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Habitat ReStore is the low cost DIY store that builds hope and homes. We catch up with our volunteer James about how he's finding volunteering with us in Ballymena ReStore.

undefinedJames has been volunteering in Habitat ReStore Ballymena since it’s opening in September 2016. James was born deaf, and uses sign language to communicate. He hoped that ReStore would help him to continue to socialise and be part of a team.

We recently caught up with James, to see how he’s been enjoying his time volunteering in ReStore!

Why did you sign up to volunteer in ReStore?

I had been made redundant in my previous role due to factory closure and I wanted to make myself useful and get out and about.

What motivates you to keep coming back?

I like it. I meet all different types of people and I feel like I am part of a team, like I can make a difference.

What skills, qualities or experience do you bring to ReStore?

I am good at working as part of a team and I enjoy helping around the shop floor. Anything from tidying to taking items out to customers cars.

What’s your favourite task?

Helping customers get items packed into their cars. I like to help others.

What have you learned during your time in ReStore?

I have learned to appreciate everything I have. Habitat’s work has shown me how little others in the world have and that everything we do in ReStore goes to help those in need by giving them a hand up out of poverty.

What has surprised you about working in ReStore?

How much people throw away which is actually in good condition. We waste so much.

What’s been your highlight so far?

Meeting new people and working as part of a team.

What has challenged you at ReStore?

I am deaf and do not lip read which means that communication can be a challenge. However, everyone in ReStore is really good at writing notes for me and making me feel included in their conversations. Some have even learned a little bit of sign language to help communicate with me which I appreciate.

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in ReStore and why?

Isobel as she is very kind to me and has learned some sign language from my parents to help communicate with me.

What’s the thing that inspires you most about Habitat’s work?

Every 2 minutes someone in the world is helped by Habitat. That is amazing and something I want to be part of making happen.

To learn more about the volunteering opportunities available in ReStore click here, or you can read more volunteer stories here.

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