A day in the life of a volunteer appliance tester

Photo of a volunteer

Geoff Pullin has volunteered as an appliance tester at one of our Cardiff furniture and electrical stores for just over one year. He’s been picking up lots of new skills and has even been interviewed on live radio.

What attracted you to the role?

I had worked with electronics before I came to the BHF.  It was a good, friendly environment for me to learn more skills.  I can also help other volunteers to learn from my own experience.

How often do you volunteer each week?

I volunteer for 6 days each week.

What happens in a typical volunteering shift?

My main role is to function test the appliances. This could be anything from kettles and toasters to TVs and entertainment systems. I have recently had the opportunity to try some different roles in the store and I am currently being trained on the till.

What does your role involve?

When we get electrical items donated, the function tester does some basic checks, looking for signs of damage, wear or missing parts. Once these items pass this stage then they go to be fully tested by the Portable Appliance Tester. Once the items have passed these checks then they can go on the shop floor for sale.  Part of my job is making sure that the displays are clean and full so I will replenish the electrical displays with checked items from the stock room.

What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?

I’m a gadget fan so I enjoy working with the electrical items the most. I am also enjoying learning how to operate the till.  I was nervous at first but my manager stayed with me until she knew I was okay. I have also worked on pricing items and checking the point of sale. The more things I do the better it is for me – I’m gaining new skills and experience.

What’s your most memorable moment as a volunteer?

Last year I was invited to do an interview on live radio (Radio Cardiff) to talk about volunteering!

What would you say you have gained from volunteering?

As I’ve gained new skills I find I’m pushing myself to learn more. It’s been a great way to meet new people and I really enjoy interacting with our customers.

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