What attracted you to the role?
I joined as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award and have carried on volunteering ever since. The son of my dad’s partner was born with a heart condition and survived it so I know first-hand how BHF research can save lives.
How often do you volunteer each week?
I started off just coming in on Saturday afternoons, helping out on the shop floor. Now I also come in several weekdays after school to help with the banking and figures when the shop closes.
What happens in a typical volunteering shift?
I would say that most days I am on the till. I feel I am well suited to this as I like talking to people and work well under pressure – and I love the satisfaction of doing the figures at the end of a good trading day. When I’m not on the till, I help with refilling and tidying the displays (clothes, books, handbags, shoes and the window displays are the most common).
What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?
It’s all about the people. Not only am I part of a fantastic team but I really enjoy getting to know our customers.
What’s your most memorable moment as a volunteer?
I ran a fundraiser at my school, selling badges and pin badges and running a non-uniform day. It was such a success that it took two hours to count out the entire till and work out how to split the banking due to the sheer amount of change. We still laugh about it today.
What would you say you have gained from volunteering?
Meeting and working with such a mix of people has been great for my communication skills. I also believe my volunteering experience is going to help my university application stand out. I’m interested in pursuing a career in medicine and possibly cardiology.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m a big science fiction fan – sometimes I spot some great books and films that come into the shop and we even had a Star Trek display last year.
If you're feeling inspired by Andre's story, you can visit or call your nearest shop to find out more about the opportunities available.
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