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Community Volunteering

Q&A with Pam (our longest serving volunteer)

This month’s blog features a Q&A with Pam who is our longest serving volunteer. Pam leads our fabric reuse section, creating order and making sure stock is displayed beautifully. It’s a big task and we are every grateful for her support over the years.

How long have you been at Remake as a volunteer?

Approximately 7-8 years as I had helped to run charity shops in Inverness and volunteered at charity shops in Crieff.

How did your journey with Remake begin?

A friend who volunteered for a very short time said “You should come to Remake and see all the fabric!” Fatal. I was hooked!

There was no specific way of working or trying to keep the fabric tidy especially as it was a great big room full of everything and everyone trying to find a system (and the systems kept changing as we learned what worked best!)

What attracted you to Remake?

I’d worked in charity shops in Inverness and Crieff and liked Remake’s reuse aims and working with fabric! Wonderful.

I was a quilter, patchworker, knitter and craft person and loved that items were affordable to crafters and makers. I like the ease of volunteering and mixing with a cross section of folk. I like the adventure of seeing the Remake project grow and succeed.

What ways, and for good and bad has Remake changed over the years?

Remake has grown and spread itself into new areas of reuse but sticking to its principles. Most of the people working and volunteering back then were feeling their way, with decisions reversed if they didn’t work. Always a case of “try and see”. We have visited other projects ie Dunbar, Dundee, Glasgow, Borders and been open to new ideas but adapted and used in a “Crieff way”. Having the Reuse Container at the recycling centre is a great asset as well. Our tool library is also another great social enterprise.

What kind of people have you met through Remake?

Mostly retirees to start with but gradually that has changed. Some volunteers have health issues but can still help and love to socialise. People from all walks of life who like the ethos.

Remake attracts special folk with skills who are willing to share with public. Often the people who come to classes have become volunteers too.

In what way does Remake help you personally?

Volunteering at Remake gives my week a structure and fulfils my need to be useful by keeping stock tidy.

I love the social interaction with staff, volunteers and the public. It’s great to have weekly interaction with people in different age groups which helps me to get a younger perspective on life.

I am committed to the reuse of materials and enjoy seeing new life given to items. It’s important to help educate the public on what can be reused.

If you had a crystal ball, Gypsy Rose Pam ?, what do you see the future of Remake being?

If we go back to the old ways before Covid, it would be great to expand. Selling on eBay has been a new development but customers like to see and feel and measure items.

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