1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
- Sorting and gift aiding donations - Culling, pricing and replenishing digital media - Serving customers, operating a till and assisting cash up at end of day
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have worked independently on tasks at Oxfam such as the culling of books. Working alone has taught me to trust my abilities more and has given me the confidence to complete tasks without supervision. A particular problem which I have come across in this task have been books without week numbers. Addressing this problem I have checked the books saleability and placed new week numbers in books so that the problem does not re-occur next time.
This experience has been important to me as it has given me the opportunity to help others without expecting anything and has helped me with my self-confidence. Worth noting too has also been my new enthusiasm for reading which will also help me with my studies later this year.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Volunteering has allowed me to meet new people in Newark, learn more about the organisation Oxfam and helped build on some transferrable skills that will benefit me in my career. My experience at Oxfam has encouraged me to share the benefits of volunteering with others and also to talk confidently in interviews about competencies which I am capable of demonstrating. So yes, I would say it is has been highly enjoyable and beneficial.
4. How valued do you feel by Oxfam?
Indirectly I have helped to improve the lives of those in need in developing countries across the globe. Directly I have helped customers find books and worked in a team with other Volunteers. I would say I feel valued in many respects both in the shop and in the more broader sense.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme was well organised. I received training and an itineray to work from and complete tasks from. In terms of support I was buddied up with one of the existing volunteers and allowed to pursue my own tasks indepently. I didn't do much delogating, however if I had continued to stay in this role for longer I would of jumped at this oppotunity. In regard in to team hierachy because of the older age ranges of volunteers there was some stangnent organisational issues but following new management this was being rectified at a steady pace.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Whilst there was a task sheet that I was given to work from, I felt very relaxed in my role and was able to complete tasks at my own pace which suited my needs. I enjoyed the process.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Technically speaking I wasn't employed, I was a volunteer so this question is difficult to answer. Please see the above response.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There were some affiliated events that I was invited too through a mailing list and local stalls within the market square. However I did not take these opportunities, but the availability and accessibility of them was there.
9. Would you recommend Oxfam to a friend?
I think most of all the charity made me feel comfortable and relaxed. Suffering with mental health problems was a huge challenge after taking time off from University and this charity allowed me to take things at my own pace.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Oxfam?
Do it !
Enjoy it! And stay away from the academic section. -or angry Margaret will be on your tail.