As part of his Event and Festivals Management course at Bucks New University, Ross Brace gave 100 hours voluntary service to Rennie Grove’s community fundraising team. “I’m really surprised at the different types of events and activities that I’ve been involved in,” said Ross. “So far I’ve done a street collection and have helped out at a celebrity sports dinner, a quiz night and at a village fair. None of these are things that I would do in my everyday life and I’ve really enjoyed myself. I also helped the team to organise and promote future events and would recommend volunteering with Rennie Grove,” he added.
Fiona and Ella
Students Fiona and Ella both completed a week’s work experience in a Rennie Grove shop. Ella said: “I chose to work in a shop as it sounded more interesting than an office.The skills I’ve learned will help me when I apply for jobs in the future.”
And Fiona said “It’s great to be able to help raise funds for the local community and I’ve enjoyed interacting with customers.”
But it’s not only voluntary work with Rennie Grove that can help young people develop skills that could help them secure a job within their chosen career sector.
Experience gained at Rennie Grove Hospice Care has enabled Megan Callan to bag her dream job at River Island – one of the most successful fashion companies on the High Street.
Megan said: “I joined Rennie Grove as a Relief Shop Manager around 2½ years ago. The role really suited me because its purpose is to provide cover for permanent managers when they are away. Cover is most often required during the school holidays which was perfect for me because I was a student at the time and therefore available myself.
“Ideally you need some retail experience before you take on this role but it’s not absolutely necessary as you can learn on the job. Rennie Grove certainly gave me the chance without it although I had some previous experience working in customer facing roles.
“The most important thing I gained from my time with Rennie Grove was self-confidence, the ability to take the initiative and make my own decisions. These are qualities that you need as a relief shop manager as you have to go and manage shops that you have never visited before for a day, a week or sometimes even longer. You also gain good organisational and people skills as you work alongside volunteers who all have different working patterns and of course you are meeting new customers every day.
“In addition to learning all about the day to day running of the shops I also learned about the business side of things thanks to Deborah Gould (Director of Retail and Trading at Rennie Grove) who arranged for me to spend time with the merchandising team.
“Whilst working in the shops I met volunteers and customers who had family members that had been cared for by Rennie Grove’s specialist nurses and I heard so many amazing stories about the positive difference they make for patients who are at the end of their lives. It made me feel proud that I was contributing to this even in a small way.
“For anyone looking to start a career in retail I would urge them to consider joining Rennie Grove as a volunteer or member of staff in one of its 26 shops. I felt that the charity wanted to help me develop and learn even though that meant eventually I would move on to a new job outside the charity.
“The experience I gained from working at Rennie Grove definitely contributed to my successful interview and subsequent job offer from River Island. I was able to answer all the competency-based questions confidently using real examples of what I had learned at Rennie Grove. I genuinely believe that this gave me the edge over other candidates.
“I am looking forward to starting my new job where I will be looking at stock levels, performance, forecasting and talking to buyers and suppliers.
“Thank you Deborah and Rennie Grove for giving me the opportunity and encouragement to launch my career in fashion merchandising and buying.”
"The experience I gained from working at Rennie Grove definitely contributed to my successful interview and subsequent job offer from River Island"
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