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This Volunteers Week we're shining a light on some of our incredible volunteers.

Emine's Story

When Emine began volunteering in July 2023 she’d be the first to admit that she wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. However she was determined to volunteer her time for a good cause and to help improve her English. Originally from Turkey, Emine explained that charity shops aren’t common back home and the culture is quite different.

Emine said: “In Turkey it is more usual for communities to come together and share clothing and items with neighbours or friends. Charity shops don’t really exist where I am from. It was important to me, and is part of my religion, to want to do good in this world and to help others. I signed up to become a shop volunteer and I really enjoy it. I love charity shops.”

Each week Emine helps out at our Meadowfield Furniture & Homeware Store to sort, steam, hang, size and ticket donated clothes. These items are then distributed for sale in our nine charity shops across the County.

She added: “To me volunteering is about giving time to a good cause, specifically to help an organisation and your community, or an individual you are not related to. I can’t directly help the people that the Hospice care for but I can by helping to raise funds in the shop. Helping others is important as well as doing something that helps to reduce waste – that’s important too.”

“I see volunteering as a hobby. It’s stress-free and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. The biggest reason why I started volunteering at Meadowfield was that the employees there were smiling and sincere, and they tried to help as much as they can. I have made friends since being here and it has helped to improve my English.”

“I am completing an English course with Durham Learn and was required to do a talk in the class for 5-10 minutes on the topic of charity. I chose to talk about volunteering. I was so relaxed talking about this topic and the teacher was very happy with what I had to say. My friends in the class were interested in volunteering after hearing me talk. I’d encourage anyone to give it a try – I’m sure you’d love it too.”

Volunteers needed

Could you join our friendly team of volunteers?

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator on 0191 374 6169 or email

Alternatively, you can register your interest here and a member of our team will be in touch.

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