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The Invisible Volunteer!

As any community village shop will tell you - one of the biggest challenges is finding and retaining a small army of volunteers to help out at the shop. Rising costs of wages is huge for a village shop, especially when you are not for profit and therefore try to keep the cost of all your products down.

We are very lucky at The Boundary. We have around 40 volunteers, of which 20 are real regulars and help us out immensely. I hope they find it good fun and not to much of a chore. We reward them with drink parties at least twice a year where they can all meet and share stories and laughs.

Most of the volunteers work behind the shop counter or helping us stack shelves when the big delivery arrives, but there is one who is our lovely invisible volunteer. He helps us at least twice a week and arrives in the early mornings before anyone has come to open up the shop. He helps us without us having to ask him to - he just does it off his own back and does whatever he sees needs doing. During the warmer mornings of summer when the milk is delivered and left outside our big shutter, this lovely gentleman will come and cover the milk with cardboard so that the sun doesn't get it's direct rays on it before someone is in at 7am to put it in the chillers. When our cardboard dumpster is so full that the lid won't shut properly, this amazing man will climb in and jump on it so that the cardboard compresses and the lid can be shut. In autumn and winter, when the Plane trees that surround the shop discard their leaves, our wonderful helper will shovel the leaves away from the back shutter to stop them all blowing in when we roll open the door. When the crates start to pile up outside the shop, he will tidy them up for us... it's all small stuff but it makes a massive difference and I am SO grateful to him. A kinder, less assuming man you will never meet and although I'm not going to name him here, I hope he knows just how much we appreciate him.

Please don't feel I'm singling out any one volunteer... we love and need them all and every single one of them is hugely appreciated.. this one, however, flies under the radar, is not on our WhatsApp group and therefore does not come to our Volunteer Drinks. He is a complete gem. And if he reads this (which I doubt), 'Thank you!'

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