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Svenja Gabriel has travelled further than most of our ReStore volunteers. She came to ReStore from Germany for a 5 week placement. As it has come to the end of her time with us, we asked Svenja about her experience with ReStore.

Tell us about yourself.undefined

I’m from Paderborn in Germany and I’m studying German and English to become a teacher.

How did you hear about Habitat ReStore?

The connection was made through my brother-in-law’s school. I looked at the website and after emails with Habitat staff, I thought it would be a good experience and it seemed to be a friendly atmosphere.

How have you found you time in ReStore?

Better than I expected, I have really got into answering the telephone and the till. I can usually answer questions but if I can’t help is close by. The Northern Irish accent was very difficult to understand at the beginning but now I’ve got used to it.

What is your favourite task?

Working behind the counter and helping with customers.

What has surprised you in ReStore?

How many donations ReStore receives every day. I didn’t realise the extent to which local people supported Habitat.

What has been your highlight?

Getting to know the other volunteers. They have been very kind, welcoming and helpful. We have great discussions in the tea room.

What has challenged you at ReStore?

Having to do a lot at one time; often I’m helping a customer and the phone rings.

What has inspired you most about Habitat’s work?

That projects are supported worldwide through ReStore.

How have you found your time in Northern Ireland?

I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The weather hasn’t been great but the country is beautiful and I’ve enjoyed hearing English all the time.

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

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