What I did on my volunteering day – Zoe

29 August 2016, by

For my volunteering day I worked at Barnardo’s in Marylebone, organised through Benefacto. Barnardo’s is a major UK children’s charity and does a great job with lots of different aspects of supporting children: fostering and adoption, work skills, domestic child abuse, nurseries and supporting families.

Working in the shop was awesome on many levels. They have great donations because it’s such a wealthy area, so it’s quite fun seeing what stock they have. It was also really awesome for reminding me what a great job I have at Softwire… When I arrived I was told that my first job was hoovering and dusting (I HATE hoovering) and – even worse – I was told that mobile phones were not allowed on the shop floor and Eduardo the manager made me check my phone in a locker!

Another awesome thing about the job was the clientele. The first customer I served came in in a shell suit top and paint spattered jeans. He tried on a few shirts and bought one “oh and wait” he said, and returned with 8 pairs of socks.

Next was a lady with a small dog who was clearly a regular. “Eduardo!” she called (they all love Eduardo). She explained that she needed somewhere to leave her dog and could Eduardo look after him until she came back. Of course he could.

A well-dressed woman came in with a large sack of clothes. “I’m finally cleaning out my flat. I’ve got loads more. I just wanted to check it was OK before I brought them all in.”

In the afternoon I met a musician, Katy Carr, looking for pieces to wear on stage. At the same time Manolo the stylist came in to look for material. “Not floral” he said. “I don’t do floral.” Katy bought a piece of material printed with 1930s/1940s women. She’s going to wrap herself in it next time she goes on stage. Manolo had left his bike unlocked while he was in the shop because “he trusts the world”.

But the best bit about the shop was Eduardo, the manager. He’s really awesome. He’s worked at Barnardo’s Marylebone for five years. It was great that I volunteered, he said, because otherwise he would have been on his own all day. It’s hard to get volunteers because the shop’s in central London. We took over £300 for Barnardo’s, and that was on a quiet day (the shop usually takes a lot more).

If you fancy helping a great charity, helping Eduardo, having fun and remembering how good it is to have an office job rather than a shop job – I really recommend signing up!

No photos because they took my phone away. Remember?

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Categories: CSR


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