We hear from our longest serving volunteer Iris Stewart who volunteers at CT Furniture Newcastle.  

When did you start volunteering at CT and what hours do you work?

I started in November 1994, so it’ll shortly be 27 years! Used to be fulltime but now its 3-days a week, I generally work 7.30am to 2pm.

How did you find out about volunteering with CT?

My husband Abie was doing his HGV training at CT and I’d just stopped work due to a hip replacement. I was feeling low at home as I was so used to working. So, he asked if I could volunteer. I came in on crutches and never left!

At site what do you do?

Well, I'm the general ‘dosgsbody!’ I answer the phones, sort the filing, arrange collections and pick-ups, input job and delivery sheets, make sure the Gift Aid is sorted and make all the COVID calls.

I also look after any repairs needed in the office and take any donated items that we can’t use down to the local charity shop, so they can have them.

Where did you work before?

I've worked since I was 12. I left school aged 14 on the Friday and started fulltime on the Monday, working with my mum at Thompsons Red Stamp grocery store where I stayed for over 12 years.

Over the years I've had loads of different jobs. I've worked in a café, in a sewing factory but my most interesting job was when I worked in a steel foundry making manhole covers. Today you can still see Smith Patterson’s covers in the pavements, as you walk around Newcastle.  

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because I want to, not because I have to. I love coming into work.

If you're interested in volunteering at CT Furniture, then visit our volunteering page to find out more or email: [email protected]. Alternatively you can ask in store.