Andrea Mitchell - Furniture and Electrical Store volunteer

Andrea, volunteeer in Lewisham Andrea works in our furniture and electrical store in Lewisham.

She explains why she volunteers for the BHF.

Andrea, BHF volunteer in furniture and electrical store I have been a volunteer for the BHF since a week after the store first opened.

When I started volunteering my children had just reached the age that they were in full time education. Looking for paid work was getting me down and staying at home watching television is not what I wanted to do, as I feel it is important to work and set that example to my children.

Andrea Mitchell – Furniture and Electrical Store volunteerWhen joining the British Heart Foundation I felt very scared as the last time I worked was 2001, so I was out of practice. But when I started work I felt like I had been there for a long time, and fitted in. Everyone was inviting and made me feel welcome. Meeting new people every day is great fun too. I have been taking bookings, serving customers, filing and answering the phone. It really gave me a sense of self worth.

I have learnt so many new skills I can use later on in life when I get a paid job. It has also given me confidence that I can do things I didn't think I could. I also feel that I am giving back to the community, raising money for everyday people like myself. You never know what life may throw at you or when you’ll need help from the BHF so it’s great to be involved in that.

I would recommend anyone who has free time come join us and volunteer, anyone can learn a new skill. I was lucky to find a shop at the end of my road which was fantastic.

With the skills I have learnt when I do get a paid job it will all count in the long term.