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From an Oxfam shop to tying the knot

10th Jan 2018

Nousha and Henry, now husband and wife, met each other while volunteering in an Oxfam shop one afternoon. The couple have kindly shared their heart-warming account of where their Oxfam journey has taken them.

When and where did you meet?

H: We met in the Oxfam shop on Cowley Road in Oxford when we were both 17. I worked there every Tuesday afternoon as part of a volunteering placement with my school, and not long after I started, Nousha turned up!
N: I remember wanting to take Media Studies at school but the subject was full, so I had to take Business Studies instead. I'm now thankful that I did though as one of the modules involved a placement, and I chose to volunteer at Oxfam, unaware that I would meet my future husband there!

Did other Oxfam volunteers know what was going on?

H: We actually didn't become a couple until 5 years later when we re-met once I had finished University. I remember a few of the other volunteers giving us looks though and suspecting that we might be becoming more than just friends.
N: After our final Tuesday volunteering we said our goodbyes and exchanged numbers, only I somehow accidentally deleted Henry's on the way home! I went back to the shop to ask the manager if he had it anywhere and I remember him saying "I thought something was going on!".

Where was your first date?

H: I think our first date would have been at the Turf Tavern (one of Oxford's oldest pubs) or University Parks where we had a picnic.

N: We went for a sunny stroll around University Parks before stopping off for a slightly boozy picnic.

Tell us a little about your wedding

H: We wanted to give something back to Oxfam and return the favour because if we had never volunteered, we would never have even met. Nousha came up with the idea of giving guests the chance to donate to Oxfam in place of the usual wedding gifts. Unfortunately, we had lost touch with other volunteers from the shop but I did mention the manager, Ben, in my speech!

N: Oxfam very kindly supplied us with some collection tins and personalised labels so we could collect money on the day. We raised a fantastic amount and donated it to the Syria appeal as conflict there had been going on for over six years now and it is a cause very close to our hearts.

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

H: Definitely. It was a truly memorable experience that provided me with useful skills and on top of that I met the person who I would later marry! We still talk about our time there very fondly and it is crazy to think how things could have been different if we hadn't set foot in the shop.

N: Definitely. It was a fun experience, for a good cause and you never know who you might meet…

What does Oxfam mean to you now?

H: It's funny because Oxfam is a massive charity that does some amazing work fighting poverty all around the world, in places I'll never set foot in, but on top of that it is just the shop down the road where I met Nousha. We regularly go back in to browse the records and also have a sneaky look in the stock room where we used to chat.

N: More than you will know.

Thank you so much Henry and Nousha for sharing your story with us - we wish you a lifetime of happiness together. We are so glad Oxfam holds an extra special place in your hearts and volunteering provided you with the opportunity to meet each other.

As Nousha said, volunteer for Oxfam, "you never know who you might meet…".