Home > Get involved > Volunteer > Jaci’s story

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Ayr (near Rabbie’s house!) and now live in Edinburgh with my son and my moggie. I was a sick children’s nurse for 6 years, then a nurse for people with learning disabilities. I retired from the NHS in 2016 after 38 years. I love gardening, reading and baking, but my main love is music and singing. I’m involved with singing groups for people with long-term respiratory issues – called The Cheyne Gang – and I’m 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 us?

I first heard of Smalls when it popped up on my Facebook page. It struck a chord as I had volunteered in KYGN school in Tanzania in 2014 and we took underwear with us, so I understood what Maria and Smalls were 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 Road, 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’ve been opening parcels, sizing bras and helping load vans (and avoiding counting pants!).

What do you enjoy about volunteering with Smalls?

I felt like I’d been coming to Smalls for years, and 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’s 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.