So this week I am talking about my time volunteering for Barnardo’s. I spent a lot of time shopping at the Stockbridge Barnardo’s store in Edinburgh. On one shopping trip I saw that they were looking for a Visual Merchandiser volunteer – something I have a huge interest in. Naturally I had to go in and sign up! I remember being very nervous for my first shift, as at the time I was in the midst of depression and found it hard to leave the house at times. Volunteering, even just for my four hour shift each week was a huge step for me and in the end it really helped.
Wednesday’s, the one day of the week that I can guarantee will be a success. Why? It’s the day I volunteer at Barnardo’s. My friend introduced me to the idea of volunteering about seven months ago and I can honestly say I’m having the best experience!
My manager Leanne and I hit it off immediately. So much so when I heard she was moving stores, I followed her. I was given the exciting role of creating fun window displays to draw the public in. I was given free rein to be creative and this has given me a huge amount of my confidence back. Plus, having a fashion degree under my belt means I can finally put my skills to good use, thank god!
Since I started working at Barnardo’s a year ago, our shop windows have been one of the biggest changes I have implemented, changing them every month (three times a week sometimes). I strive to showcase all of the great donations that we receive daily at Barnardo’s Vintage. Our windows highlight our speciality within the business and make us a destination store in the heart of the bustling village of Cheadle. Here is a step by step guide and an insight into how I prepare and install Barnardo’s Vintage Windows:
Inspiration: This usually starts with a theme if it’s seasonal – for example, what’s happening on the catwalks, latest trends, and new discoveries I find through Pinterest and Instagram. I base it around collections I have in store, for example I’ve just had some great pieces for autumn/winter so have kept them in the stock room to use in the window. I hope to recreate the feel and mood of a grand old library; take a look at my mood board for colour palette and prop ideas!