Our Volunteer Coordinator Carmen Sandin reflects on her journey to working at Emmaus North Staffs and her experience working at our charity…

“From the young age of 11, I was already recruiting, managing and supporting volunteers at my secondary school and sixth form as a Lighting Designer, Technician and Mentor. I’ve also volunteered for charities since I was 14, with four years at an art gallery and three years at my local volunteering hub as a Youth Theatre Coordinator and Communications Coordinator.

After graduating, I was seeking a career that fulfilled my passion to help others and enable positive change in the community and so applied for the role of Volunteer Coordinator at Emmaus North Staffs. The charity stood out because it supports people to move away from poverty, whilst also working towards setting up an Emmaus community with accommodation and support for people who have been homeless.

My role is to lead the support, development and recruitment of volunteers at Emmaus North Staffs. My goal is to ensure that each volunteer is encouraged and empowered to maximise their own potential. I work to develop our volunteering programme and promote it while working with local partners. My job involves understanding each of our volunteering roles in-depth, and so I get involved with many different opportunities, including Van Assistant, Receptionist, and Shop Assistant.

I really love my job as a Volunteer Coordinator for so many reasons. There’s a constant need to adapt and change that means every day is different, providing new challenges to overcome and grow from. I’m able to make a direct positive impact on people’s lives through supporting and empowering our volunteers, which gives me fulfilment. Our values at Emmaus directly align with mine: to oppose injustice, support those in need and work to live and give. Constantly striving towards setting up an Emmaus community (which is becoming closer to a reality with every day we work) is the most rewarding feeling and is what brings us all together.

There have been so many great moments in my four months here so far, it’s difficult to pick just one. Highlights include creating a recruitment video, organising our 30th anniversary celebration, and making my first huge sale when I fixed a sofa that otherwise would’ve been thrown away. The list could go on and on, but a lot of these moments are small ones where I sit back at my desk after a busy day and look back at all the work I have achieved so far: all the small steps I’ve taken to hit different milestones for the charity, our volunteers and myself.”