I met Megan when I volunteered for a small hedgehog rescue almost 12 years ago. I was pretty new to the UK, just move here from Sweden, and wanted to find a way to help the new community I was now part of.
I don’t think Megan knows how much of an inspiration she was for me with her Can-Do attitude and fantastic ideas. Be that her “Throw-in-the-towel” campaign to get towels or pop-up book shop at Fairhaven Water Gardens.
When the hedgehog rescue closed we lost contact till one day, there she was again! Like a whirlwind she arrived, helping here there and everywhere!
 
xxMaria
 
Here’s what Megan had to say 😊
I found Hallswood when researching a hedgehog charity locally for me to support. Delighted to meet up with Maria again as we had worked together before. I think this maybe my 4th year. I didn't have any thoughts on what I wanted to help with to start with. My role has evolved naturally into something very unexpected. I started by continuing to sell books at Fairhaven Water Gardens as I had links with them already. A few months later while helping at a jumble sale Maria asked if I could help with sorting out some jewellery. There were stacks of boxes of it in storage and it took a while to detangle and sort it. I think it has taken nearly 2 years to come up with a system that works across the 3 shops. My friend Lin and did lots of various events learning and adapting as we went. As Lin is very "crafty" we also then started minor repairs and repurposing some pieces. I have learnt a lot along the way from people like Cat Nash and the pawn broker next to 140. My next goal is to teach myself more about hallmarks. I love doing events and setting up the jewellery stall, and counting up the proceeds after. Maria put great trust in Lin and myself and basically left us to get on with it. Lin and I were astonished as the 'joolers' earnings ended up sufficient to buy the driveway for the sanctuary. There can be a huge sense of achievement from volunteering with Hallswood. There is being part of a great team but also scope for a bit of independence within it. There is no 'worst part' except maybe putting up a gazebo in the rain. There is a niche for everyone. Don't be in a hurry to make up your mind. Also there maybe a Hallswood role that hasn't been considered or invented yet, it's just waiting for you to come up with it? Favourite saying? “If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem”
 
For more information about volunteering with Hallswood, click here 🙂 https://hallswood.co.uk/volunteering/

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