Duke of Edinburgh Award students learn life skills through retail volunteering.

Paula, along with colleague, Helen, manages our Willen Hospice shop in Woburn Sands. The shop is really popular with local students from all over Milton Keynes and the surrounding area, so she was the perfect person to have a chat with.

Paula told us why she loves working with Duke of Edinburgh students.  “Over the past year, Duke of Edinburgh students and students under 16 who wish to volunteer, have joined our team. For our younger volunteers this range of life experience offers them opportunities to enhance existing and learn new skills and ways of approaching tasks from many sources.”   

Paula really enjoys working as a mentor and watching the students grow in confidence. “We have three DofE students in Woburn Sands at the moment, who mainly volunteer on Saturdays.” “Our younger volunteers are eager to participate in all that we do in our shops.  The skills they have learnt at school are utilised as their confidence grows.”

Paula continues “Many show great aptitude for researching and pricing items for re-sale. Some are keen to serve customers – helping with donations and sales. The tasks they undertake are quite diverse in nature depending on the shop.  The skills they develop are then transferrable in which career path they choose to take.”  

 “Our students become part of our Willen family.  Many chose to continue with volunteering after their placement period is finished.  As individuals, we watch them blossom as their breadth of knowledge deepens.  They become an integral part of our team…. which is invaluable!”

Find out more about our volunteering opportunities here.