Harriet McFarlane

The Waitrose Partner Volunteer Scheme.

 

I have worked Part time for Waitrose for almost three years in the home department, and it was after finishing sixth form I was keen to look for additional hours, before going to University. After having a chat with the Personnel department I discovered the Partner Volunteer Scheme, I was keen to know more.  

 

The scheme is designed to not only give partners an opportunity to work more hours, which is what I was orginally looking for, but also to make a contribution to the community in which we live. The scheme was something I felt, in the very least, was worth exploring. Together with the support of Waitrose I visited Headway East Northants ("HEN").

 

The charity needed help with fundraising and at the time, with only one part time fundraiser, there were lots of different possibilities to get involved. I liked the fact that it was a small charity with a small dedicated team of staff and so began my role at HEN, managing the HEN team of London Marathon runners.

 

The staff and clients at HEN were so welcoming that I found myself working not only the hours I was being paid by Waitrose, but as many extra hours as I could do possible. I thoroughly enjoyed what I was doing; I found myself at supermarket bag packs and Christmas light switch on's.

 

And then in February 2013, a vacancy was advertised at the Charity. It was for an Activity Worker, an opportunity to work directly with the clients and get involved in the services side of HEN. To cut a long story short, I began to work four days a week with HEN. With my role split I was lucky enough to be able to continue being part of the fundraising team, and work directly with the clients. Its so nice to actually see what a difference the money we raise makes.

 

As planned, I have just started studying for my degree in BA Marketing at University. I have only been a part of HEN for just over a year now, but I can not begin to list how much I have gained from the experience and how helpful it is within my studying now. My aim is to bring experience from my new learnings back to HEN, and help them as much as they have helped me.

 

From starting at HEN as a volunteer to becoming a member of staff, I can say that HEN really do value the support of its volunteers, staff and clients. We are all one team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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