In the next of our “Meet The Volunteer” series, we catch up with a volunteer reasonably new to Barnaby’s but not new to the village – meet Emma Andersen:
Q: Why Barnaby’s and why now Emma?
A: Barnaby’s opened around the time we first moved to the village, and I rather liked the idea of supporting it as I believe that volunteering is such an enriching thing to do. But life rather got in the way, what with two young (at the time) children, and then work, and then Covid. It was always at the back of my mind though. Just recently, I was sat here chatting with a friend who said “You should have a go at that!” A week later, I was making my own coffee and now I’m in here doing a shift almost every Thursday morning!
Q: What keeps bringing you back?”
A: That’s an easy question – I love it! I love meeting new people and serving the village I live in. I also love contributing to such a great project as this, that has given so much money to the community over the years.
Q: Where do you think the money goes?
A: I know you have supported the St.George Foundation since day one, which I think is wonderful. More recently, I have seen lots of photos of large cheques being handed out to all sorts of charities, both on Facebook and here on the big screen. Also, I have also seen upgrades to equipment coming through, including the new till which I got to use for the first time today!
Q: What else could Barnaby’s do to support the community and drive awareness of volunteering?
A: Not much! I think you’ve got it covered! I’m such a big supporter of volunteering that I’m delighted to be able to do it here in my own village by picking and choosing the shifts I can fit in. Thank you for that!
Thank you Emma, and huge congratulations on your recent ordination!
In the fifth of our MEET THE VOLUNTEER series, we caught up with the lovely lady you often see at the till during the week – Rosy Easton. We asked Rosy what volunteering means to her:
So what drew you to volunteer at Barnaby’s?
I retired just before Covid came along, so as the world started to return to normal, I was keen to do something with my new-found freedom! When my kids were younger, we supported the Primary School through committees and the like. I rather enjoyed all of that, so now that I have grandchildren too (Ed – you don’t look anywhere near old enough for that!), volunteering here allows me to continue my support of the community, but just in a different way.
What does volunteering at Barnaby’s do for you?
I love the fact that it allows me to stay connected with the people I have met over 37 years of living in the village. I often look out over the till to see groups of people sitting together, chatting between themselves over coffee and cake. I’m rather chuffed to be a part of a team that creates that safe space for them to get together. And I’ve learned some new skills too!
So, what have you learned so far?
Well, I’ve started using the coffee machine to make my own coffee. Deb and Julie have been very helpful on that front, and although I have not perfected my skills yet, I’m getting there and I love the fun of it.
What helps bring you back each time Rosy?
Apart from the things we talked about above, it’s rather lovely to see all the big cheques on the screen that have been given to the charities Barnaby’s supports. The events outside are rather fun too. I loved the horses, and the ambulance that was here, and the occasional music group. More of that please!
In the fourth of our MEET THE VOLUNTEER series, we caught up with the man who lives closet to Barnaby’s – Ted Quincey. We asked Ted what volunteering means to him:
So what drew you volunteering at Barnaby’s Ted?
Well, as I live right across the road from Barnaby’s, I had originally thought I’d be popping in at a moments notice if help was required. In actual fact, I have taken to planning a little bit further ahead by picking the shifts I’d like to do in advance, in preference to waiting until the last minute, It’s worked out much better that way, allowing me to plan my week around grandchildren and the like.
What do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy looking back at the end of a shift and being pleased with a job well done! I particularly like the “volunteer” role, as it allows me to do a number of different jobs whilst saying hello to our customers. That said, during the quieter moments, Berty has invested some time in teaching me how to make coffee, and I have enjoyed that very much.
Where do you think the money goes?
It was my assumption that it all goes to charity, after the costs have been taken care of. More recently, I’ve seen images on the big screen showing cheques being handed out to some of the local causes that I am familiar with, and I rather like seeing those as they pop up. I read the Swanmore Link every month, and there are very often articles in there that talk about charities who have benefitted from a donation.
What else could Barnaby’s do to help the community?
Yes. I play in a ukulele band called the Swanmore Strummers. We meet weekly in the village and have, in the past, raised a little bit of money at gigs. How about playing at Barnaby’s on occasion?
(We think that is a great idea, so please watch out for the Swanmore Strummers appearing here in the summer months!)
In the third of our MEET THE VOLUNTEER series, we caught up with someone well known to the village – Mike Clay. We asked what volunteering means to him:
Q. You volunteered here only quite recently. What prompted that?
A: I retired from a full career in the construction industry a few years ago, so started popping in here to meet friends from the village. My daughters had done a few shifts as work experience, so I thought I’d give it a go too.
