The Fair Grounds shop in Sheffield which ran from February 2014 – February 2015 was only able to function successfully because of all the wonderful volunteers who travelled from all across Sheffield to give their time and share their ideas and skills, to make the shop look attractive, engage with customers, promote the shop and make sure it was open! We are very grateful to everyone who helped out in whatever way and I managed to ask 3 of our youngest volunteers – Amy, Alex and Kaseya why they wanted to volunteer with Fair Grounds and what they had gained from it.

  

What year are you in at School?

Alex & Kaseya: We are in Year 11 and going into Year 12 next year to study Art, Psycology & Biology (Alex) and Biology, Chemistry, Maths & Psycology (Kaseya)

Amy: I am in Year 10 at school and I enjoy studying Art, Music and Science.

When did you start volunteering for Fair Grounds?

Alex & Kaseya: Nearly a year ago, we started in March 2014.

Amy: I have volunteered at Fair Grounds for just over a year, since Feb 2014.

(Amy helped even before the opening of the shop – sanding down the walls and painting them)

What made you decide to volunteer with Fair Grounds?

Alex & Kaseya: We walked past the shop on our way home from school and saw that it was new, it used to be an off-licence. It looked interesting!

Amy: I thought volunteering at Fair Grounds would be an excellent opportunity and a chance to learn new skills.

Why were you looking for a volunteering opportunity?

Alex & Kaseya: We needed to do some volunteering for our Duke of Edinburgh award, 1 hour a week for 6 months.

Amy: I was looking for volunteering opportunities in order to complete my D of E and have some work experience.

Why have you all continued to volunteer for Fair Grounds?

Alex & Kaseya: Because it’s fun! We like the products – the fairtrade food is tasty! We wanted to give something back.

Amy: I have continued to volunteer at Fair Grounds because it has a great atmosphere, there are lots of nice people and it has taught me new skills. 

What have you learned through volunteering at Fair Grounds?

Alex & Kaseya: How to work a till (that was fun!). How to price products using the labelling gun. Flower arranging (the recycled newspaper flowers from the Philippines!) and gift wrapping. We’ve learned that sales of the Kilombero rice from Malawi can pay for a child’s education, and also that the bags we give to customers when they buy something, are made from recycled newspaper in India by a street children’s charity.

Amy: While I have volunteered at Fair Grounds I have learned how to interact with customers, use the till, restock shelves, price products and function in a working environment. 

What have you enjoyed about volunteering with Fair Grounds?

Alex & Kaseya: Pricing things up, working on the till serving the customers, creating new window displays of the products in the shop, eating fairtrade biscuits and drinking fairtrade apple juice! Also going to the volunteer social events!

Amy: I have enjoyed working with other volunteers and knowing that by volunteering I am able to see good work being done in many places around the world. 

What would you say to other young people who might be thinking about volunteering?

Alex & Kaseya: It’s great work experience and has been very relaxed in the Fair Grounds shop!

Amy: I would say to take any chance you get because volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and work with great people and it is useful for the future.

 

On behalf of the Fair Grounds shop I’d like to say a huge thank you to Alex, Kaseya and Amy for all their hard work this year and for everything they contributed to the running of the shop, and wish them all the best in the future!

Author: Nina