Why Volunteer for Furniturelink in Guildford
Furniturelink is a small charity based in Guildford, and we are also self-funded only ever claiming a handful of grants for a new van, and a move to a new premises. Everything Furniturelink makes through the sale of its goods and services goes directly back into the charity and to the people whom we help in the local community.
As a small charity we have limited funds, and, therefore we rely heavily on volunteers to help us run smoothly and to ensure we are able to continue to help local people.
We are a small team consisting of four full-time staff members, and two part-time members meaning that when you volunteer for us, you really will be a hugely valued member of our team and your work won’t go unnoticed either. We are also a friendly outgoing bunch who don’t mind having a laugh, as long as the work gets done. We also LOVE CAKE, BISCUITS, TEA, COFFEE and FOOD in general so there will always be a supply of something delicious around the warehouse!
Due to being a small charity, we are also ALWAYS open to new ideas so don’t think that when you join us your role is just to assist on the van, work on reception or update social media and respond to
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering has many benefits, not only to the charity in which you volunteer for, but it also has benefits for your own personal well-being too. Here are four of the key benefits as outlined by helpguide.org who believe, from research that volunteering can make you feel happier and healthier.
- Benefit 1: Volunteering Connects you to Others
– When volunteering you have the opportunity to meet new people, which can help you make new connections, friends and build on those already made. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people or local people if you are new to the area in which you are volunteering within.
– Increase your social and relationship skills, whilst some people are extroverts and find it easy to meet others some are also introverts and volunteering can make the scary step of meeting new people less daunting because you will regularly be in contact with like-minded people who share a common interest.
- Benefit 2: Volunteering is Good for your Mind and Body
– Research has proven that volunteering can help combat the effects of stress, anxiety and anger as the social aspect of volunteering, helping and working with others can have a huge psychological impact.
– It can help combat depression by giving you a sense of belonging and keeping you in regular contact with the outside world.
– Nothing makes people happier than when they know they are helping others as it delivers hormones in your body that lead to immense pleasure – the more we give, the happier we feel and volunteering is great for a feel-good feeling.
– Volunteering and doing something positive for your local community and learning along the way gives a sense of great accomplishment which will give you a huge self-confidence boost.
– As mentioned in a point above, volunteering also gives you a sense of purpose and belonging not just for the older generation who might feel isolated but for anyone at any stage within their life.
– The best benefit of all is that research shows volunteers have a lower mortality rate as it helps us stay fit and healthy in addition to all the other benefits.
- Benefit 3: Volunteering can Advance your Career
– Just because you don’t get paid to volunteer, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get anything back and it definitely doesn’t mean that the role will be basic and simple. A lot of volunteering opportunities offer extensive training and programmes which can help you gain new knowledge and enhance old knowledge and skills too.
– Volunteering also offers you the chance to try out a new career, without making a long-term commitment to see if it is the next career move you would like to make, it also looks fantastic on your C.V.
- Benefit 4: Volunteering Brings Fun & Fulfilment to your Life
– Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore new interests and passions and this is often relaxing, meaningful and interesting. It can help you escape the reality of a day job and life in general and help you re-energise.
Hear From One of our Volunteers
When did you start volunteering?
I started volunteering for Furniturelink in November 2017
Why did you want to volunteer?
I was running my own business from home but the constant four walls and other aspects of self-employment and my unfortunate past had me feeling a little run-down and crazy, to say the least. To a point where it was seriously affecting my mental well-being and stopping me from living a fulfilling life.
Why did you choose to volunteer at Furniturelink?
I saw an advertisement online stating that they needed help with setting up and managing a new eBay store for their charity, because, current staff didn’t have the time or the skill set needed to achieve what they wanted to.
I had previous experience selling on eBay, having run and managed (still do!) a second-hand clothes business via eBay since I was 12 years old, so I had a quick browse of their website (which was awful I might add), read about who they were, sent in an email to the project director and bagged myself an informal meeting.
What did your volunteer role involve?
So, as mentioned above I came on board to help list higher-end donations on eBay. This involved selecting items I thought where suitable or getting them given to me by members of staff, photographing them, measuring them, writing descriptions and getting them listed online. I then spoke to the Project Director about social media and how if they utilised it more effectively it would hopefully lead to more online sales and footfall, so then part of my volunteer role became social media based and not only was I listing and managing their eBay sales, but, I was also managing their social media to. This then eventually lead to me creating and designing a new logo, and an entire new WEBSITE. Don’t ask how I got roped into doing that, joking, I loved it.
How often do/did you volunteer?
I don’t volunteer anymore, I stopped volunteering after 7 months because I was offered paid employment with Furniturelink as a Digital Marketing and Online Sales Coordinator. But, I use to volunteer 1-day a week 9 am until 3pm.
Did/do you enjoy volunteering with Furniturelink and why?
Yes, I absolutely loved volunteering at Furniturelink, but, I do agree it isn’t for everyone. It’s hard work and because it’s such a small team everyone has to pull their weight and get involved in everything, I mean I have been known to go out on the van to our storage location and haul around furniture in the rain but that’s what makes it so rewarding, so fulfilling and just an incredible place to work and volunteer because no two-days are the same. The team are incredible and the Project Director is super supportive, and is always open to suggestions and always keen to work with people to ensure the project continues to thrive. So, if you’re not afraid of hard work, love getting involved and are passionate about making a difference and have ideas that you want to share and just want to be apart of something then honestly, come on over and volunteer you won’t be disappointed. Everyday is different, and the atmosphere and bond between staff makes it a great supportive and happy place to be.