Volunteers Week is an annual event which takes place this year 1st to 7th June. It celebrates the contribution made by volunteers across the UK and is a perfect opportunity for me to thank the PANTASTIC Smalls volunteers.
It’s quite simple, Smalls is able to do what it is doing thanks to them. They all play a crucial role in making sure things run smoothly at Smalls. Key to this are the folks that turn up at our warehouse to open, sort, count and bag the underwear ready for the journey to Africa.
Jaci is one of the volunteers who gives up 4 hours of her time every Tuesday. I’ll let her tell you how this came about.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born Ayr (near Rabbies house!) and now live in Edinburgh with my son and my moggie. I was a Sick Childrens Nurse for 6yrs then a Nurse for People with Learning Disabilities & retired from the NHS in 2016 after 38yrs. I love gardening, reading & baking but my main love is music & singing. I’m involved with singing groups for people with long term Respiratory issues called “The Cheyne Gang” & I am a member of “Sing in the Citys Aw Blacks” which led me to Smalls for All. Oh and I can’t count for love nor money!!
How did you first become involved with Smalls and what made you want to volunteer with them?
I first heard of Smalls for All when it popped up on my Facebook page last year. It struck a chord as I had volunteered in KYGN school in Tanzania in 2014 & we took underwear with us so I understood what Maria & Smalls was doing. As Sing in the City choirs, which then had over 400 members, are predominantly made up of women, I approached Kirsty Baird, our Musical Director, to set up collections. A week later I visited the choirs and collected 16 bin bags of donations!! When I dropped the bags off at Baird Rd, asked if I could stay and help sort out our donations and I’ve never left!!!!! 😄
What do you do for Smalls?
So far I have been opening parcels, sizing bras and helping load vans (& avoiding counting pants!!)
What do you enjoy about volunteering with Smalls?
I felt like I had been coming to Smalls for years & so quickly which is completely due to Maria and her merry band who are so welcoming, helpful and great fun. The work done by the charity is on a phenomenal scale and it is good to get to meet the people taking the underwear directly to Africa.
What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering with Smalls?
I can, and do, recommend Smalls as a fantastic charity to volunteer for. The concept of reducing vulnerability and safeguarding women and children while reusing bras destined for landfill is genius and having been in Africa, I saw the need and know what a positive impact is being made.