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Blog – A day in the life of a van driver

We love to celebrate our volunteers and staff at the Furniture Scheme – this month we would like to introduce you to a new employee, Charlotte!

Charlotte Bayliss started working for The Furniture Scheme at the end of November as a van driver.

She is committed to picking up donations for our workshop or warehouse and delivering purchased items of furniture to the lucky recipient.

Charlotte, who works part time and combines her job here with training to be a teaching assistant, is in fact the first female van driver that The Furniture Scheme has had.

So, get to know Charlotte…

My background: I passed my driving test at 17 and my dad has a removal and antiques business so I have worked for him and helped out where I can. When I saw this job it was perfect for me to do alongside my training and I love the ethos of The Furniture Scheme, I like to think I am making a difference.

What my job involves: Essentially, I drive around Ludlow picking up and dropping off furniture! I get to meet a lot of different people, see all sorts of items and sometimes it’s amazing to see what has been done to something, the volunteers in the workshop can work wonders. I love being out and about and love the driving.

Regular questions I get: “Are you sure you can lift that?” is one I get a lot. I may be just 20 years old, female and quite small, but I am stronger than I look. I can give the men a run for their money sometimes too.

A typical day for me: It always depends how many bookings we have and where I am off to as to how  the day goes, but let’s just say I haven’t had a quiet day yet!

8am – Arrive at the warehouse and load the van with the deliveries that have been arranged for that day, with the help of the volunteers there. They will have all the paperwork ready and I will see where abouts I am going and look through the best route.

9.30am – Set off on the first delivery of the day.

10am – The person I deliver to may need some help to move the furniture into place so I will always help as much as I can. Then on to the next.

1pm – By the afternoon I have usually completed deliveries so I stop for a quick break before I start to do collections. With an empty van, I am then able to pick up items people want to donate to The Furniture Scheme, but they are unable to bring them to the warehouse or workshop.

2:15pm – Collect all sorts of interesting items in a variety of states of repair from homes and sometimes businesses across Ludlow. Again, I have to think of the best route but, not only that, which items I am picking up and how they need to be put in the van – I want to make sure there is room for everything, sometimes it’s a little like a game of tetris!

4pm – Drop all the collected furniture off at the warehouse, where they will decide which items will be sold there and which will be moved to the workshop to be renovated (a job for the van driver tomorrow!). I sometimes do a tip run at the end of the day or sort he warehouse out a bit before I clock off.

Something I am proud of since starting at The Furniture Scheme: I am really proud of getting the hang of driving these vans quickly.

An interesting fact about me: I am an identical twin.

The Furniture Scheme was launched over 20 years ago as a way to ensure some of the most excluded members of the community could benefit from recycled household items – but the society has grown and now offers computer courses, carpentry workshops and volunteering in the garden, among other things.

Anyone who would like more information about The Furniture Scheme should call 01584 874922, email info@furniturescheme.co.uk or visit http://www.furniturescheme.co.uk.


January 10, 2019

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