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‘Volunteering for DEBRA has increased my confidence enormously’

‘Volunteering for DEBRA has increased my confidence enormously’

Brian began volunteering in the DEBRA charity shop in Send in September 1999 and has been helping out at the shop three days a week ever since. Three times a week Brian walks two and a half miles to the shop and then home again to fulfil his volunteering duties. Brian has a visual impairment so his guide dog, Justin, guides him to the shop and sits behind the till while he volunteers.

Brian has been nationally recognised for his dedication and service to DEBRA when he won Volunteer of the Year at the Charity Retail Awards 2014.

 ‘A friend of the family encouraged me to apply to volunteer at DEBRA as I was looking for work and thought that volunteering would be the perfect way to boost my CV,’ explains Brian. ‘Before I started volunteering I was really nervous, but volunteering has increased my confidence enormously. One of the things I enjoy most is the social interaction that I get with both the staff and the customers.’

As a valued member of the team, Brian’s role includes all aspects of running a successful shop: pricing clothes, sorting goods, processing sales and helping customers. Brian is always cheerful, extremely passionate and committed to DEBRA.

‘I’ve always tried to adapt to and overcome any challenges I’ve faced in the shop,’ he says. ‘Having volunteered in the shop for 15 years, I know my way around and have learned how to work things in a way that suits me; even the till, which I found a real challenge. The shop manager is very helpful and accommodating.

 ‘My advice to anyone who is considering volunteering with DEBRA is definitely to give it a go! You don’t have anything to loose; if anything you have lots to gain – it’s good fun and really boosts your confidence. If I can volunteer with my visual impairment, then anyone can do it.’

If you would like to volunteer with DEBRA please visit our current opportunities page,  email us or call 01698 424210.

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