Habitat ReStore is supported by volunteers of all backgrounds and abilities. We asked Ballymena volunteer Rosemary to tell us about her ReStore experience.
Why did you sign up to volunteer in ReStore?
I just wanted to give something back to the local community. ReStore is different than other charity shops, it’s very fresh and new.
How long have you been a volunteer?
Since January, so around 5 months now.
What motivates you to keep coming back?
The friendly staff and volunteers. Isobel and Joe are brilliant, they all make my experience amazing, and that keeps me coming back.
What skills, qualities or experience do you bring to ReStore?
My background is environmental so I can really connect to that part of ReStore’s mission, to save materials from landfill.
What’s your favourite task?
I enjoy dealing with customers and hearing all of their stories. They all have a different reason for coming to ReStore, and it’s amazing.
What have you learned during your time in ReStore?
The till system! I’d never used a touch-screen till before, so that was a brand new experience for me!
What has surprised you about working in ReStore?
The generosity of the local people and businesses in the Ballymena area who donate all our stock to us! It’s amazing to see the wonderful new and used materials we get in store.
What’s been your highlight so far?
The warm and friendly atmosphere, everyone has been so welcoming towards me and it’s been great fun to be involved.
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in ReStore and why?
There was an Eastern-European family who came in, and we basically helped them to furnish their home, as they didn’t have the funds to buy everything new. It was so inspiring.
What’s the thing that inspires you most about Habitat’s work?
The great work they do here in Northern Ireland, helping people to purchase affordable furniture and DIY materials for their homes.