Jan has been volunteering at our Chipping Sodbury Broad Street shop for about seven years now, longer than some of the fixtures and fittings! She works two mornings a week and one afternoon on alternate weeks, so she really knows what she's talking about.
Before volunteering Jan was retired and sadly lost her husband to cancer. After this she wanted to find a way of giving back, as she'd been helped so much during this time. So, she chose one of our shops to start her volunteering in, as she lives locally.
"It's just so rewarding working here and talking to customers. There's a real community feel with the staff, other volunteers and our regular customers, so you really get to know people. If I ever feel down, as soon as I’m here they lift my spirits straight away.
"I've found that talking to other people about my husband's death has really helped me deal with it. And as I've opened up, customers have opened up and we connect over our similar situation. Knowing I may have helped them in a small way has given me a new lease of life and a sense of purpose.
"I was a bit apprehensive about coming back to work when the shop re-opened. But, as soon as I walked in and saw all the protective equipment that had been put in place, I couldn't have asked for more. I felt really safe immediately – I think the staff did a great job.
"Making such good friends with people in the team here has been brilliant, in particular another volunteer Pat, who I now volunteer with on a Saturday afternoon. We keep everything in order on those afternoons!"Back to News