I came to Emmaus Department Store asking about records and saw a three-piece suite. I thought that would be ideal for my flat, so I bought it there and then.
I thought I would have a look around as I had never been before, and the stock is amazing! Not just the amount of stock, but the range of furniture: desks, tables – everything you need for your home. But it was when I saw the vinyl that I thought ‘I want to live here’. Wow! It was a different world. People can actually buy records again!
I spoke to the person serving in store to ask about volunteering, as I had volunteered previously. I filled a form in, went for an induction and here I am!
I used to volunteer for FixIt, teaching students how to repair computer systems, by assembling, wiping hard drives so people can use these again and fault-finding. This was in Bolton, but it became too far for me to travel over there. I live in Rochdale and I litter pick when I’m out walking my dog. No one organises it. I just like doing it to help out. It’s good I’ve now found another way to volunteer in Rochdale, through Emmaus.
Everyone at Emmaus Department Store is really friendly. By working together, there is no difference between the people supported here and people volunteering. That’s really nice. Even though I’m a volunteer, I’m on the same level as people who are gaining work experience here.
After finding out more about Emmaus, I know it is a great place for people to be able to get the right support and guidance to explore what they are interested in. People get a safe place to stay and a place to better themselves, with the right tutorage. Everyone coming here has the ability to go into work in retail or other lines of work afterwards. It’s a stepping stone and a taste of the future that’s out there.
For anyone thinking of volunteering, I’d say to just go for it. If you’re thinking about it, it shows you’ve an interest. There’s really is nothing to lose. It’s good for your career and gives something back to your community.
If you or someone you know would like to volunteer with Emmaus in Rochdale or Burnley, please visit our Volunteer Page for roles and opportunities. If there is another way you or your organisation would like to help out, please get in touch!