One of our volunteers is coming up to her one year anniversary of volunteering at All Souls, so she’s answered a few questions to tell us a bit herself
Vickie Wilkinson. Aged 32
Where do you live?
I live in Crompton, a few hundred yards away from All Souls! I live with my partner Ste and my staffie – Brudel. I also have 3 gerbils, one of them is called Shorty. The others don’t have names. I did have over 20 gerbils just before Christmas but they kept escaping and running round the house so I sold them just before Christmas.
Have you done voluntary work before All Souls?
Yes I worked at a charity shop in town but I didn’t like it.
How often do you volunteer at All Souls?
I go in Monday to Friday as often as I can around my other commitments.
How did you find out about All Souls?
I knew it was a church before it even opened, because I live nearby. I didn’t know it was called All Souls until I came in.
What made you come in for the first time?
I loved what’s been done to it, how it’s been done up. I found out about the craft class and I used to attend that, but I had to stop coming because my partner is ill and I look after him.
I ended up volunteering at All Souls through becoming good friends with Amy and good friends with Jackie. I just came in off my own bat. I bet they weren’t expecting me to stay this long! The job centre knows that I’m doing voluntary work here.
What kind of things do you do here?
Reception duties – which I love! And cleaning, including cleaning the toilets and restocking the toilet roll, emptying bins, the mopping and the sweeping. I do room set up – so if someone wants a room in a U shape, I’ll put 6 tables out and put them into a letter U, put nice clean tablecloths out, glasses, notepads, pens and sweets.
You said reception is your favourite, what tasks do you do on reception?
I answer the telephone, take messages (I’ve designed a message sheet). Welcoming the customers, asking them to sign in and showing them where their rooms are. It’s my favourite because I know I’m helping cover when people go for their dinner breaks. I like having contact with customers and I like to sit down and rest my little feet!
What have you learned so far that you didn’t know before you started volunteering?
I didn’t know anything about good phone manner – saying ‘good morning All Souls, how can I help?’ I didn’t know how to welcome customers, it took me a while to learn to do that. If anyone wanted the café… well I didn’t know where it was at first. It took me a while to learn where everything was. I recognise our tenants as well now.
What would you like to learn next?
I would like to learn how to do room bookings. Like if someone wants to do a room booking I would like to be able to ask what room they want and be able to put it in the calendar. I need a bit more practice at checking whether the room is available or not. I need to watch and learn.
What do you like about it?
I like getting out of the house, meeting new people and making new friends. And it’s just round the corner! I like being part of a team, I wish I could get a job here and work here all the time.