Saturday 5th January – Danette O’Hara, Shop Development Worker
A seasoned volunteer, I have tried my hand at various different roles and projects. My first experience was on a helpline, which I found very rewarding, but tough going after a while. I have also volunteered in admin-based roles, and gardening ones too, gaining something different from each. But my best experience to date has to be Backyard Food. Although I am more involved with this project, being paid for a small number of hours, I find myself giving many hours of volunteer time every month to ensure the success of the shop. I manage the ordering of stock, the social media and the volunteers, all of which give me a sense of purpose, and the motivation to make the project a bigger success.
The most rewarding aspect, however, has to be the appreciation I feel from the customers when volunteering in the shop; the ones who now rely on us for their weekly refill shopping, or simply those on their journey to zero waste. I feel we have helped so many people make more ethical choices, just because we can be a source of information about the different options they have. We enable people to choose less or even zero plastic and explain the differences between the products we stock and their high street equivalents.
This is such a great project to be working on; I am immensely proud to be a part of the only ethical and refill shop in Peterborough, providing a wide range of organic, Fairtrade and vegan options. Because of this we are the go to for many Peterborians, but it would be great if more people were aware of us, or used us more regularly, helping to support us and enabling us to grow, as well as making the general population more aware and conscious of their consumer options.