Mandy and Julie joined the retail and trading team in July 2021 to support Michelle, our retail and trading office manager, with a variety of admin tasks. Both brought a wealth of admin experience to their volunteering despite having very different working backgrounds.
Julie worked as a school business manager focussing on HR and Finance and Mandy for a charity organising events and fundraising. Their admin skills are the perfect match for the volunteer role with the retail admin team – so much so that Mandy has committed more time to help as an online hub retail volunteer too.
Mandy added: “I really enjoy both roles – they are very different but equally rewarding.”
Mandy and Julie have been helping Michelle with the gift aid project. Gift aid enables Rennie Grove to claim an extra 25p for every £1 spent on a donated item in our shops.
Michelle explained: “Their contribution to auditing the gift aid forms is enormous. This work has helped us to put in a gift aid claim of £88k for the period from January to September 2021. This income contributes to our fundraising effort and helps support our services.”
For both Mandy and Julie, the goal for their volunteering was to find something flexible that fitted their skills and the time they were able to give – and where they would feel most useful.
Social interaction was key to their volunteering and the friendly and welcoming environment at the retail distribution centre was just what they were looking for. Julie said: “My plan was to stop working and travel, but the pandemic struck, and things had to change. Volunteering is the perfect fit for my future travel plans – knowing that I am giving my time to a worthwhile cause but still able to get away when we can.”
Mandy added: “When my job went virtual, I knew that wasn’t for me. I love being with people. Everyone here is lovely, we have a bit of a laugh and the great thing is I can walk the dog before I come in and get home before the rush hour traffic.”
Mandy experienced our hospice at home nursing service when her mum became ill. She said: “It was really reassuring that there was help there if we needed it. Sadly, my mum passed away very quickly but speaking to the nurses on the phone was just what we needed at this really difficult time.”
They both highly recommend volunteering. Mandy said: “I love that I can help in two different ways when I am here. The online hub role is straightforward. It didn’t take me long to pick up the process for researching and listing items as the online hub co-ordinators Sarah and Lisa have a very clear template to follow. I have only listed fashion items so far, but it is very exciting when an item you list sells which gives a great sense of achievement.”
Julie plans to learn how to be an online hub volunteer too and is looking forward to mixing and matching her volunteering time. She said: “Volunteering is very rewarding. We have a lot of fun as well as getting the work done enabling Michelle, Sarah and Lisa to focus on their workload. They have the radio on in the office too, and we love singing along to our favourite tunes!”
If you are interested in joining the retail team and are looking to help in a variety of different ways and happy to be adaptable to our workload needs, please get in touch with the volunteer team. We need volunteers who are happy to help in both or either role and, don’t forget, being able to sing is not compulsory!
"Volunteering is the perfect fit for my future travel plans - knowing that I am giving my time to a worthwhile cause but still able to get away when we can."
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