Most days start off with the same routine of printing out the paperwork for the client appointments, noting the names of the volunteers booked in for the day and checking messages to see if anyone is cancelling or rescheduling their appointment.
The volunteers arrive around 10.30am, many of them have not volunteered with us before, so I give them all a briefing, when I explain to them about the services we offer our clients and how it works, as well as giving them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. This is followed by a tour around the boutique and then they start prepping the clothing rail for the first client, which is usually an 11.00am appointment. I am available throughout the day to answer any queries that may arise and If there is a lull between clients then we sit down and have lunch together.
After the briefing the day can differ greatly. I will receive calls from clients either cancelling their appointment, rescheduling or asking for directions as they are lost! I also receive calls from the organisations who refer clients to us, requesting information about how they book their clients in for an appointment. This is peppered with taking in donations that are dropped off to us either in-person or by courier etc and then following up with thank you notes, answering emails etc.
I also receive requests from corporates who are interested in booking a small group into volunteer with us, so I manage the volunteer booking system, ensuring we have the right number of volunteers each day trying to avoid being over or under-staffed. On the odd occasions, when we are low on volunteers I help the volunteers with the client appointments. During any “downtime”, which is not frequent, I sort through the donations, sizing and hanging the items.
At the end of the day, I check that boutique is tidied up, clothes, shoes, accessories sorted and put away and that everything is ready for the clients and volunteers the next day.
The most rewarding aspect is the smiles on the clients faces when they leave after their appointment, knowing that together we have helped to try to make a difference and empowering them to do succeed at their upcoming interview or their new role.