Sam is a volunteer at our Eastbourne Furniture Centre. He loves adding the finishing touches to furniture presentation and improving the shop displays - which have helped the Furniture Centre raise donations! 

He explains why he began volunteering and what rewards he gets from it. 

'I started working as a volunteer at St Wilfrid’s just under 3 years ago.'

'I chose to volunteer because I liked the calm and free atmosphere which I found as soon as I started. It gives me motivation to go above and beyond what is required to help. The actual work with furniture is something I have previous experience with, so I thought I could put my skills forward! It's created a platform for everything I’ve managed so far.' 

'My favourite parts of volunteering are when I collaborate with the other creative influences (Molly) and create ideas of how the hub should be set out and how it should look to get the most out of the space available and showing off all the donated furniture.'

'I do also enjoy the creative licence I can show off some of my own ideas and allow ideas to evolve as I go which can work out to be better than any pre conceived ideas already there.'

'Adding finishing touches and looking at it after I finish is a very satisfying way to end especially if it is a heavy day moving around.'

'A normal day for me usually would be an afternoon session. I usually manage to get a creation done within 3-4 hours. If it happens to overrun I would stay and finish on the day. At the start, I would chat with Molly and see if there are any priorities for her and the team before we collaborate and start changing the set up of certain rooms. There are times when I’m called to help others and customers with possible purchases. I try my absolute best if things are awkward to get to or extra heavy to move to help them.'

'I get satisfaction from also helping customers and making sales by assisting with purchases of furniture to be taken there and then. The positive feedback that comes from assisting like that has been really nice and good to take away at the end of the day.'

'Admittedly, I do become tired sometimes at the end of a day where a lot has happened but it is OK when the furniture centre is doing well!'

'Personally, It is very nice to come and spend afternoons doing some physical work and distract from personal life. The positive feedback I’ve received through the time I’ve been with St Wilfrid’s indicate I’m doing a good job. That makes me feel good and I enjoy that my work makes a difference to raising funds for the hospice. It does make the physical effort worthwhile. Hopefully, what I do can be a significant help to the overall fundraising efforts.' 

'Yes, I do feel I can work independently, whilst collaboration is very helpful, when I need to I can work on my own and create very nice designs and help people with whatever need assistance with. I think sometimes there is some surprise with how I manage and how I get to the finished article.'

'There are also some designs that have become big features in the workings of the furniture hub such as walkways that I've come up with to help us manage health and safety and the presentation of stock. It's pleasing that a design takes on such importance in terms of health & safety as well.'

'When I use the bus it is close to a 2 hour return journey to Brighton. It can be nice; a relaxing preparation to what needs to be done when I arrive and allows me to reflect for a longer period of time when I go back. I do like the trip all along the coast when I choose to take that route.'

'The commute generally from Hove can be quite reasonable whichever mode of public transport I sometimes choose to use. I usually use the train when I volunteer on weekdays and the bus from Brighton when I volunteer on Saturdays.'

'I'm always made to feel at home working at St. Wilfrid's and I am always grateful to the hospice retail team for giving me the opportunity to volunteer here and being so nice. I say a big thank you to all of them!'