I have been volunteering at the Cardinal Hume Centre for over a year now – since January 2013. I was originally working as an Office Administrator at University College London. I decided to take early retirement but felt I needed to use my time to do something meaningful.
I was talking to a friend at my local church about Cardinal Hume, and what a wonderful man he was. After the conversation I was looking up Cardinal Hume on the internet and I came across the Cardinal Hume Centre. I noticed that there was a charity shop attached and as it happened they were looking for shop volunteers and I decided to apply.
I now work there every Wednesday and I thoroughly enjoy the work especially serving the customers. There are many other duties as well including sorting, tagging, steaming and pricing the clothes, books and bric-a-brac. You can also show artistic flair by displaying the items in the shop. Working as a volunteer is a very good way of meeting different people and learning a new skill.
Although I do not live in Westminster travelling on the tube to the shop gives you a sense of purpose and it is a good way of working in a different borough other than the one you live in.
I find the work very rewarding and it is a way of putting something back into the community. We have some regulars who come in every week, and we can directly help homeless people by giving them warm and clean clothes.
The shop is just like the rest of the Centre – we welcome everybody no matter who they are or where they are from. Homeless or MP – everyone is treated with respect.