Volunteer’s Stories

Paddy Winter

My volunteer story……

I started volunteering in the village shop in 2020. This was a very strange time with all but essential shops closed. Only two customers were allowed in the shop and toilet rolls were rationed (two per person at 50p each). Flour, chocolate and wine were very much in demand during this difficult time!

The shop was essential. Home deliveries for those shielding, a post office, a local supply of groceries, and a friendly face behind the till. The lottery remained popular and I was very pleased with myself when I mastered the lottery machine.

Today, four years later, I am proud to be a part of a team of volunteers that continue to support what is an invaluable asset to Findon. The management committee work hard behind the scenes while Angus and Helen ensure an astonishing variety of produce for sale and the post office offers so many services.

Visitors to Findon are pleasantly surprised by our amazing shop; it’s a real gem which deserves its Queen’s Voluntary Award.


Nick and Sian Keating

My husband Nick and I are retired and moved to Findon Village two years ago because of its beautiful rural location and because we very much wanted to be involved in a community. We did not expect to find such a close and vibrant village in which, it was very quickly apparent, Findon Village Store is the hub.

We had heard that the shop is run by volunteers alongside employed managers and post office staff, so signed up and were soon visited by Margaret Bamford who ‘interviewed’ us, or rather, had a very pleasant chat about ourselves and what would be expected of us as volunteers. Soon afterwards we embarked on our initial training, shadowing volunteers and learning the ropes. All the shop staff and volunteers could not have been more helpful (and patient!). Two years on, we both have regular shifts and absolutely love being part of this extraordinary organisation and getting to know everyone; staff, volunteers and customers alike.  I have also been able to put my art skills to good use (having been a Head of Art in a Secondary school for 30 years) and now also create a seasonal A-Frame advertising board for the shop. We both volunteer for other groups in the village and feel so grateful to be a part of this amazing village community and part of the shop team.


Jean Burden

As a recent retiree and newcomer to Findon, I was looking for ways to make this stage of my life count, and get involved in the local community at the same time.  Findon News came to the rescue!  It gave details of an upcoming Shop Volunteers’ Meeting, with a phone number to ring if you were interested.  I rang it, and was told to introduce myself at the meeting.  I did, not expecting it to be announced to everyone, and applauded!  I was a bit surprised to say the least – I hadn’t actually done anything apart from drink a glass of wine!   I could hardly say, “No,” after that!  Next came an informal interview, memorable because it was conducted to the backdrop of jackdaws nesting in our chimney, doing their best to destroy it.  I then shadowed Annie for a couple of weeks until I felt confident to go ‘solo’ on the till – although there is always someone else there, so it feels safe.  And of course I had to go through the policies, especially the ‘Challenge 25’, (asking for ID), which is taken very seriously.  (It’s never been a problem in practice, and I’ve been known to make someone’s day on more than one occasion!)   I’ve now been there two years, and love it.  It’s a happy, friendly place to be.  I meet people, I keep busy, and I always leave with my spirits lifted and a spring in my step.




Registered Name & Address:

Findon Village Collective Ltd
Findon Village Store
Horsham Road
BN14 0TF

Working in partnership with

Website hosted by Jollyleaf and developed by Richard Bell