Julia and I volunteer at Oxfam Royal Exchange Square Bookshop.
What are your main responsibilities?
So I do a fair few things as a volunteer at Oxfam.
I sort through book donations that we get
and make sure that all the shelves are stocked with those books.
I also work at the Till and I help customers with any questions
they might have.
And lastly, I'm also in charge of closing up the shop.
That includes things like counting up the day's earnings and logging them.
and just locking the shop and making sure everything's okay.
Why did you choose to volunteer?
I chose to volunteer because I wanted to feel like
I was having a positive impact on the local community I’m part of
and also I just wanted to have a bit of a change
from the typical routine of just being at my laptop and studying.
What have you enjoyed most during your time as a volunteer?
I've enjoyed a lot of different aspects of my time volunteering,
I think something that really stands out is the people I've had the chance to meet.
So when I volunteer, I collaborate with lots of other volunteers
of different ages and different nationalities.
And while we volunteer together,
we get to share each other's stories and just really interesting to hear
what made people volunteer and just get to know
How much of an impact do you feel your volunteering has made?
I think my volunteering has made a significant impact.
It's really crazy to see how dedicating
just a few hours a week
to volunteering a position
can really help
collect funds for some very important causes.
So I feel like even though it's been such a small commitment, it's really
made such a big positive impact, at least
for me personally.
What skills have you developed as a volunteer?
So I think I've developed a fair number of skills.
It's really hard to pinpoint the exact skills, but I've definitely seen
some really positive changes.
So, for example, I feel like since volunteering,
I've really developed my confidence
so volunteering specifically,
in a bookshop involves
speaking to lots of customers, answering their questions.
And I think through dealing
with lots of different customers, I've just really become way more confident.
I've also really developed my communications skills
for the same reason, and also because I've had to speak
to other volunteers and make sure we're all on the same page.
Also, I've trained other volunteers to do things
like use the till, so that kind of shows you
how you can communicate efficiently.
And also another thing is through having
this volunteering experience,
I have become more responsible, I think,
because I've been in charge of things like closing the shop.
So that's quite a big thing to make sure that every door is locked
and that no one can get in at night.
I think it really shows maturity and responsibility.
What would you say to a student who is thinking of volunteering?
I definitely recommend volunteering to anyone who's considering it.
I think it's a wonderful experience.
Personally, I'd really recommend it to people who come from abroad.
I think it's a great opportunity for international students.
Honestly, I just think you can really get to know the local community
and you can meet people from the place you're now living at.
So yeah, I'd say it's definitely a really, really good experience
for anyone who's not from Glasgow.
If you could sum up your volunteering experience in one word, what would it be?
I'd say it's been refreshing.
It's been such a breath of fresh air to be able to go from
just studying at my desk during COVID to now doing something
a bit more hands on that I feel like has a positive impact.