A student with a desire to help others is excited to start volunteering after years of being told she is too young. Una Upeniece has begun helping at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) shop in St Johns Street, Bury St Edmunds.
The 17-year-old has been itching to begin her volunteering journey for five years but had previously been told she was too young.
Now she is finally underway and happy to be supporting EACH.
“I’m really enjoying it so far,” said Una, who was born in Latvia.
“I love charity shops and have been a customer here many times. I was walking past and saw a sign in the window appealing for more volunteers, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 13.
“In the past, I’ve always been told I’m too young to help so it feels good to be old enough now.”
Una, who hopes to go to university, is in the second and final year of her journalism course at Suffolk College. She is there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so volunteers on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“It’s such a great place and I love being around so many people, in a completely different environment to what I’m used to,” she said.
“Everyone’s been very friendly and it’s a real community. I enjoy chatting to the staff, my fellow volunteers and customers and I’m learning lots of new skills.
“I enjoy using the till and I’ve been taught how to list items on eBay. It’s been a great learning curve and very different to my studies and what I do in my weekend job as a waitress.”
To find out more about volunteering in Bury St Edmunds, pop into the shop, email manager Stephen Hughes via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01284 706631.