Jeanette's volunteering story

Jeanette, volunteer for Whiteley VillageMum-of-three, part-time office manager and volunteer for Whiteley Village

Tell us about your volunteering role

"I help out at Whiteley Village retirement community selling books, DVDs and CDs online to raise money for the charity. I love books, and it's also a very technology-based role, working with my iPhone and apps which I enjoy."

How often do you volunteer?

"When I first started I was doing about one or two hours every fortnight. I now volunteer for a day a fortnight, as I'm helping the charity set up a new volunteering team."

How do you fit volunteering around the rest of your life?

"The role is really flexible, so it's ideal. I work part-time for our family business, and when I first started volunteering was also planning my wedding, so needed something that could fit around these other commitments. I've also got three young sons so as soon as the summer holidays arrive I can't do any volunteering for six weeks, and Whiteley Village are fine with that. They also give me the option of doing the work from home on my laptop, which really helps."

What do you find most rewarding about being a volunteer?

"It's nice to get out and chat to people, and it's a good contrast from being at work – there's a lot less pressure. I also feel like I'm contributing to society and actually making a difference to the charity. When I was helping out a few weeks ago, we raised £50 in about 45 minutes. It's rewarding finding something that you love to do, while helping someone at the same time – you really get that warm, fuzzy feeling."

Do you have any advice for someone who's thinking of volunteering?

"Go in for a chat at your local volunteer centre. I'd never done any volunteering before this and it was really helpful to have a chat with an advisor at Elmbridge Volunteer Centre. They went through different opportunities with me and I've ended up doing something that's really well suited to my skills and the time I have available."

To find out more about Whiteley Village, visit their website.

To speak to someone about volunteering where you live, get in touch with your local Volunteer Centre.

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