card making and reading
Working Days: Twice a week

    I was at a meeting at Belle Vue Baptist Church and one of the Shared Space team was explaining their hopes for setting up a shop to make a difference in Southchurch. I liked that it was a Christian charity but it respected people of all faiths. I decided to give it a go.

    First impressions of volunteering?

    I got involved at the start of the Southchurch shop, helping with gettign it all ready before we opened. It was great to be part of it from the start.

    Why did you volunteer?

    It was something new to do, something productive and a way to meet people. And I found that they could make my shifts fit in with my paid work as a catering assistant at the local primary school.

    I was impressed that the money raised doesn’t go off somewhere else so you never see the benefits of where it goes. One of the monthly ‘Boost Fund Grants’ the shops gives out, when to a young boy called Marcus in my school who is learning to walk again.

    What do you do on an average shift?

    Shared Space has been training me as a volunteer shift leader and I’ve been providing cover for other shifts. I’ve learned to use the till, sort and prepare clothes but most of all I love doing the ‘bric-a-brac’, it’s always different with random stuff – you never know what you will get donated next and what you will discover. I like getting those donations a new home in Southchurch.

    What is your favourite thing about volunteering?

    The prayer wall in the shop is lovely. There are different coloured ribbons to tie on to the wall for different types of prayers: celebration, love, hope, forgiveness, for another person and thanks – customers comment on how tactile it is for the children. I love the Christian ethos that is behind Shared Space, that it is inspiring what is there without being pushy.

    What difference has volunteering made to you?

    I’ve made some new friends through volunteering and working alongside people. I’ve lived in Southend all my life and I’m getting to know people who live a few roads away from me who I’ve never met before. And I’ve come out of my shell, I’ve become more confident.

    Hopes for the future of Shared Space?

    I really like it when it’s busy, that makes a good day and gives a sense of achievement, so please keep those donations coming in.

    Lyn says, “Shared Space is helping Belle Vue Baptist Church to become more visible in the local community. And Shared Space is community.”

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