Q. Had you done this sort of thing before?
A: I started my working life serving teas and coffees well over 40 years ago, so it seems rather nice to be ending it in the same way! In fact, while I was a student, I took on a part-time job at Bournemouth Pavilion and became a silver-service waiter. I ended up running the coffee shop there, which allowed me to meet a large number of stars and famous faces. That led to a love-affair with the stage, which explains the photo…
Q. What do you like about volunteering Mike?
A: I like to think of myself as a very community-spirited person. I have been a bell-ringer in the village since 2000, I’m often out litter-picking, and some will have seen me on stage with the Swanmore Amateur Dramatics Society, which I have been doing for 38 years! What I’ve learned is that you meet some great people volunteering, so I started doing an hour a week in Barnaby’s and it has grown from there at a pace I can fit in with everything else.
Q. How have you got on with making your own coffee?
A: Barnaby’s is a popular place, so I found some time with Berty on quieter days to learn the ropes. It’s actually not as daunting as it looks, so I’m looking forward to making coffee for my daughters when they return as customers.
Q. What else does Barnaby’s mean to you?
A: I have a 50 year old MG which I plan to bring to your Classic Car events that restart in April. Other than that, the fact that you donate so much to local charities definitely has an appeal. Keep going!
(Well, we could not do it without volunteers like you Mike, so thank you)
In the second of our MEET THE VOLUNTEER series, we caught up with someone relatively new to Barnaby’s – Julie Smith – so we asked what volunteering means to her:
Q. Why do you volunteer at Barnaby’s Julie?
A: Well I believe a strong community runs on its volunteers, and I like supporting the community in which I live. In the case of Swanmore, that’s been over 30 years, all be it with a bit of a recent break while we lived abroad! I brought my boys up here, so I rather like the fact that, with Barnaby’s being opposite the Primary School, I’m helping mums who are now on the same journey that I have been on.
Q. What have been the side benefits of this?
A: It’s a lovely way of meeting people that I might not normally have been able to meet. Some of those are new faces, and some are not so new!
Q. How are you getting on with making your own coffee?
A: Well, you’ll have to ask our customers that! I’ve learned not to be frightened of the machine, but on occasion, it can be a little hard to tell my lattés from my cappuccinos! It’s been fun to learn a new skill though, and all us volunteers receive lots of friendly training to help us improve.
Q. Where do you think the money goes?
A: I had originally thought that it went to the church, but I now know that it does not. In fact, I’ve seen Barnaby’s handing out some big cheques recently because there are some images here on the big screen, Perhaps more could be made of that – may be with a page in the Parish magazine?
(Thanks Julie – we’ll look in to that idea)
Q. Can you explain the photo Julie?
A: No. Not really! But Christmas isn’t far away!
Thank you Julie!
To mark Barnaby’s 8th Birthday this week, there are a number of fabulous images on the screen showcasing the work of our marvellous volunteers. In order to celebrate their achievements, today marks the first of a new series called MEET THE VOLUNTEER. We begin by asking Roger Morfill what it is that he loves about being part of the team:
Q. What is it that keeps you coming back to Barnaby’s Roger?
A: There are a number of reasons really, first of which is that I get to meet so many people that I probably would not ordinarily get to meet. This has led to many new friendships, particularly with other volunteers. As for customers, well every day someone new comes in, and they have a variety of reasons for doing so. We often see people who are researching the possibility of moving in to the village. As we are right opposite the Primary School, we see lots of mums on their collect/drop-off schedule too, plus there are always plenty of dog walkers & cyclists.
Q. How easy is it fitting shifts in with everything else you have going on?
A: Oh, that’s really easy. I just log in to the site and choose the shifts I want. Some weeks I can do a few shifts – some weeks I can not do any! There are different roles to chose from too, so it’s pretty flexible.
Q. How did you get started as volunteer?
A: I was a customer for quite a while, as I rather enjoyed Barnaby’s role as a community hub. I enquired about doing a trial shift, and had a go at making my own coffee. That was 5 years ago. Now I am a Team Leader, having benefitted from lots of training along the way.
Q. What skills have you learned over the years?
A: I suppose the one thing I have learned that I had never expected I would learn in my lifetime is how to operate a proper coffee machine! I have not quite got the hang of latte art, but maybe that will come one day…
Q. Can you explain the photo Roger?
A: Well, being snapped in a sparkly green hat and feather boa on St.Patricks Day is an obvious highlight of my time here! I’ve also been caught wearing a Tam O’Shanter and ginger beard on St.Andrews Day, but that’s a whole other story.
Thank you Roger!