Struggling with depression and family health issues, Christchurch mum Ann Coutts decided to volunteer at her local Red Cross Shop.

Ann had previously worked at a fruit and vegetable market, but was looking for a change. The Red Cross Shop provided an opportunity to meet new people and try something new.

Two years later, Ann can still be found in the store, helping customers and sharing a laugh with her fellow volunteers.

“I have got more confident along the way and I’ve learnt a lot,” she says. “The staff at Red Cross are very lovely to work with. Being part of the Red Cross team, we’re kind of a family.”

As a volunteer, Ann was able to complete her level two retail certificate through Red Cross. The qualification is an added bonus for her CV, but that’s not what keeps her coming back each week.

“I’ve done my certificate – I could have just got that and left, but I actually love the work. I look forward to coming in and volunteering. There’s never a dull moment.”

Ann’s volunteering has also led to a paid work, driving the Red Cross Shop delivery van a few hours every week.

If you’re interested in volunteering and gaining new skills, find out more about our shops or sign up to volunteer.