Your spare time could make a big difference to children’s lives

Barnardo's Newtownabbey shop assistant Angela Shaw (left) and shop volunteer Pauline Patterson launch the 'Don't Hibernate, Activate' campaign.
Barnardo's Newtownabbey shop assistant Angela Shaw (left) and shop volunteer Pauline Patterson launch the 'Don't Hibernate, Activate' campaign.
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‘Don’t Hibernate, Activate’ is the message from children’s charity Barnardo’s, which is seeking volunteers for its store at Throne Retail Park.

The charity is keen to attract newcomers to join the existing volunteers, from all walks of life in Newtownabbey, who give their time freely to help Barnardo’s “make a real difference” to children’s lives.

Pauline Patterson, who is volunteering through a ‘Back To Work’ scheme, says she loves it.

“I really like meeting different people. I enjoy the customers and working in the small team here. Everyone is so friendly.

“I’ve learnt lots of new skills including how to work the credit card machine, till experience, colour co-ordinating and helping do window displays.

“There are so many different aspects to the job. From day one, everyone made me feel welcome and helped explain everything. I would definitely recommend volunteering with Barnardo’s. It’s so rewarding. It gives you something to get up for in the mornings and has given me my independence.”

Newtownabbey store manager Carly Acheson added: “Volunteers like Pauline are essential to keep our shop going. Every penny raised through our store goes directly to support Barnardo’s NI work with local children, including counselling for children who have been bereaved, young people at risk of sexual exploitation and our ‘Newtownabbey Family Connections’ service based in four local schools.

“We are in need of more volunteers to join our small, friendly team in Newtownabbey and help keep the tills ringing. We are looking for people from all walks of life, of all ages and with different levels of time to give.”

For further information contact Carly Acheson by calling 028 9077 1772, drop in to the store at Throne Retail Centre, just off Whitewell Road, or visit www.barnardos.org.uk/volunteering

Barnardo’s other branches in Newtownabbey are located at Beverley Road, Carnmoney and Main Street, Ballyclare.

More information about Barnardo’s NI can be found online at www.barnardos.org.uk/northernireland, www.facebook.com/BarnardosNI or @BarnardosNI