Could you volunteer your time?

Time. It’s underrated, but as a commodity, it’s our most precious supply – and just like any commodity, it can make all the difference to those who need it most.

We loved our volunteering time at Mayfield Nurseries recently, organised by our charity partner, Solent Mind (you can read more about it here) but we also like to make sure we are supporting our local communities in every way we can.

This Bank Holiday Monday has been given as extra time off, in the hope it will be given to community projects that really matter. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a one-off, the hope is that people may enjoy volunteering enough that they want to do it more frequently.

So here’s three tips from us for any first-timers out there willing to give it a go!

1. Choose something you enjoy

Do you love animals? Are you a keen gardener? Like to run? There are jobs out there for everyone and a great place to start might be your local community notice board – we have them up in our Welcome Stores – or check out your local social media pages. 

You could also ask around your neighbours or put a post in a Facebook group or Nextdoor online notice board, to see if anyone can recommend someone who is looking for someone just like you!

2. Use it as a chance to upskill

If you’re feeling brave, why not try something new and learn something new? You might pick up a handy crafting skill, improve IT knowledge or customer service, which you can then add to your CV or use to improve your existing job skills.

3. Bring your friends – and find new ones!

Many volunteers have said they get a great sense of belonging from their volunteering projects and tend to make some great new friends. Not only is it a great way to broaden your social circle, you can find like-minded others who might be interested in pursuing other interests with you – even if that’s a coffee and a nice walk out in the countryside somewhere!

We hope you have a great Bank Holiday, whatever you choose to do! Don’t forget to send us your pics and tag us on our social media pages – and make sure you pop us a follow while you’re there!

Welcome digs deep for a great local charity

As part of our pledge to support local causes, Welcome stores has been working with Solent Mind for the last couple of years as our chosen charity.

On 27th September, a team of seven from Welcome’s management team headed out to Mayfield Nurseries. The nursery is a subsidiary of Solent Mind offering well-being services to people in the Solent region living with mental health problems, as well as those with learning disabilities to help them develop new gardening skills.

It was an absolutely fantastic day and we were kept busy filling a giant skip with rubbish, emptying and re-designing two offices, tidying a store room, building a massive compost heap and also fitting in some weeding! It was great to see what was achieved at the end of the day as we stood back and admired all our hard work.

But, we couldn’t have done it without the help of our team-mates at Lead Forensics – thanks so much guys! It was great to meet you.

We’d also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Mayfield Nurseries and Solent Mind for having us – we’d love to come back soon for a visit!

We hope you enjoy a few of our snaps from the day – you can find more on Instagram @coopwelcomestores and on Facebook @WelcomeStores – don’t forget to pop us a follow while you’re there to catch all our latest updates!