Wendy – shop floor volunteer
Wendy had moved to the area and after a month feeling isolated she was finding it hard to make friends. Then she thought that volunteering at Shared Space Westcliff might be the answer. So she asked if she could help.
Location: Shared Space, Westcliff
Experience: Not previously volunteered in a charity shop
Hobby: You will often find me doing puzzle books, cycling or walking. I ‘ve the seafront in Southend.
I moved into the area and after a month I didn’t know anyone and that meant I didn’t feel like I was contributing. I thought I’d go in to Shared Space as it was near where I live, so I thought I’d go in and have a chat with the manager.
First impressions of volunteering?
I came in for a trial morning shift and found it was really nice and friendly.
Why did you volunteer?
I love meeting people and I thought this would be a great place to do that. And I also wanted to contribute to others again and help people.
What do you do on an average shift?
On a shift it’s all really organised and I love putting everything in the right place. I steam clothes, which is a machine that is a quick easy way to iron and I get the clothes ready to display in the shop. The I price stock and put it out. Now I can’t keep away from the place and start my shifts early.
What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
Shared Space has helped me with my confidence, I felt down in the dumps and struggled to be sociable and this has really helped my self-esteem, coming in and finding I could do something in the workplace as a volunteer and that I could do a job.
What difference has volunteering made to you?
It’s boosted my confidence. Now I go out every day and help the homeless. I heat up food at home and take it to where they are sleeping. And I take scarves and hats to keep them warm and safe in the winter. I’m friends with lots of them now. I know them and they know me. It started off with me asking if I can sit with them and talk and if they say yes it goes from there as we get to know each other.
Wendy says, “I wanted to contribute something to my area and meet people.”
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