Customer services assistant Helen organises stalls at events.
We chat with Helen, a long-standing volunteer
How did you start volunteering?
My family used to do a truck pull every year with friends. Fifty of us walked from Withington to the Parrswood complex collecting with buckets all along the way. I even spent my 30th birthday on the truck pull!
How do you fundraise?
When there are events that Francis House need me to help at I go along and sell raffle tickets. I also sell Christmas cards and organise a Francis House stall at the annual Didsbury Festival. I co-ordinate other volunteers to run the stall, and I source the prizes for the tombola, raffle and vouchers from local businesses for the goody bags.
Are there people that help you?
My family all help me, my mum Mary, dad Ralph and my nanna Nancy, sister Wendy and my son Thomas has even sold knitted chicks for the Easter appeal.
What kind of person does it take to volunteer?
You need to be determined and you’ve got to enjoy it. This is my hobby. I don’t really have that many hobbies other than coin collecting and volunteering for charities.
What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering?
It’s a selfless thing to do. It is also satisfying to know that I’ve got all of these people together and that they have all come to help me to raise money so we can help others. Volunteering helps takes your mind of other things and you do feel about good doing it!
It is hard work to organise an event and to get everything together. But you’ve just got to take every day as it comes, and don’t try and do everything at once.