The Romsey Mill Charity Shop has a brilliant team of lovely volunteers, who receive as much they give when helping out at the shop. 

Carrie [not her real name] wanted to describe, in her own words, her reasons for volunteering with Romsey Mill Charity Shop. 

She says:

I am 52 and feel like I have had a very tough life.  I have a teenage son who struggles with social isolation and many other things.  I feel like I have had to deal with many battles through my life and I have survived well but also have some scars to deal with. 

I first found Romsey Mill when one of my sons attended a group for young people.  I remember a youth worker doing cooking with him and he really loved it.  

I used to help at another charity shop but felt that I couldn’t really do much and I never felt part of any of it.  When that shop closed, Liz the Romsey Mill Charity Shop manager, who had got to know me through my other volunteering, approached me to try some sessions at Romsey Mill Charity Shop. 

I was amazed that this shop was so upbeat and friendly.  Starting with very little confidence in what I could do I got set tasks by Liz who seems really good at finding out what people’s strengths are and matching them to jobs in the shop.  Not enough people do that. 

The reason I come here is that it gives me a purpose to get up each day and get outside of my house.  There is nothing heavy here.  I love being sociable and this shop improves my mental health no end. Unlike my other volunteering experience, there is nothing heavy here. 

When any of us are having a bad day Liz supports us all, so we all work hard at making this place a friendly place.   

The customers say to me that this is the very best charity shop! This makes me so proud to be part of it.  I don’t even stay away on my days off…’ll need to get an injunction out on me to get rid of me! 


Liz Diamond, the Charity Shop Development Manager says:

What ‘Carrie’ hasn’t said is that she has shown real transformation over her time of working with us.  She began very quietly and totally uncertain of her own abilities but actually melded well into our lively, caring team.

She brings a happy spark and a great sense of humour to the shop and has risen to the challenges presented to her. 

Seeing the potential she hadn’t had a chance to show in her previous role, Carrie was given a series of tasks to develop her listening skills and help us to discover what she is motivated by.  She is a great tidier and organiser but so much more than that. 

Carrie now organises and prices all of our books, prices and arranges our shoes well and understands all aspects of the shop, but she’s so much more than what she does to help. 

We have seen her go from stressed, anxious and low in confidence to someone who looks after her team members, cheers everyone up and who looks out for the customers."