Catching Up with the Stocksfield Volunteering Community

Ruth, Sally and Viv are part of a small community of FareShare North East volunteers centered in Stocksfield. All of whom began volunteering during the first Covid-19 lockdown. We find out more about the Stocksfield team and their experience of volunteering for FareShare North East.

Ruth started volunteering as a warehouse assistant in January 2020, after receiving a recommendation to volunteer from her sons: Joe who already volunteered in FareShare London, and Danny who volunteered in Leeds. When the pandemic hit and the boys returned home, Ruth, Joe and Danny volunteered at FareShare North East together. The opportunity to volunteer as a family unit was an amazing experience for Ruth.

After a six-month hiatus from volunteering, as Ruth supported the NHS with the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, she returned back to her role in September 2020. She mentioned that the diversity of the volunteers, the shared sense of purpose towards an important cause and feeling like an integral part to charity were all significant pull factors.

“I always speak so highly of my experience at FareShare, and quite a number of my friends have now joined me at FareShare which is fun’.

….which brings us to Sally!

Sally is a retired secondary school teacher, specialising in vocational training and community involvement. Sally enjoys learning new skills and continuing old ones by participating in many artistic courses, as well as volunteering with other charities, such as Citizens Advice Northumberland (CAN). Sally found out about FareShare North East through a colleague at CAN, as well as her friends and colleagues living in Stocksfield. Sally knew that volunteering would bring her more community involvement she desired, which led her to sign up for warehouse assistant shifts.

“Suddenly it was a whole network of names I knew so well, all giving their time and skills. It was just joining a team I already knew’.

When asked about what they would say to someone who was thinking about volunteering for FareShare North East, Sally said ‘I would say just go ahead and do it! There’s a role for everyone and it’s addictive! You meet so many new people and in my case catch up with old friends and acquaintances’. Sally mentions that the opportunity to work with friends, rekindle old friendships and make new ones, has made her volunteering experience worthwhile.

Viv also expressed her enjoyment for volunteering at FareShare North East, mentioning that she is always happy to be of help, however small her contribution.

“It [FareShare] is an exceptionally welcoming and supportive agency and no-one is under pressure to perform outside of their capabilities. It is efficiently run and is a good environment to experience real team work”.

So what are they doing outside of volunteering? Other than volunteering at Citizens Advice Northumberland, Ruth enjoys walking the dog, cycling, cooking and studying economics at the Open University. Now in retirement, Sally enjoys leading a good work/life balance, where she enjoys participating in activities that are rewarding, and is part of friendship groups who read, exercise and craft together on a weekly basis.

“I am very lucky in my life, and am very grateful to FareShare for enabling me to enrich my life by doing something to help others”

We really appreciate the time and effort our wonderful volunteers donate to FareShare North East. FareShare North East always welcomes new volunteers to join our team. If you are interested, please let us know.