So, I’m now three shopping trips in and my volunteering experience is well and truly up and running. Overall it’s been pretty much successful, but not without its small hiccups.
For example, after spending 15 minutes in Tesco looking for ‘wheat biscuits’, it transpired after a quick, panicked phone call that it was actually ‘Weetabix’ that was desired . Or another ten minutes looking for a brand of fruit juice that I’m now pretty sure (a Google search later) doesn’t actually exist.
Still, these are trifling issues for what seems to be making a difference. I’m really struck by just how appreciative my ‘clients’ have been, for something that takes me such a small amount of time.
Earlier this week the charity held its annual drinks reception, which was attended by the local mayor, no less. What should have been an exciting appearance was sadly let down by said mayor opening her speech with ‘So I don’t really know what you do, but you’re doing a great job so keep doing it’.
This minor upset aside, I was astounded to learn that my little charity has a whopping 70 volunteers. While I appreciate it’s not the thousands that other charities can boast of, it’s admirable considering we’re basically just shopping, gardening and doing the occasional hospital pick-up for the local elderly.
I wish I could say that it was attracting a diverse bunch, but sadly the volunteers are mostly older people – which isn’t to knock them, but perhaps younger people are attracted to sexier volunteering roles instead.
But it’s a testament to the passion given off by this motley crew that my volunteer-shy husband decided to also pledge his services to the charity (albeit after encountering a very flirty OAP trustee who seemed more than happy that a young man had stopped by).
This experience has just added to my dedication and it’s great to know there are so many willing people out there. Sainsbury’s here I come…