A Shropshire charity is celebrating an increase in volunteers over recent weeks – but is still looking for more.
The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, relies on volunteers to carry out a range of jobs and provides full training for those wanting to get involved.
Justin Griffiths joined the charity as its new community engagement and volunteer support worker in January and says there has already been an increase in the number of people expressing an interest in volunteering.
“It has been an incredible first couple of months for me in this job and we are really pleased with the response we have had in calling for volunteers,” he said. “Volunteers play a huge part in our operation in south Shropshire and without them we simply would not be able to carry out the work we do and help the people who so rely on our services.
“But we still need more to come forward. We would like to hear from anyone who is interested in volunteering – whatever their age or experience and our volunteering opportunities come with full training. We are particularly looking for volunteers to support our busy Warehouse, either driving a van, helping to process stock or serve customers.”
The charity has had five new volunteers sign-up to the education courses, with more interest being shown in the next enrolment. One of the volunteers is 75-year-old Terry Round who has volunteered with the charity in other capacities before but was one of the first to enrol in the new education courses currently on offer by The Furniture Scheme.
Justin said this demonstrates there really is no age barrier to anyone out there looking to volunteer.
“Some people sometimes come along with a view that volunteering is not for them but they end up really enjoying it and feeling quite fulfilled by the experience,” he added. “We can support volunteers whatever their age too, we have Terry and our youngest person who enrolled for education is 21 years old, so we have a 54 year spread across our learners.
“Since January I have also signed up, or am in the process of signing up, six new participants to the Building Better Opportunities scheme (BBO) which aims to provide pre-employment support for those aged 19 and over who are not in work.
“This scheme is proving hugely successful across the county and The Furniture Scheme is one of the groups involved in providing supported work experience placements and community activities with the goal of building up skills and confidence.
“Through this programme we are able to help those involved in identifying strengths and helping and supporting individuals through the job search process. We can offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities to this end, including transport, retail, warehousing, customer service and administration.”