Celebrating our volunteers

Today marks the beginning of Volunteers’ Week: a national celebration of the difference volunteers make across the UK.

Oxfam’s lucky enough to be supported by a dedicated team of thousands of volunteers across the UK, with around 1,000 based right here in Scotland. In this blog one of our volunteers, Nabeela Ali, explains what inspired her to give up some of her time to join us in the fight against poverty.

Hey there! I’m Nabeela and I’m part of the Social Media Volunteer Team at the Oxfam shop on Nicolson Street in Edinburgh. 

I started working as a volunteer at our Oxfam shop in September 2017. I stumbled upon the vacancy while looking for social media related jobs and it seemed like great opportunity. I’ve always wanted to volunteer but found it difficult because of my anxiety. This role seemed like the perfect way to become a volunteer because I could use the abilities that I was confident in to help, and I could also build my social media skills. 

What I love about volunteering is that while I’m job-hunting, I’m constantly learning and working on something new. The responsibility I’ve been given over the shop’s social channels means I can be more creative with the way we showcase the shop and it has encouraged me to further develop my skills in an old hobby; video editing. I’ve been creating fun animated gifs and editing video interviews with fellow volunteers to add more personality to the way the shop communicates online, and to invite people to get to know us. 

Being an Oxfam volunteer has been rewarding in ways that I hadn’t thought possible. It’s heart-warming to feel like I’m a tiny part of this large organisation and that I’m being helpful.

Even though I’m not always in the shop with the rest of the volunteers, I feel like a part of the family. I’m like the weird cousin who randomly turns up at your house, eats all the food in your fridge and abruptly leaves. Except I take a bunch of photos for an hour or two… and then abruptly leave!

One thing I didn’t expect when I started volunteering is that I would make a new friend with very similar interests who has just joined the social media team. Look forward to more fun content from us!

If YOU have a special skill, like design, organising, or maybe an eye for vintage treasures, you could be a perfect fit for our team down here on Nicolson Street – or your nearest Oxfam shop. Get in contact with your local Oxfam shop to find out more!