Cheryl’s volunteer story

Cheryl Thompson volunteers her time helping out the busy fundraising team.

Woman wearing a black cardigan holding a knitted bunny and opening parcels of knitted items in an office

Cheryl opening parcels of knitted chicks and bunnies for the Easter appeal

Cheryl Thompson worked for 32 years as an account manager for a firm of large format printers until her retirement.  She’s happy take on any task as and when she’s needed.

Why did you start volunteering?

The job I did was really fast-moving and high pressured. It was always my aim when I finished work that I would do some volunteering because I didn’t want to just sit around and do nothing. I knew of the charity and used to go to a dance school on Didsbury Road and they always supported Francis House. I met with Julie in the fundraising office and thought this might suit me.

What have you been doing?

I’ve helped out at bucket collections at the Morrisons stores which I go to with Francis Mouse the mascot, although I’ll never wear the costume myself! In the run up to Christmas I worked in the Festival of Trees pop-up shop at Quayside MediaCityUK.  It was really nice to talk to people and tell them about the event. When we packed everything away at the end and I did the stocktake I was in my element!   More recently I have been helping out in the fundraising office with the Easter Chick Appeal.

What do you get out of it?

It’s given me motivation. Knowing that I’ve got something to get up for and it’s a purpose to do something worthwhile. It’s also quite rewarding as people can be so generous.

What does it take to volunteer?

It helps if you are friendly with the people that you’re obviously going to meet. You’ve got to be able to interact with people and it’s interesting when they stop and have a chat. That’s part of why you’re there and making them feel welcome.

What would you say to any budding volunteers?

Do it! Because you won’t know how much you’ll get out of it. Be willing to try different things and if it’s not for you, then it’s not for you, but until you try something you don’t know.