My name is Rachel and I’m a volunteer at Emmaus Burnley. I started in May 2016, working in the bric-a-brac area and the books and help out where ever else I’m needed in the store.

The volunteer role was advertised online and so I applied to update my skills and get me back out there in a working environment. I’ve gained a lot whilst I’ve been here. It’s improved my retail skills, I’ve got an accredited warehousing qualification and gained recent experience to add to my CV.

I’ve enjoyed just meeting new people, learning about the companions and their backgrounds. It opens your eyes to everything – you’ve got your own personal problems but it puts them in to perspective speaking to others. I’m hopefully working to get myself into paid employment and this is proof that I am trying because it really is hard out there.

I would encourage others to come and volunteer with Emmaus and give it a go. It gets you out of the house and if you’re stuck in staring at four walls then it’s a great way to meet new people and work for a worthy cause.