I was visiting Ludlow one day last summer and happened upon Renaissance, and enchanted by the name I was drawn in. Lovely old furniture and a friendly assistant. I picked up the Newsletter and read about courses offered and volunteers needed. Richard said to ring Chris Christie, which I did and within a week, I had not only received a call but was enrolled on a free woodwork course, and had a volunteer session sorted out.
What I do is customer service in the furniture shop and flea market on alternative weeks. I am newly retired and this has given me a focus for my week and the opportunity to meet interesting people…..customers love to talk and so do I.
It is endlessly fascinating hearing about collectors’ interests when I am in the flea market. The book store attracts a lot of people and it is similarly fascinating to see who has bought a book and why. It certainly appears to be a truism that no matter how obscure the book appears to me there is someone who is delighted to have found it.
Just last week Chris Christie the volunteer co-ordinator, went through a formal check-in with me, was I happy, was I getting enough out of my volunteering, was there anything else I wanted to do. I was touched and impressed by this.
To date I have achieved an ONC, been on a woodwork course with an excellent tutor – both in manner and knowledge, helped in the Workshop in addition to my sessions in the shop.
Graham in the workshop motivates a diverse crew with infinite patience, kindness, enthusiasm, humour, and generously gives of his extensive knowledge. I learnt so much.
Chris Christie is in regular contact with all the volunteers and knows our individual needs and challenges and is so discreet, approachable and caring.
There is a culture of supportiveness amongst the staff, volunteers, managers that I have not encountered before.
This organisation is volunteer and community orientated. We matter, our growth and wellbeing is the focus of Renaissance and it feels lovely to be part of it.