Appeal for more Friends of Charis

Friends of Charis Shop Manager Martin Bradley (centre) with volunteers Sam Johnston (left) from Cookstown and Christine Henry (right).

Friends of Charis are calling for new volunteers to join their local team.

Friends of Charis Shop Manager Martin Bradley said: “We are keen to break down some of the existing barriers to volunteering and give everyone a chance to transform their own lives and those of others. Volunteering can be a lot of fun and it’s a good way of making new friends, gaining new experiences and supporting a local charity.

“There are a number of ways you can share your time and skills to support the work of the Friends of Charis Shop. From simply volunteering for two hours a week, right up to two days a week, we have a flexible structure that accommodates everyone. The simple fact is that we wouldn’t exist without our volunteers and I would personally like to pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteers who have given up their time to help.

“Having worked at the shop for seven years, and more recently in a management role, I’ve been fortunate to meet great people. Their hard work is critical to the work of the team at Charis Cancer Care. Some of our volunteers work in the charity shop which is located in the heart of Magherafelt, others work in their local community, supporting events and activities.

“I’d encourage anyone who may be interested in supporting our events, or working in our shop, to get in touch. Simply call in for a chat. From working behind the scenes sorting the many generous donations, to helping us on the shop floor, there is a multitude of ways in which you can get involved. We do need new volunteers to help our fundraising team in particular those working within our Friends of Charis Shop and there are roles for men, women and young people.”

Cookstown man and father of three Sam Johnston decided to leave his work in South Africa and return home. He has been a volunteer for over three years.

Sam said: “I was interested in working with a cancer charity as a number of family members including my father had passed away as a result of cancer when I was young. Charis Cancer Care is a charity which supports people affected by cancer at every stage of their journey including their families and supporters of those living with cancer or any family member bereaved by cancer. Through volunteering with Charis not only did I have the opportunity to meet new people, I became part of a team. This was important to me as the role allows me to build my confidence and appreciate my self-worth. I also found myself learning new skills, as I was enrolled on a PAT Testing Course for electricians. Friends of Charis is one of the few charity shops that is permitted to sell electrical items. I started volunteering a few hours a week and I now find myself here two to three days a week. When I wake up and I know it’s my day to volunteer, I feel genuinely happy and look forward to what that day will bring.”

Should you wish to become a volunteer contact Director of Fundraising Veronica Morris on T: 028 8676 9217 M. 07738 492541 or E. fundraiser@chariscancercare.org.

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