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How I started to help Save the Children

The rumours about students being unclean are wholly misleading.

On a typical day in my first year (cerca 2003) I would take three showers a day purely to past the time.

This couldn’t last though.

Firstly I didn’t have the budget (a bottle of shampoo can be cost a pint these days), nor the physique to be a shower gel model (the only possible career I think of that requires such hygenic devotion) and lastly I had no wish to leave Nottingham with nothing but a degree and very shiny skin.

I also realised I was living in a bubble (this had nothing to do with all the showers it was purely metaphorical). 

University Park at Nottingham can at times seem like a giant playground for 18-21 year olds. Like an academic, up-market version of Hollyoaks or a version of Skins where the cast have matured and aged slightly. It can seem off limits to anyone above or below those ages with the exception of the middle-aged providing they look and dress like lecturers.

The campus, like most unis, has a tendency to be a bit insular.

Some students won’t venture outside University Park for months. Even when they do it is only to catch a taxi with other students to go to a club with other students in, before catching a taxi home with other students to their halls.

So one day I made a decision. I’d go and volunteer for a charity shop, in ‘real’ Nottingham.

I’d love to say I checked all the possible ‘charity shop’ opportunities but to a first year University student research is as foreign a word as Council Tax, mortgage or financial independence. 

I’d also love to say I have some brilliant reason for choosing the Save the Children store, unfortunately it was simply the first I came to.

Unfortunately is a malpropism though because five years later I’m still volunteering at the Nottingham shop and whilst my skin maybe a little less shiny, I have no doubt I am a better person for it.

Want more about the Nottingham store? Leave me a message.

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