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'Volunteering at Oxfam gives me satisfaction'

Posted by Rebecca Lozza Media and Communications Officer

6th Aug 2018

Image of Youssef and fellow volunteer

Youssef is originally from Syria. Last year, he was resettled with his family on the Isle of Bute through a UK Government run scheme. Youssef has been volunteering at the Oxfam shop in Rothesay for three months. His fellow volunteers - all of who are retired - have welcomed him with open arms and are currently furiously knitting in eager anticipation of the arrival of Youssef's second child. Here, Youssef shares his story.

I arrived on the Isle of Bute nine months ago from Lebanon. Things in Syria had been really bad: I'd lost my father and brother in the war.

I began volunteering at the Oxfam shop after I went inside one day when I was out shopping to see if they needed any help. The ladies inside said that they did.

I'm very happy to be working with the women in the shop; I treat them as though they're my mother.

I spend a lot of time steaming the clothes and pricing products. I also help carry the heavy things and put things on the shelves the other volunteers can't reach.

At the moment I'm studying English and looking for a job. I'm a chef, so I'd like to work in a restaurant. I'm not shy about working: whenever I have free time I spend it helping in the shop. It helps fill my time.

I love volunteering at Oxfam. The shop has helped me gain an understanding of the daily life in Scotland and also improve my language. I know the money we raise is helping people around the world. It gives me satisfaction.

Could you spare a few hours of your time to volunteer in your nearest Oxfam shop? Find out how you can help here.

Blog post written by Rebecca Lozza

Media and Communications Officer

More by Rebecca Lozza