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My volunteering experience at Mustard Tree

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by Michael Macfarlane | 13 August 2018

On Friday 10 August 2018 I had the pleasure of volunteering at Mustard Tree with three colleagues from our Manchester office as part of our CSR Committees’ plan to get everyone in the business to offer some time to support a charity of their choice. Each team member at Sellick Partnership is allocated a half day paid annual leave to support a charity as part of our ongoing commitment to the communities in which we work. Sellick Partnership as a business is committed to helping a number of causes across the UK – Mustard Tree being one. Mustard Tree is a homelessness charity based in central Manchester that supports homeless people and those close to poverty.

When we arrived at Mustard Tree we were all assigned a section. I was asked to help out in the clothing store where Mustard Tree guests could choose from a selection of clothing that had kindly been donated. My colleagues were split between the food and tea stations, helping to hand out the freshly cooked meals. The whole evening lasted about three and a half hours, but it felt much shorter. Being in the clothing area was great as I had a bit more time to chat to the guests as they were looking and trying items on. What really struck me was how happy everyone was to be there, volunteers and guests alike. It was such a great and bustling atmosphere and everyone was getting along as if they’d known each other years, which was lovely to see.

The whole experience really got me thinking about how people can use volunteering to help themselves, both personally and professionally. From my experience I honestly think volunteering could really benefit professionals like myself. Not only does it push you to do things that may be outside of your comfort zone, but you could learn new skills depending on what it is you do. For example, one of the ladies we met had a strong interest in cooking, and volunteering at Mustard Tree allowed her to be creative and work with experienced chefs to learn new skills in this area. Personally, I learned that the experiences I have had in life are more interesting and valuable than I realised, and talking about them with some of the guests seemed to really help them get ideas for their own lives. Each of the guests I spoke to had dreams and ambitions, and if each of us were able to offer a little bit of time and kindness we could all help them achieve what it is they want to achieve.

The whole evening was a truly rewarding experience and I really feel like I gained a lot personally from it. Volunteering at Mustard Tree made me appreciate everything that I have in life and made me think about what it is that really matters. I think people across the UK could learn from the people I spoke to. Too many of us take things for granted – I know I do – but this experience has really made me think about what actually matters, and I thank Mustard Tree for that.

For more information on our current CSR initiatives or the charities that we support please visit the Charitable Giving page of our website using the link below. Alternatively you can contact our CSR Committee directly by emailing csrcommittee@sellickpartnership.co.uk.

www.sellickpartnership.co.uk/charitable-giving