At Emmaus Greenwich, we rely on a team of incredible volunteers who help with all the different areas of our social enterprise. Volunteering is a rewarding way to support us, as well as a great way to gain work experience and make connections.
Shahina volunteers in our shop in Poplar, where she’s been working for just over three years. Her role is really varied:
“I do quite a lot of different things in the shop. I work mainly on the till, taking money from customers, and when we sell furniture I fill out all the paperwork. In Poplar the majority of the customers speak another language, and when they come in some of them can’t speak English very well. So because I speak Bengali I can explain it to them, which is really helpful. There’s a big Asian population in Poplar, and especially lots of the older generation can’t speak English properly, so it’s really helpful for me to translate for them, and for my colleagues as well. I like to help as much as I can.”
There are many benefits to volunteering. Research has indicated that volunteering can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health, with links to a reduction in feelings of depression, a reduction of stress and an increase in a sense of well-being. It is also a fantastic way to make connections with people in your community, and to gain new skills and experiences.
Before she joined us, Shahina had never been into a charity shop before, and didn’t realise the impact it would have on her life:
“Toys and books are really expensive from most shops, so I just get everything from Emmaus which is really useful for me. I never used to buy anything from charity shops, up until three years ago I’d never been to a charity shop before, or bought anything from a charity shop, but now I buy nearly everything from here. It’s like, my life has changed completely! I wish I knew before, because there’s so much great stuff that you can get cheap. I hardly go in any other shops now.”
There are loads of different ways you can volunteer at Emmaus Greenwich, from working with customers, driving the vans, working behind the scenes in the community, and more. To find out how you can get involved, please take a look at our current voluntary vacancies.