The housing and homelessness charity

Shelter Scotland / England


Meet the volunteers

We get to know our volunteers before they even start, to help us work out with them what volunteering role might suit them best. Here's a brief insight into the journey of two of our volunteers, John Smith and Fiona Burnett.

John Smith, Prestwick Shelter Shop

John has been selected to attend the Royal Garden Party on 5th July on behalf of Shelter Scotland.

John is 17 years old and volunteers at the Prestwick Shelter Scotland shop for 4 days each week as well as attending school. John always makes the effort to create beautiful, eye catching window displays. John has combined his passion for art with his commitment to volunteering in Prestwick's shop. During Easter, he helped to paint handmade decorations for the shop window display which were the envy of all other charity shops within the Prestwick community. In addition, he helped to co-ordinate an Easter bonnet window competition for local children's nurseries. John's performance as a volunteer brings people together in making the shop a hive of community activity and a happy environment to volunteer in.

Fiona Burnett, Prestwick Shelter Shop

Fiona Burnett won the Guardian's Volunteer of the Year 2015, the UK Points of Light Award and has been nominated for Scotland's Volunteer of the Year and the Charity Retail Association's Volunteer of the Year award. Fiona has become an internet sensation with members of the public sharing her story on facebook over 22,000 times.

Fiona Burnett is one of Shelter's longest serving and most dedicated volunteers whose personality and performance as a volunteer has proved to be truly outstanding. Fiona has shown exceptional commitment to Shelter by volunteering in Shelter's Prestwick charity shop since 2002. Fiona volunteers at the shop for four days every week and has given over 10,800 hours of her time to help others through charity retail volunteering. Ever since Fiona started volunteering with her local Prestwick Shelter shop, she has combined her passion for volunteering with her hobby of knitting. Each and every week for the past 13 years, Fiona has knitted a blanket to sell in Shelter's charity shops to raise money to support Shelter to fight against bad housing and homelessness.

Fiona is so passionate about knitting blankets to fundraise for Shelter, that she continues knitting even after leaving the shop every day. In addition to creating beautiful blankets, Fiona is also responsible for co-ordinating the back room of the shop, steaming, tagging and sorting through hundreds of donated clothes and bric-a-brac, each day she volunteers.

Fiona has said "the blankets started as a bit of a one-off but when I saw they were selling so well and raising money for a good cause, I decided to knit one every week. It takes me about four days to knit them from start to finish, but the money raised helps people for much longer than that". Fiona's time-consuming dedication to Shelter has demonstrated her exceptional commitment to helping others.

Fancy volunteering?

John and Fiona are two of our many volunteers who have made a really valuable contribution to Shelter Scotland's work. Thank you to all our volunteers, past and present. If you'd like to volunteer or know someone who you think might enjoy volunteering with us, check our current volunteering opportunities:

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