Waste Not Want Not have been a registered charity in operation since 2002, they work to help people that are financially disadvantaged acquire, at affordable prices, the essential items for their homes. Secondly to provide work experience and volunteering opportunities to the local community and lastly having a positive environmental impact by providing a free collection service to those who wish to dispose of their unwanted but usable goods, avoiding landfill. We spoke to Phil about volunteering and how it keeps the charity going and the positive impact it has.

Did you always plan on using volunteers?

When I started I was the project manager and presented with an empty building which required a lot of work! I was forced into taking on volunteers as it made the most economical sense, this began with a local Princes Trust team cleaning up the building and painting it over 6 weeks. We now have around 7 volunteers alongside that and lottery funding over the years we are able to operate and provide a service to the community.
We also work with Building Bridges to offer placements, one young man named Kieran came to us, he was in his early 20’s had never worked and was very shy. Although he didn’t enjoy customer facing roles he was able to collect goods, arrange them in the shop and support the team. He settled in and found his feet and moved onto paid employment.

What advice would you give to other employers around taking on volunteers?

Give it a go! You should consider taking anyone on it doesn’t matter about their background or ability, everyone has something to give, you must remember to give everyone time to settle in at their own pace, everyone has their own skills to offer. It is very rewarding to support somebody.

Waste Not Want Not are part of our Be Involved initiative, supporting the local workforce. If you would like more information about Building Bridges visit Work Wiltshire.

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