A day in the life of a shop volunteer
This day in the life diary has been written by one of our Witney volunteers, AnnMarie, who tells us all about her busy yet fulfilling day.
09:45 After a full week of getting up at 3:30am for my job, leaving home at this time for my voluntary shift at the Sobell House Witney Warehouse feels like a bit of a treat!
10:30 Arrive at the Warehouse and receive a warm welcome from the team. Today I’m working with Don, Karina and Will. I have volunteered at the Witney Warehouse for nearly two years now. Volunteering for a charity was something I had never thought of doing, but when my sister Karina became the Shop Manager she persuaded me to sign up! Volunteering has been a brilliant experience and I look forward to it every week, so I’m thankful that she did.
The first task of the day is to make myself a coffee and I make one for Don too. I then head off on a quick walk around the Warehouse to see what’s new in stock and if any exciting bargains have come in during the week. I love the diversity of donations that come in – the quality of items always amazes me. This week a lot of summer clothes have been donated, which is perfect with the warm weather on its way; they should sell really quickly.
11:00 I get to work steaming clothes and putting them out on the rails. I always try to get as much done as I can, but whatever I manage Don and Karina are always very grateful for my help.
11:45 Have a quick sort out to make sure all of the stock on the shelves is looking tidy and well-presented.
12:00 Steaming the clothes has worked up an appetite, so we all pause for a lunch break. Every Saturday we take it in turns to bring in lunch and it’s always something yummy! There’s such a family atmosphere here and I love being a part of the team.
12:30 I get back to steaming clothes and I’ve managed to work my way through at least two rails worth.
13:30 I have a tidy up of the shop floor after a busy morning. I also get the chance to speak to some of our lovely customers. Today, I enjoy catching up with Beverley, one of our regular customers. Beverley has come in to buy some CDs – she loves all kinds of music!
14:30 Just before I leave for the day, I always make sure that there are spare hangers available and that everything is tidy ready for the staff and volunteers on Monday morning.
15:00 I start packing up so I can run some errands before heading home. That’s my shift done! The time always flies by and I feel good for having done something productive and worthwhile on my day off.
If anyone were to ask me if they should volunteer in a Sobell House shop I would say: absolutely! The people are friendly, it’s for a great cause, and I enjoy the interaction I have with our customers and helping them as best as I can. Even if you can only spare an hour or two every week, it still helps the staff a great deal.