A Wiltshire volunteer is hoping her own example will encourage others to lend their support to a worthy cause. Despite running a successful business, Carol Bartlett-Love often spends two mornings each week helping at the Barnardo’s shop in Pewsham, Chippenham. She has been supporting the charity since April and has already donated approximately 120 hours of her own time so far this year.
Now she is sharing her story in advance of national UK Charity Week which runs from December 5th-11th. Carol, from Calne, was a teaching assistant at a nursery school for more than ten years before setting up her own business ‘Up To You with a Cherry on Top’ which creates recycled gifts. The 52-year-old said: “My business is home-based which means it can sometimes be quite solitary, so I wanted to do something which would allow me to meet more people.
“My previous job involved working with children so I was keen to support a charity with a similar interest, and the Barnardo’s shop in Pewsham always looked like a friendly place. ”It was Carol’s first time as a volunteer and she had never worked behind a till before, but she soon settled in and now enjoys every aspect of the role She said: “I love it here. I’ve learned so much and I look forward to coming in every week. “I like talking to people and I like listening to people, and I particularly like getting to know some of the regular customers who always say ‘hello’. “The staff are fantastic and make you feel at home, and we always laugh together. “I’d definitely recommend volunteering to anyone with some spare time to help others.”
Barnardo’s Manager Sue Coles said: “We are so lucky to have Carol as a volunteer. She’s so bubbly and friendly “We all have a great time together but more support is always welcome.”
The Barnardo’s shop in Pewsham is open Monday-Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sundays from 10am-4pm, and welcomes donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, accessories and bric-a-brac.Call (01249) 445524.
Locally, Barnardo’s is responsible for Redland Nursery in Chippenham, a visitor centre and family support work at HMP Erlestoke, and a short breaks service and positive activities club for disabled children and young people across the county.