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Stories

“Although I’ve just left I have great memories of volunteering at Walcot Street and working shifts with Nikki, she made me giggle, without fail, every single shift”- Paula, Walcot Street Shop


“I’ve really enjoy putting love and care into the lunches I prepare at Julian House, because they are always received with a smile and a thank you. I get to meet a lot of people with very interesting life stories and I’m happy to be part of the team.” – Sue, Manvers Street


“I’ve been volunteering since 1997 so seen quite a few changes. I like to volunteer at Julian House as I’m so thankful for my own home and family. It makes you count your blessings and the clients I’ve spoken to are always grateful and appreciative.” – Sue C, Manvers Street


“I can’t really give you a quote, because I find all that JH does so overwhelming. These days we are all expected to have opinions on everything, but sometimes it’s better just to look and try to understand what you see.”- Graham


“Playing shop was one of my favourite games as a child so it’s great fun to be able to do this for real. I enjoy meeting the customers, who share my enthusiasm for finding treasures I never knew I wanted, for finding new uses for old objects, for putting together clothes and accessories at bargain prices. I am impressed that people give beautifully made garments to a homeless charity. And I love arranging the bric-a-brac!” – Cristina, Walcott Street


“I am really enjoying the experience of cooking for the crew & they are good to talk to & always polite, better than my boys at home!” – Judith, Manvers


“I love the Frome Branch which is a very happy and I feel well run place!” – Claire, Frome


“I’m really enjoying the volunteering at Exeter bike workshop, the guys are really friendly, it’s a nice environment to be in, learning a lot of new skills with help at hand. Fantastic tools too. Benefits for me are the social interaction, sense achievement in building a bike, having a routine to look forward to. Knowing the guys really appreciate my help. I’m enjoying it so much I’m applying for the job of relief bike mechanic there. Thanks for getting me the volunteer position.” – Tom, Exeter Bike Workshop


”I started volunteering because I felt so sad and guilty seeing homeless people on the streets of Bath. I’d see people sleeping rough as I went about my life shopping, socialising, partying, visiting family, working, decorating my house – all things I know I’m lucky to have in my life. There was no point just feeling upset for homeless people, so I decided to volunteer.

I really look forward to my weekly evening shift, I always have a good time at Manvers Street Hostel, I really feel like I’m helping the permanent hostel staff by giving them time to concentrate on the residents while I cook up a a dinner. And I absolutely love talking to the residents, most of them have a very different current situation in life to me and I feel that my horizons and understanding of people and society are broadened with each chat.

I still feel sad when I see people sleeping on the streets in Bath, and other cities, but I know I’m helping in a little way. ” – Heather, Manvers Street


“I really enjoy my two half days a week at the bike workshop. Simon the manager and Massimo the lead mechanic are encouraging, helpful and above all great fun. I learn something new about bikes each session and it is a great bonus that the profits made from the bikes restored go to help local disadvantaged people.” – Mark Exeter BW


“Why do I love volunteering? Well … there are the relationships that develop, with the managers, other volunteers and the customers. It’s never boring, because of the surprising, weird and wonderful donations you’re dealing with. If you’re there for a while (6+ years for me), there’s the chance to develop your ‘specialist area’, for example book pricing, CD sorting, untangling jewellery or creating window or internal shop displays. But ultimately, there’s the feel-good-factor that comes from knowing that all this fun is had whilst saving the world by supporting recycling as well as helping raise funds for the fantastic work of Julian House!” –  Rebecca, Walcot Street


“Well I have been volunteering at the cycle shop for for some time now although for the past year or so I seem to have formed a working partnership “or is it a double act?” with my good friend Pascal who is French. I have recently proudly acquired German nationality so we are representing Europe among the Bicycles and Rob the manager has kindly provided us with French and German flags to identify our current projects! Pascal is a chef by profession and has an artistic flair which he uses to great effect resurrecting classic and the more quirky bicycles to their former glory and sometimes a new renaissance. I am an engineer and more inclined to solid mountain Bikes and sometimes effete racers. My best to date was full carbon racer that had been left out in the rain for a long time. This took many sessions with a pan scourer to reveal it’s aristocratic heritage. Fortunately it was too small for me to buy for my self always a temptation but you cannot keep all of your orphans!

Pascal and my self are the same age and last year both reached the big 60 although Pascal is a month or so older than me and when his knees creak bending down I ask if I will have a similar experience when I reach his age! I think we both feel we have been lucky in life and are glad to be able to afford to put something back for those less fortunate and any way it is so much fun I really feel a fraud taking any credit for it. I have learnt a lot about bicycles, their owners and the people who tend to them.

My thanks to Mark, Rob, Albert, Jake and the rest of the team for all their help and support. Please remember bicycles have feelings too. Give them a good clean and a little oil every now and again and they will serve you well!” – Paul Petty, Bath Bike Workshop