Scholars volunteer with Oxfam

More than £4,000 worth of clothing can now be sold by Oxfam thanks to a group of Chevening Scholars.

The group visited the Oxfam Southern Logistics Centre, to assist with uploading items of clothing to the Oxfam website.

Clothing, which arrives in bulk on a daily basis, needed to be sorted, photographed, labelled and finally uploaded, ready for sale to the general public.

Social Media Ambassador Sherika Whitelocke, gives her take on the day:

I volunteered at Oxfam for five and a half hours, and was guided through my routine by Sarah Davies the hub manager who was very helpful and had a pleasant personality. My time entailed taking pictures of men and women’s work suits, and women formal wear. The pictures were taken in a specific order, taking the full suit then back and front of the tops, and if it were a three piece suit a picture was done for each piece in dressing order. I then placed the clothes on a line in the same order as that of the picture taken and labelled them for sorting. Finally, I then formatted the pictures on the computer so that they can be uploaded for online purchasing; this was very exciting and intriguing.

This venture helped me to appreciate the role that charity organizations play in society and the impact volunteerism can have on someone else’s life. This was not my first experience volunteering but the first to such an organization. There was another thing I also appreciated the intricacies, precision and details that are put into clothes that are sold online and the technicality that it entails to ensure the customer gets accurate information about the product and a true reflection of the product.

‘The fundamental thoughts that lingered with me was how amazing it is to see people donating items of all type and good quality, to help others else to have a better life; but  most outstanding was the report that Sarah gave at the end of the session stating that Chevening Scholars contribution for the day will assist in educating 200 children, purchase over 400 chickens and if the 200+ clothes that were sorted and uploaded on the system sold out for the week that would be a contribution of over £4,000.

Initially the work looked very simple and enjoyable but at the end of the day the impact was realized as a tremendous one. Volunteerism is something that I believe in and do on a daily basis however I would encourage other scholars to volunteer more to charity organizations like Oxfam whose output reaches a large cross sectional of people and the tangibles are not only food and clothes but education which is of utmost importance to empowerment out of poverty.

Thanks to Chevening and to Oxfam for this most memorable opportunity.