To celebrate Volunteers week we asked our members to shout about their longest serving volunteers and why they chose to volunteer. This week we take a look at Angela’s story.
All about Angela
Angela is the longest serving volunteer at Littlehampton Shopmobility in East Sussex.
Angela suffered a stroke on 18th June 2007 and spent 10 weeks in Hospital; sadly as a result of the stroke she had to give up her full-time job she had enjoyed with Cuff Millers in Littlehampton. Although not fully recovered, after a few months of rehabilitation, she decided to go back to work, but could only manage about a few hours per week. The few hours of paid work she had at Cuff Millers were not enough to help her to develop her confidence and language skills, which had suffered as a result of the stroke, so she decided to look for voluntary work as a step in aiding her recovery.
Becoming a Volunteer
In Angela’s words “I attended Impact at Dove Lodge who, kindly arranged an Interview with the then-Chairman of Shopmobility, Barry Leroy-Baker. I then registered with the local Arun Volunteer Centre; the office by coincidence was situated in the Shopmobility, so very convenient! At the interview I received information regarding the role description for this opportunity and decided that it would suit me.
I wanted to volunteer locally and I decided that the Littlehampton Shopmobility role would be ideal for me. The team there made me feel very welcome. Knowing that I had skills that could be useful to the shopmobility helped me developed my confidence. I needed to develop new skills and get my English language skills back on track. I had been out of a full-time work environment for quite a while and I really needed to build up my confidence through interaction with others.”
Angela started volunteering every Monday morning for 3 hours, commencing on the 13th August 2009. Recently she kindly increased her hours to 6 hours per week, working an extra 3 hours Friday mornings! Angela has been trained to help out with general administration, as well as shop work. She has also done some fantastic work in compiling and evaluating feedback.
What volunteering has done for Angela?
“As well as developing my language skills through regular interaction with others. I’ve also been able to keep my general skills up to date as well as learn new ones. The members of staff and other volunteers offer great support which has really added to my confidence.
I especially enjoy helping with the fundraising, including coffee mornings, raffles, and the annual Town Show. After each event I am busy counting all the money we have raised for the charity, with all our hard work!
I would definitely recommend volunteering. I think more people should volunteer! It is not only rewarding to the volunteer, but is extremely beneficial to those organisations who use them.”
Angela is really good with figures, checking the till and many other tasks. She works extra hours when needed, for example when we have a fundraising event. I look forward to seeing Angela on her two mornings spent here, as she works really hard. She is a friendly, cheerful lady and I miss her terribly when she is on holiday as she does so much to help everyone! June Caffyn, Manager Littlehampton Shopmobility
Volunteering is something we can all benefit from whether you are in receipt of the charities work or you decide to volunteer yourself or both. If you’d like to look at volunteering at your local shopmobiltiy give the a call. You can search for NFSUK members HERE.
If you’d like to research other volunteering opportunities check out https://do-it.org/