Susan's retail story

"At the end of my shift, I feel proud that the work I've done is helping others who are ill."

Susan has been a volunteer at our Openshaw charity shop in Manchester for nearly five years and plans to stay for "as long as they'll have me". This is her story in her own words.

I started volunteering at the start of September 2013. I'm local, and I'd nipped into Matalan and saw that the shop was opening.

I'd thought about doing charity work for a while; I'd been spending a lot of time at home and when my youngest child started secondary school I wanted to do something for me, give something back and meet some new people.

I popped into the shop and had a chat with a man called Tony. He arranged for me to come in for a taster session and I've been here ever since!

"There is a warmth in the shop"

I stay at the shop because I really enjoy it. There is a warmth in the shop, and I really like the manager and the rest of the team. I love working with people of all different backgrounds; everyone is friendly, helpful and kind. We work as a team.

I do everything in the shop from sorting, hanging and arranging things on the shop floor to the till, Gift Aid and New Goods. I like it all.

At the end of my shift, I feel proud that the work I've done is helping others who are ill, and that I make a difference for people with life-changing conditions. I'd like to get a job but I worry that my age will go against me - I love being here.

"Special people"

I think that all volunteers are really special people. There are thousands of us around the country all doing it not for money, but to help other people, and the sense of pride you get in return for that is lovely.

Every one of us is special and the work we do really helps. The pride I feel keeps me here, and I plan to stay here as long as they'll have me!

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