How long have you been volunteering?
I started volunteering at the Oxfam Store on Colne Rd about two and a half years ago. I was self-employed and ran my own business, but dedicated Fridays to volunteering and I made sure that as far as possible I would not answer any work calls that day. By ring fencing this day for volunteering, it gave me a break from my business and dragged me away from my laptop.
Oxfam trained me up fairly quickly to work on the tills, it was an outlet for me to talk to customers, they have a laugh with me and sometimes I even practice out my stand-up routine!
What do you like about your Volunteer role?
I discovered there was a great camaraderie between the volunteers and staff.
I have volunteered at schools in the past through my theatre work, and get a lot from giving something back as people enjoy my involvement.
I feel of value when I volunteer, I am giving something to the community and to a good cause. Volunteering is a vehicle for me to get away from work and chill out.
There are some really high quality items on sale, some with original price tags from major retailers – I am probably one of best shoppers there! I’m really missing it during lockdown, and can’t wait to get back.
What would you say to someone new to volunteering?
I would say to anyone thinking about volunteering ‘give it a go’ – nothing ventured, nothing gained. You don’t have to be a people person (some people don’t want to go near the till). There are plenty of jobs to do behind the scenes and many hands make light work. We get our travel expenses reimbursed and lunch allowance so the volunteers are not out of pocket and you will also be reimbursed on feel good factor!
To find out more about Oxfam and how you can be involved visit: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-with-us/
You can view current Volunteer roles on our website: https://volunteeringkirklees.org.uk/opportunities