Refurbishment Centre Manager (Volunteer)
What attracted you to volunteering for TWAM and to this role in particular?
I had been into tools during my working life. I retired and becoming tired of daytime TV needed something to do. I saw an advertisement placed by Terry who then managed the Coventry centre looking for volunteers and so I started one day a week and as I got into it and enjoyed it increased the amount of time I was volunteering.
Terry lived near Kenilworth and was keen to start another centre there so when his church was looking for something for the older men to do this was an ideal opportunity. A portacabin was craned in and Terry moved over to manage the new Kenilworth centre and I took on the Coventry centre which I have now been doing for about 7 years.
Tell us briefly a little about a typical day for you in the centre?
We open at about 9.30am and the day tends to start with just getting ready, perhaps emptying the van from the previous day, just making sure everything ticks over with the volunteers we have in, refilling the van for its trip to Ipswich. Every day can be different and I could be sorting donated tools or packing boxes or having a chat with a potential volunteer.
As a volunteer yourself, what's your favourite thing about volunteering?
I think one of the great things about volunteering with TWAM is never knowing what you will find in the tool boxes people donate. Amongst other things over time, I have found skis, a Javelin and Snow chains!
What would you say you have gained from this role?
An interest and a reason to get up in the morning. I have also gained a real desire to encourage more people to volunteer. Its company for you as when you are retired you miss all that interaction and volunteering can make it happen again
As the Centre Manager, what do you find the most rewarding and also the most challenging about working with volunteers in your centre?
I think the most rewarding thing is simply the camaraderie. There is always such a great atmosphere at the centre. The most challenging is that people are volunteers so it’s difficult to tell them what to do. You can see what needs doing and ask them but it’s their choice as volunteers if they do it.
What do you think are the benefits of volunteering?
The opportunity to get out and meet new people from all walks of life. An interest and an opportunity for social interaction.
And finally, why do you think people should consider volunteering for TWAM?
When I thought of volunteering I didn't want to volunteer for a charity which just handed out money. TWAM isn't like that - it provides the tools for the individual to make something of themselves. It's also a great opportunity to use skills you may have used in previous employment.