Kieffer's story...

Kiefer volunteers at RSPCA Llys Nini, he says:

"I wanted to gain skills and experience in the retail field, so it would help me apply for the specific field I want to get involved with in employment. I wanted to gain more confidence, which I have achieved.

" I came to the Volunteer Centre to get some advice. They helped me have confidence and ease to sign up to volunteering. We looked at training to help make my volunteer journey positive and they introduced me to to shops before starting.

"They mentioned three charity shops and mentioned the Focus Forward Project. We visited three shops and I had an informal chat with the RSPCA before being offered a volunteering position. 

" I take the black bags and put clothes on the table. I untag them from old stores and put new tags on them, get hangers and put the size cubes on and put them on the racks to be steamed. I bring in old stock from the shop floor and socialise with customers to tell them about the deals we have. Customers have asked for advice about clothes and I have given that to them, which has meant that they bought the items. I've also steamed clothes ready to put on the shop floor.

"I've gained more social skills, more confidence and am organised. It has given me a structure to my week, which has helped a lot and have learnt new experiences within the retail field. I have met lots of new people too.

"Previously, I haven't had positive experiences with people in the working environment, but since volunteering here, it has helped me make new friends and has made it easier for me to socialise with people.

"Volunteering has helped my relationship with my family members - especially my mum, as she sees a structure and sees me trying my best to get into employment and move forward. It means I have something extra to do in the week and I can start conversations more easily with people without being stuck on what to say. 

"Volunteering has helped the charity shop, as I can reach areas other volunteers can't. It has also helped another volunteer who likes to chat and she volunteers with me so that she can chat more. I'm helping the charity more and helping to raise more funds. So the increase in my confidence and social skills has meant I'm able to sell more items to customers.

"Volunteering has given me confidence to go out more and learn new life experiences. It has given me more social skills and means it's easier for me to talk to new people which is something I couldn't do before.

"I feel better now when applying for jobs, as I have the skills and experiences to go there. I am now able to get current references after not being involved in anything for the last seven years."

"Volunteering is a fun experience that teaches me many skills week by week!"