January’s Guardian spotlight: Michal and Ania
This month our guardian spotlight falls on Michal and Ania, who both volunteer in local charity shops and are living in one of our newest guardian communities; Cambridge.
Ania volunteers at a local Oxfam charity shop and Michal at a British Red Cross furniture shop. Between them they volunteered over 80 hours in the month of December 2014 alone!
They told us a little about their experiences so far:
At the beginning we thought of volunteering as a chance to grow confidence in speaking in English. It turned out to be a great way to meet wonderful, friendly, good-hearted individuals and also a way to find ourselves in a local community.
Charity shops are something you don’t see in Poland, so this idea was completely new for us. After three months of volunteering in Oxfam and British Red Cross we can say it’s fun, interesting, sometimes exhausting but always rewarding.
Ania is particularly proud of the diverse team at the Oxfam shop and the fact that nothing that comes into the Oxfam shop is wasted:
If we can’t sell something because it’s damaged, we recycle it and it can be turned in something new like carpet, mattress or stuffing. Our shop also involves volunteers with learning disabilities and those doing mandatory community service, helping out day-to-day. It makes our team diverse and even more interesting.
Michal usually works as a driver assistant for the British Red Cross furniture shop but has turned his hand to many other tasks as required.
Every day at the Red Cross brings something new – it’s impossible to get bored! Driving a van in and around Cambridge gave me a very good idea where I live and how other people live as well. Comparing to my city where I used to live, Cambridge is very multicultural and talking to people from different parts of the world in their own homes really helps to understand their cultures and behaviours.
Michal and Ania have both said that since joining Dot Dot Dot in Cambridge they have realised just how many voluntary opportunities are available locally. They plan to explore these in the coming months and we’ll look forward to hearing more about their great volunteering!
- Established in the 1940’s, Oxfam is an international charity working worldwide to find solutions to poverty and injustice. Find out more about volunteering opportunities at Oxfam.
- The British Red Cross Society is the United Kingdom branch of the worldwide humanitarian organisation the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Formed in 1870, the heart of their work is providing help to people in crisis, both in the UK and overseas. Find out about volunteering opportunities at the British Red Cross.
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