Placement: Social Media Volunteer
Organisation: Oxfam GB
Ideal career: Considering a career in the third sector
Lucy has always enjoyed volunteering, previously with youth groups at home and also at a Kids Club on her year in France. Lucy spotted the opportunity to be a volunteer Social Media Intern for Oxfam's Festival Shop at the start of the fourth year of her French degree, and she didn't hesitate in applying.
From tweeting at Glastonbury to selling Jaeger at Womad, Lucy McIndoe has gained lots of experience from her volunteering at Oxfam's Festival Shop.
I really wanted to get involved as it was something I was interested in, it was completely different to my degree and it's a good cause. I've been volunteering with Oxfam GB at their Wastesaver site in Batley, just outside Leeds. It's an amazing place. It's basically a large warehouse where all the donations from the Oxfam charity shops come in and are sorted out on long conveyer belts. Rare and vintage clothes that have a high retail value will be set aside for the Oxfam Online Shop. Items like wellington boots, sunglasses, denim jackets and sleeping bags all go to Oxfam's Festival shop where I worked. Other more practical clothes are sent directly out to countries in need of aid, for instance, recently, to Nepal. Nothing goes to waste and I love that.
The Festival shops are pop up shops at many of the big music and cultural festivals. My role has been to promote Oxfam's festival shops through different social media outlets. We've been creating new links to raise the profile of the Festival Shop and to encourage footfall to the shops at the festivals. Ultimately this is to help generate income for those in need across the world.
It's been a really varied role. I've had the chance to have an input into the social media strategy which was fantastic as this is something I've been really interested in. I recently did an online course in Social Media so it's been great to put a few things into practice. But equally it's been really good to be involved with all the planning and logistics at the Festival Shop, from sorting out stock to helping to load the vans and then actually going to volunteer at the Festivals. So far I've helped out at the Manchester Tattoo event and Glastonbury where I've been doing a mix of of social media reporting and helping out on the Festival shop floor. Soon I'll be going to Womad and Kendal Calling.
All the money generated by the Oxfam festival shop goes straight into the appeals for people across the world. I really believe in recycling and I am interested in recycled fashion so it's been great to see people supporting the Festival Shop. It's been a really good way to promote second hand clothing. People are really surprised at the quality of the items as we've had some high quality brands such as Jaeger and Whistles.
I would definitely recommend people to volunteer. I've enjoyed the responsibility I've had whilst, it's been easy to do it around my University work and my job as they've been really flexible and supportive. I've had a great insight into how an organisation like Oxfam works and I feel I have a lot to talk about now when I'm applying for jobs. I've met some great people and I went to Glastonbury which has been quite a nice perk!
Lucy was nominated by Oxfam for a Leeds for Life award in April 2015.