Volunteering at Oxfam Bold Street
Amelia Glynn Online Fashion Content Assistant
18th Feb 2014
Ever wondered what it's like volunteering for Oxfam? Here is a perspective from one of our lovely volunteers, Hannah Dillon, who works at Oxfam Bold Street. Thanks for sharing this with us Hannah!
My name is Hannah Dillon and I'm studying a History and English degree at Leeds Trinity University. I have to complete a placement as part of my second year course, in which I have chosen Oxfam. The charity has an excellent reputation for effective and life saving charitable work around the world, which was one of the positive features I have encountered upon joining the Bold Street team. I had the feeling that the group of volunteers would be friendly once joining, but my expectations were far exceeded once I became part of the team.
I was also hoping to further develop my communication and confidence issues which I feel sometimes hold me back. Since being at Oxfam I can feel myself becoming more confident as I am meeting new people everyday - even though it once seemed like a challenge. Now I feel like the team have welcomed me in the three weeks I've been volunteering at the Bold Street store and I can achieve more because of my time here. Team work is a big part of volunteering for Oxfam which is instilled in every person who joins this team, which was also a new skill I had to develop as I have had little
knowledge of this before.
Every volunteer also has the right to choose which area of interest they wish to work in (for example fashion, retail, etc.), which gives everyone the chance to develop skills in the area they are interested in. Oxfam is very in touch with its local community as being situated in the heart of the city it plays privy to a lot of events such as the recent Chinese New Year in which we sold traditional Chinese clothing and had decorations up to show our support. I've met a lot of people who I wouldn't have usually met before and finding out why people have chosen to work here (for
example to improve their English skills and finding out about their native countries) which also seemed to enhance the social and practical skills I am developing throughout my time here as a volunteer for the charity.
For me, there was also the advantage of working in a retail environment which I had never done before I came to volunteer here. Dealing with customers almost every day was daunting at first but now I feel used to this job which is also a useful skill I can add to my CV which I wouldn't have gained had I not had the experience of volunteering for Oxfam.
In summary, I've thoroughly enjoyed my three weeks here in which have improved areas of my life in more ways than one. I would recommend anyone to join a volunteering team such as the one at Bold Street's Oxfam shop - it can be beneficial for practical and personal experience, which could boost anyone's confidence and instil a passion for doing good for others through charity work.