We caught up with sixth form student Elisha before lockdown last year to find out why she volunteers at her local Acorns shop
My name is Elisha, I’m currently studying at sixth form and chose to volunteer at an Acorns charity shop because it’s a really nice charity. I looked online and saw all the stories of how they’ve helped people and wanted to give up my time to do something that’s going to make a difference. I like volunteering at Acorns because it’s great to feel like you’re helping out your community and it makes me feel good that I’m spending my time usefully.
It’s so easy to volunteer when you’re in sixth form or college, I have lots of spare time and am able to leave early and be more flexible. I wanted to feel like I’m spending my free time productively and volunteering at a charity shop feels like a really good use of time, plus I enjoy it.
I like meeting people and hearing their stories. I enjoy making everything look presentable then seeing people walk in, especially kids, and get excited by the things I’ve put out. Accepting donations from people is also really nice because it’s so kind of them to bring them here. I really like the atmosphere when it gets busy and it makes me feel great because all the money people spend is going towards a good cause.
When I see the clothes in here it makes me realise that preloved clothes are just as good as new clothes if not better, because you know that the money you’ve spent on them is making a difference to others.
The staff and other volunteers here at the shop have been so welcoming, even from my first week they’ve made me feel really welcome. My manager Tracy is so supportive, she’s always asking me how my school work is going and it feels like I’m making friends here as well as working alongside others.
I feel just as important as everyone else here and like what I do makes a difference.
Volunteering at an Acorns shop has helped improve my communication skills through dealing with customers and helping them out, and I’m also developing practical retail experience which will be useful in the future. I haven’t had a job before so I’m gaining lots of experience which I can use in my future life.
It’s so easy to apply to be a volunteer. I went on the website and filled in an online form and then came in for an induction. I would tell anyone thinking of volunteering to definitely go for it, just pop online and apply.
It’s really good to build up your confidence and skills for work. Especially when you’re studying at college or uni you have enough time to do good things like volunteering. Even if it’s just an hour, it’s worth it to go and help out at a charity shop because they’re always looking for volunteers.
Find your local Acorns shop and apply to volunteer today. However much time you can give, every hour makes a difference for the local children and families we support.