From Visitor to Volunteer

With over 700 people across our 10 interlinking projects, volunteers are the lifeblood of Genesis.

Ann first came across Genesis in 2005 when a friend introduced her to the Lifeline Centre after being made redundant.

She visited Lifeline as a client for around a year and during this time she realised there were problems with clothing and bedding donations: “they were disorganised and cluttered so that people didn’t know where to look for things”.

Ann offered to help organise the donations in a two-week trial, first using boxes before progressing to plastic shelves. Now, thirteen years later, she continues the operation under the name “Ann’s Clothes Store”.

We sat down with Ann to find out more about her experiences as a Genesis volunteer.

Q: What are the main challenges?

A: “Sometimes there are misunderstandings between people which can lead to arguments… but it helps knowing everyone as you can have a quiet word to calm them down”.

Q: What has made you stay as a volunteer for so long?

A: “It gives me something to do. I might just be at home if I didn’t do this. The hours also fit in with my part time work”.

Q: What’s the best thing about volunteering for Genesis?

A: “The best thing is having a boss you can work with, not for. I got made redundant after 26 years and was struggling with why I have worked for so long to just lose it suddenly. So I decided to do something to make a difference for people”.

Q: Is there any advice you’d give to volunteers?

A: “You never know what you’re going to get one day to the next, even one minute to the next! Be prepared for the unpredictable!”

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please see our latest opportunities.