I’ve been a volunteer at Emmaus Dover for just over a year, but I was volunteering before that with another charity, so I’ve actually been a volunteer for about 4 years.
I’d heard about Emmaus Dover a long time ago – my husband and I used to come here, my husband was interested in books, and we used to trawl around charity shops quite a lot to find them, so we’d been here a number of times. The shop that I was working in closed down, and I was looking for somewhere else to go, and I remembered that this place was here, I thought I’d come up and see if they needed any volunteers. Basically that was it! Last year I met Debs here and we had a chat, they were looking for somebody to help with sorting clothing so that’s been me for the last year.
There have been quite a few changes here, because we used to be in the old rag room which was small and dark, but this new warehouse is so much better. We have the space to store everything.
I volunteer in the mornings. First thing when I come in, I’ll take the things that I sorted the day before. The best of our donations go into the shop, so I check to see what needs stocking up and take goods from the warehouse to fill the rails, then I spend the rest of the morning sorting the donated bags. I sort them into piles from things for the shop, then items for the jumble sales that we have regularly, and then finally a bag of items we can’t sell which go to the rag man. Everything that comes in more or less gets recycled.
What I like about Emmaus is that I’m pretty much my own boss here. It’s nice to meet people of both sexes and all age groups. In my last shop we were mainly old ladies! Everyone was very nice, but it’s the same conversations whereas when you have a mix of people, young and old, you get a lot of different conversations. The lads are very helpful and when they see me carting bags back and forth, they always help, and it’s really nice.