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Howard is meeting new people thanks to volunteer work

“Give it a try and have a go – it’s very rewarding.”

That’s the view of one of our customers who's has taken up volunteering with his local foodbank during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Howard Turner, 59, had been working with our Employment and Skills Advisor Rob Friday to build his confidence and help him find work.

The first step saw Howard volunteering at the Newman Brothers coffin makers museum in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

But, when lockdown struck, that came to an end.

Instead, Howard and Rob looked for other opportunities and Howard now volunteers three times a week at FareShare and his local foodbank.

“As much as anything, it’s got me meeting other people during the lockdown,” Howard said.

It’s nice to know that I’ve been helping people out while all this has been happening, so I feel good about that.

“Rather than being sat in my flat climbing the walls, I’ve been out helping. It’s very rewarding.

“I managed to get into the local museum in the Jewellery Quarter and I did that for about a year before all this happened. I was serving on the till and selling tickets. I was doing well there and enjoyed it.

“Then Rob helped me get into FareShare and the foodbank.

“At FareShare, we load vans up with food donations and sort all the food out. At the foodbank, we pack all the bags up with the tins of food.

It’s been great.”

Howard first came into contact with Rob when he wanted to look for work. As well as helping him find volunteering opportunities, Rob has helped Howard with basic ICT and mobile phone skills.

“Without Rob’s help and advice, I wouldn’t have got to where I’m at now,” Howard added.

“I’m so grateful for the help.

I’d recommend volunteering to anyone. Give it a try and have a go - it’s very rewarding.

“It can be good fun too.”

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