Janet began volunteering for Red Cross in Hamilton, over a year ago. She learned about a role at the processing centre for the Red Cross Shops from support staff at Life Unlimited, a charity helping people to live independently.

Janet took the step to apply as a volunteer, and soon after was helping sort clothes for dispatch to Red Cross shops nationwide.

“I heard about the role through the staff at Life Unlimited,” Janet says. “I wanted the experience of volunteering. I wanted to get used to dealing with people.”

Slowly Janet started to grow in confidence and told her manager she had set herself a new challenge - to volunteer in a Red Cross Shop. David Richards, Red Cross Processing Centre Coordinator, saw how much Janet had grown already in her role and he wanted to make it happen.

A new challenge

“Janet had been coming to the processing centre for over a year. One day she asked me if she could volunteer in one of the retail shops. We discussed the possible options and I contacted her preferred shop. She’s been volunteering in the Hamilton East shop for several months now – and she really enjoys it.”

Janet attends Kirikirioa Marae in Hamilton, where she does hiphop dancing and gym activities, and has moved on to supervising some of the other young people who attend the Marae.

Janet says she is now “used to everyone around the place”. Janet’s colleagues, parents and her Life Unlimited support crew are all proud of the changes they’ve seen in her.

As Betty at Life Unlimited says, “Janet has been set on gaining independence and upskilling to gain paid employment in the future. Through the current connections she has made at Red Cross, she is one step closer, and is striving towards making this happen.”

Find out more about becoming a shop volunteer

Interested in volunteering at a Red Cross shop? Gain new skills and make new friends.