1. Skip to content

SOFA - Suppliers of Furniture and Appliances

Volunteer Views

Laurence

Laurence

I came from Reunion Island (French island) to improve my English. SOFA received me as a volunteer in a very friendly way. All the team is very nice and help me as well. It was a great experience for me. I acquired extra skills by serving customers and I learnt a lot with SOFA. Ek SOFA, lé bel mèm (with SOFA, it's very nice).

James

James

I have worked here as a volunteer since the start of 2013, usually on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. One thing which has impressed me while I've been volunteering here, is just how nice and helpful the people are. Not only are they motivated to work hard for the shop, they also have a genuine commitment to helping those in need within society. As for myself, I have gained a lot confidence, as well as new skills I can be proud of, like learning how to sell products to customers and knowing how to deal with problems that come up.

Karen

Karen

Having decided to retire from my own business I volunteered with a number of organisations in an attempt to find a niche where I could use my business skills & flair. Sofa quickly "grew on me". I found the opportunity to use my marketing, researching and organisation skills. My time and effort are rewarded by the recognition that my contribution is appreciated. I feel a valued part of the organisation.

Lesley

Lesley

Someone recently asked me why I volunteer as a helper at Sofa. The answer was easy – it's a great place to work. The staff are so friendly, helpful and willing to "go that extra mile" to help people who are in real need. For me to meet and work with people from all backgrounds has been a great opportunity. I feel I am contributing towards the local community and it gives me a sense of satisfaction to be part of such a good organisation.

Will

Will

I have been a volunteer at SOFA on Wednesdays and Saturdays since late October 2011 mainly to get experience in the office environment and have, you could almost say, fallen for SOFA, the people, volunteers and staff. I worked for 25 years as a lorry driver and never thought I'd work in an office but the relaxed and friendly atmosphere here at SOFA has changed my way of thinking - I love it!

Frances

Frances

Frances has been volunteering at SOFA since November 2010. He comes once a week to polish and dust the furniture in the main showroom, and says "I really enjoy it here."

Carol

When I lost my job after 30 years with the same company I didn't know what to do next. Jobs had changed so much since I last looked for one. After school I did a secretarial course but back then there were no computers. So I did a computer course and got a qualification. I still didn't feel I could sit down at a computer in a job and say I know what I am doing. At this point I was put in contact with SOFA. What a great move that was! They not only do a good job re-using furniture but also help their volunteers find confidence to step out into the job world. They assist with your CV, discuss job interviews and so much more.

I also have a hearing problem and was unsure about a job with the public. At SOFA I am able to use my new computer skills and I have been encouraged to answer the phone and help customers. There is always someone there to help me if I need it.

We also have a social life here. Days out, dinners, evening get-togethers, Christmas party! When you walk through the door you are with friends. What a great place to be!

I now have a part-time job but am still volunteering. There is so much variety of work to do here no two days are ever the same.

Brenda

Brenda

I was off work after being made redundant in 2007. I was depressed and feeling really sorry for myself. I kept thinking something would come up, but it didn't, and the longer I kept thinking that, the worse it got. After an interview and induction I started doing one day a week in the office in February 2010.

It sounds daft, but the only way I can put it is to say even I don't recognise myself compared to how I was before. I snapped out of depression, lost weight and felt better in general. I have more confidence in a work situation, and also in other areas of my life.

Kerry

Kerry

I found out about SOFA from a friend who was already volunteering here. I came for an induction and started in the Summer 2011. I do a bit of everything here – my main job is being in charge of the bric-a-brac, keeping it tidy and rotating the stock. When the van comes in I help to unload and move stuff around the warehouse. I also show customers around and help them to choose items.

I really enjoy coming to SOFA because everyone is really nice and friendly. I feel at home and that I fit in even though I have a disability.

I've been out of work for over a year but have just got a new part-time job. A member of staff at SOFA helped me write a covering letter and get together the relevant paperwork to apply for the post. I couldn't believe it when I got the job and feel very excited. I hope to carry on volunteering if I can.

Charlotte

Charlotte

I have been volunteering for SOFA for over a year and thoroughly enjoy giving my time to the charity. I have gained valuable experience in office and reception work which I am able to use when applying for jobs. The staff and other volunteers are friendly and all seem to enjoy working at SOFA too. The work environment is relaxed but efficient, with everyone doing their best and getting along with each other. I will be sad to go when I leave to enter employment.

Amit

Amit

Being a graduate and without a job for six months, SOFA offered me a friendly, productive working environment to keep my transferable skills up to date.

When I first applied to volunteer at SOFA I wasn't quite sure what to expect but having completed a period of volunteering here, I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to stay in touch with the working world whilst applying for work.

Rob

Rob

I enjoy volunteering at SOFA because I find it a friendly place to work and because it is satisfying knowing that we deliver a valuable service to the community.

Jashvant

Jashvant

SOFA is a great place. We have nice things at very cheap prices. I enjoy volunteering. I meet different people, learn to communicate with them, and go out to different places on the van. The best thing is helping customers.

Paul

Paul

I have been a volunteer since October 2011 in the warehouse and on the vans delivering furniture to customers' houses. I really enjoy it, but then I got asked to work in the office. I have never worked in an office or dealt with sales or customers before and I did not think I could do it. But I can do it and I enjoy meeting customers and helping them. I love working at SOFA as the people are friendly and helpful. I enjoy it so much I would do it full-time if I could!

Fatima

I have been working as a volunteer for four months. I really enjoy being working in such a friendly environment. I am learning a lot about customer service with on-the-job training.

Salim

"I've been at Sofa for one year and 5 months and before I came to Sofa I had a lot of anxiety issues to deal with and I was not completely confident in talking to people and dealing with people. I have gone from volunteering one day a week at John Storer House in the back office to volunteering at Sofa six days a week, serving customers face-to-face every day. Because of this I have made significant progress and I feel that I'm fully confident in dealing with a wide variety of people.

During my time here at Sofa I've successfully completed and passed an L2 NVQ in Business and Administration. I only took three months to complete it. Because of the progress that I've made I feel much more confident about moving forward and getting a paid job sometime in the near future. I now have a more positive outlook on life and I am optimistic about achieving my goals."

Salim

Salim

"I've been at Sofa for one year and 5 months and before I came to Sofa I had a lot of anxiety issues to deal with and I was not completely confident in talking to people and dealing with people. I have gone from volunteering one day a week at John Storer House in the back office to volunteering at Sofa six days a week, serving customers face-to-face every day. Because of this I have made significant progress and I feel that I'm fully confident in dealing with a wide variety of people.
During my time here at Sofa I've successfully completed and passed an L2 NVQ in Business and Administration. I only took three months to complete it. Because of the progress that I've made I feel much more confident about moving forward and getting a paid job sometime in the near future. I now have a more positive outlook on life and I am optimistic about achieving my goals."

SOFA is part of the LeicesterShire & Rutland Re-Use Network.

SOFA is a member of the Furniture Re-Use Network - a national organisation which supports, assisits, and develops charitable re-use organisations across the UK. For more information on their work and on furniture re-use in general please visit frn.org.uk.